Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner, reaffirms commitment to prioritizing grid access for local energy projects at Alliston farm

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Green Party Leader, Mike Schreiner, reaffirms commitment to prioritizing grid access for local energy projects at Alliston farm

Alliston, Ontario – Today, Green Party of Ontario Leader and Simcoe Grey Candidate, Mike Schreiner, announced the Green Party’s plan to prioritize local energy projects while touring the farm of prominent local farmer and energy entrepreneur, Dr. Peter Vander Zaag.

The roof tops of Dr. Vander Zaag’s potato storage barns are the largest roof top solar installation in Simcoe County. The installation was the work of Ken Rounds, operator of Ethosolar just outside of Elmvale, Ontario.

“Local solar projects like the Vander Zaag’s highlight why scrapping green energy is bad for our communities,” said Schreiner “The Green Party’s plan for a community FIT and microFIT program benefits our local economy by generating income for farmers, businesses and home owners. Local renewable energy projects create jobs that keep money in our communities while producing energy without pollution.”

The Green Party’s approach to renewable energy prioritizes local ownership and local decision-making so that energy projects maximize local benefits and are located in places that make sense.

Since the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and microFIT program started nearly two years ago the government has received thousands of contract applications, many of which were farmers looking to develop a new source of revenue. Several of these projects have been delayed or unable to connect to the grid.

“Solar energy production is a perfect complement to any type of farming as it provides an additional source of stable income to us as a family,” said Vander Zaag. “With our emphasis on sustainable farming practices, this was a perfect fit.”

Since 2010, the Green Party of Ontario has demanded that the government prioritize grid connections for local projects, ahead of multinational corporations. The slow processing time for microFIT applications and the lack of grid access for local projects has shaken consumer confidence and will make it more difficult for solar companies to win back customers. The Green Party is committed to fixing the situation.

“Our vision is that we help business owners and farmers to benefit from the Green Energy act microFIT program so that the benefit stays in our communities. This helps business owners with investment diversification, to leave a legacy behind and helps the environment,” said Rounds. “In Denmark, when the government gave landowners a chance to share in the project, there was a renewed vitality in rural communities, and benefit was extended to schools, hospitals and all through the community.”

Green MPPs will: 


– Promote a community FIT program that requires local ownership, local decision making and local benefits. 


– Prioritize grid access for locally owned and community-based renewable energy projects. 


– Establish a loan guarantee program for public benefit, community-based renewable energy projects.

For more information on the Green Party’s 5 Point Plan visit: www.itstimeforgreen.ca

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Rebecca Harrison
Director of Communications

Green Party of Ontario
(c) 905-999-5479
(e) rebeccaharrison@gpo.ca