Ontario Energy and Infrastructure Minister Brad Duguid and Ontario Power Authority CEO Colin Andersen announced today that the OPA has offered 184 large scale Feed-in Tariff contracts totalling 2,500 MW of nameplate capacity to renewable power developers in the province. The government pegs the value of its latest investment in renewable power at $8 billion.

Today's announcement builds on a series of other major renewable power investments by the province, including:

These projects are the latest accomplishments of the Green Energy Act which is making Ontario a place of destination for green energy development, manufacturing, and expertise," said Minister Duguid during the press conference announcing the contracts. "The investments generated by FIT will not only create green jobs, but will also build a coal-free legacy for future generations."

According to the OPA, seventy-six of the approved projects are ground-mounted solar photovoltaic, 47 are on-shore wind and 46 are waterpower projects. There are also seven biogas, two biomass, four landfill gas, one roof top solar and one off-shore wind project. Details of the contracts, including full lists of proponents, locations and fuel types, are available on the OPA's FIT website.

Ontario is vying to become a leading destination for clean energy investment in North America. In Canada, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell are battling to position their respective provinces as clean energy leaders. As of March 31, BC Hydro had awarded 23 contracts under its Clean Power Call. The projects will deliver 2,901 GWh/year, just shy of the provinces target of 3,000 GWh/year (which readers may recall was scaled down from an original target of 5,000 GWh/year). BC is also expected to announce legislative changes next month to promote green energy and cleantech further in coming years.

On a related note, CIBC announced two days ago that it had appointed Don Roberts as Vice Chairman, renewable energy and clean technology in its wholesale banking group. CIBC is the first Canadian bank to devote itself so clearly to the green energy and cleantech space. Canadian banks had previously shied away from the space, leading many project developers to believe that they would have to look abroad for debt financing. However Richard Nesbitt, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CIBC's Wholesale Banking division, believes that "it is clear that the market for clean and renewable sources of energy is growing in Canada and across North America," noting that "governments across the continent are drafting and enacting legislation to create new opportunities for green technologies. Many Canadian companies are emerging as leaders in the sector and will need increased access to capital." CIBC appears ready to capitalize on this opportunity.