The government of Ontario announced yesterday that it is taking a number of actions to make it easier for renewable energy developers to do business in the province. Included are two initiatives by the Ministry of the Environment:
- the release of a Technical Guide to Renewable Energy Approvals, which provides 200 pages of detail about the MOE's expectations with respect to the technical aspects of REA applications; and
- the release of a draft Aboriginal Consultation Guide, which details the requirements and best practices for conduction Aboriginal consultations as part of an REA application.
The draft Aboriginal Consultation Guide is open for comment for 90 days beginning August 2, 2011. Additional details are available on the EBR Registry.
A government backgrounder highlights other steps that have been taken in recent months to improve the REA process, including:
- the MOE reducing the time for conducting initial screening of REA applications from 90 to 40 days;
- the Ministry of Natural Resources preparing several guidelines and tools regarding its expectations of REA applicants;
- the Ministry of Tourism and Culture preparing an Information Bulletin for Applicants Addressing the Cultural Heritage Component of Projects Subject to Ontario Regulation 359/09 Renewable Energy Approvals for REA applicants and releasing Standards and Guidelines for Consultant Archaeologists.