March 14, 2005

MNR approves 18 waterpower sites, launches new round of wind power applications

The Ontario government is making 18 sites available for waterpower development and inviting a second round of applications to develop wind power on Crown land, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay said last week. The selection of the waterpower sites follows a call issued last November for expressions of interest to identify potential waterpower sites.

Fifty-seven applications were received, of which 18 sites have been approved as appropriate for development. The successful proponents will now have 120 days to submit their development proposals for those sites to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The sites selected have potential for producing between 200 and 300 megawatts of hydroelectric power.

Twelve of the selected sites are in northwestern Ontario: Trout lake near Ear Falls, the Wabigoon River near Grassy Narrows, the Namakan river near Lac La Croix (two sites), the Seine River and Steep Rock Lake (west arm), both near Atikokan, the Namewaminikan River near Beardmore (two sites), the Aguasabon River near Terrace Bay, and the Steel River, also near Terrace Bay (two sites).

Four sites are in northeastern Ontario: the Pic River near Manitouwadge, the Mattagami River near Timmins, Fourbass Lake near Temagami, and the Wanapitei River near Eastaire. Two sites are in southern Ontario; they are on the North Bala dam near Bala, and on the Wasdel Falls dam near Washago.

Ramsay also announced a six-month period, starting April 1, during which companies or individuals are invited to submit proposals for sites for wind power development on Crown land. This follows the MNR's approval in January of applications from 16 private companies to assess wind power potential on 21 Crown land sites. The two initiatives are part of Ontario's move to achieve its target of adding 1,350 megawatts of new renewable generating capacity by 2007 and 2,700 megawatts by 2010.

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