ONTARIO’S MINISTER OF ENERGY John Baird has announced that the expansion of the Sir Adam Beck generating station will proceed. The expansion involves the construction of an additional power tunnel that will transport water from the Niagara river to the existing Sir Adam Beck power house in the Canadian state.

It is anticipated that tax incentives and capital-tax exemptions of investment in renewable energy proposed by the provincial government of Ontario will help to get the project started.

The government is also pushing for an independent study to determine whether a project to add a third generating station at Niagara Falls – the Beck 3 – is feasible.

The government’s proposed measures would:

• Provide a comprehensive tax holiday to help create more electricity from cleaner, alternative and renewable energy sources, including hydro.

• Allow the Beck Tunnel project at Niagara Falls, an expansion of the Sir Adam Beck generating station, to proceed.

• Allow the Ministry of Energy to proceed with an independent study on the feasibility of moving forward with the Beck 3 generating project in Niagara Falls.

• Introduce measures to provide a property tax holiday for newly created assets that generate alternative electricity. The Ontario water power industry has benefited from such a property tax holiday on new investment since 2001. To date, over US$200M in new investment has been committed. Compensation to municipalities for lost property tax from this new holiday would be provided similar to that provided in relation to water power.

• Allow a 100% corporate tax write-off for the cost of assets used to generate electricity from alternative and renewable sources.

• Bring forward a capital tax exemption for assets used to generate electricity from renewable sources.

• Provide a sales tax rebate for building materials used to construct alternative energy facilities.

• Create a corporate income tax holiday for revenues derived from the sale of new supply of electricity generated from alternative sources.

• Introduce a requirement for net metering and connection arrangements between distributors, self-generators and small-scale distributed generation.

• Raise the threshold for the environmental approvals exemption for clean generation to 100 MW.

The new measures are also expected to establish a Centre of Excellence for Electricity, jointly located at Hamilton’s McMaster University and The University of Waterloo in Canada.