The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has awarded long-term contracts for six green energy projects. These projects will help create about 2,200 jobs and power a cleaner, greener, energy future for all Ontarians The six new wind power projects, three to be located in Chatham-Kent and one each in Essex, Prince Edward county and Thunder Bay, will provide enough electricity for more than 120,000 homes.

This is a major green economic initiative, one which will benefit all of Ontario, said George Smitherman, deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure. We are determined to maximize the development of the province’s green energy sources so we can not only clean up our air, but kick start our economy, bringing new jobs and fresh sources of revenue to local communities.

Awarded through the Renewable Energy Supply III (RES III) program, the six contracts will create 492.1 megawatts (MW) of new renewable generation. The bidding process was triggered by a government directive to the OPA to secure 500 MW of green energy supply. The projects’ combined $1.32 billion in capital costs will be financed privately.

The strength of the chosen projects shows that Ontario is an attractive place to invest and the province is well on its way to maximizing its potential for green, renewable power, said JoAnne Butler, OPA’s Vice President of Electricity Resources.

Ontario is Canada’s leader in wind power. In fact, Ontario’s supply of wind power has nearly doubled in the past year alone. Projects already in operation from previous government-directed procurements include Canada’s two largest wind farms, the Melancthon EcoPower Centre near Shelburne and the Prince Wind Farm near Sault Ste. Marie.

These major green energy projects will help the province achieve its commitment to eliminate dirty, coal-fired generation by 2014 and to maximize the development of renewable energy. The new power sources will emit almost zero greenhouse gases per megawatt hour compared to the almost 1,000 kilograms per megawatt hour currently emitted by coal-fired plants.

The six projects are expected to be in service by the end of 2012. The contracts are for a 20-year term.

The proponents are:

Project Name: Kruger Energy Chatham Wind Project

Proponent: Kruger Energy

Location: Municipality of Chatham-Kent (Romney, Raleigh and Tilbury East)

Capacity: 101.2 MW.

Project Name: Greenwich Windfarm

Proponent: Renewable Energy Systems Canada

Location: District of Thunder Bay near township of Dorion.

Capacity: 99 MW.

Project Name: Talbot Windfarm

Proponent: Renewable Energy Systems Canada

Location: Municipality of Chatham-Kent (Orford and Howard)

Capacity: 99 MW.

Project Name: Raleigh Wind Energy Centre

Proponent: Raleigh Wind Power Partnership (Invenergy)

Location: Municipality of Chatham-Kent (Raleigh and Tilbury East)

Capacity: 78 MW.

Project Name: Byran Wind Project

Proponent: SkyPower Corp.

Location: Prince Edward County

Capacity: 64.5 MW.

Project Name: Gosfield Wind Project

Proponent: Gosfield Wind Limited Partnership (Brookfield)

Location: Township of Kingsville, Essex County

Capacity: 50.4 MW.