Tim Hudak’s provincial Progressive Conservative party has pledged to kill the feed-in-tariff program, the Samsung energy deal and alter the Green Energy Act
London jobs will die on the vine — and deal another blow to the city’s struggling manufacturing sector — if key parts of Ontario’s energy program are scrapped, say energy industry observers.
At least one proposal is waiting to learn whether a feed-in-tariff program will still exist after the October provincial election before it commits to setting up shop.
“We have heard from industry that manufacturers are concerned, there is hesitation in companies making investments,” said Peter White, chief executive of the London Economic Development Corp.
“The Green Energy Act has brought investment forward and job creation, and we have taken advantage of it.”
Tim Hudak’s provincial Progressive Conservative party has pledged to kill the feed-in-tariff program, the Samsung energy deal and alter the Green Energy Act, a move that would also kill work here, White added.
A potential buyer of Ford’s St. Thomas assembly plant has proposed a biomass facility on site, but is awaiting provincial election results before proceeding, say sources close to that plant.
In addition, London is in the running for a solar module manufacturing plant that would employ 200 here, part of the Samsung deal.
The city now has German Solar and Kaco New Energy, the world’s second largest maker of solar inverters, a key part of the solar panel, and it has plants now in Germany, Korea, the U.S. — and now London.
“It would have real negative impact for us on a lot of levels,” White said of the scrapping FIT and the Samsung deal.
In a speech to the Ontario Power Summit in May, Hudak said Ontario homeowners just can’t afford the initiatives. He said energy bills will rise more than $700 a year over four years and the Samsung deal and FIT are part of the reason.
“I believe that competition, transparency and affordability are the best means of delivering value to families who pay the bills, and to the industry itself that deserves a predictable and open partner at Queen’s Park.” said Hudak at that summit.
The feed-in-tariff provides premium rates to companies and individuals that feed alternative energy into Ontario’s power grid. Critics ague the cost to end-users is too high.