The Ontario government announced on Friday that the province will not proceed with any proposed offshore wind projects until further scientific research is completed. The press release circulated mid-Friday afternoon noted that no renewable energy approvals for offshore projects have been issued to date, no new applications for offshore wind projects under the OPA’s FIT program will be accepted and current applications for such projects will be suspended.

To date only one off-shore wind project has been granted a FIT contract, although without the necessary renewable energy approval from the Ministry of Environment, the project will be unable to meet its obligations under such contract. Three additional off-shore wind projects are listed as awaiting connection tests under the FIT program; today’s announcement will see such applications suspended.

This announcement comes as the Ontario government is attempting to balance its commitment to renewable energy in the face of increasing public criticism of wind energy projects related to health and safety and environmental concerns.