Energy is a significant expense for rural residents and local business owners and one of the largest farm input costs.
OFA regularly collaborates with government, utilities and industry to ensure rural agriculture communities have a voice in how to leverage their unique geographic profiles related to local energy development.
Previous attempts to build rural power generation incentivized large industrial scaled facilities attached to high voltage transmission grids. These large renewable procurements were sited based on available high-voltage capacity, with no input from local municipalities. OFA believes Rural Community Energy Projects will put power generation where it is needed and wanted and will consider energy policy in alignment with Climate Change, rural economic development, waste management and agricultural objectives. There are plenty of opportunities in Ontario where incentivized local and small-scale energy solutions will help rural Ontario grow.
OFA believes rural Ontario needs access to local energy systems where communities have a say in facility location, design, construction, ownership and management. By supporting the development of community energy systems, the Ontario government can foster rural economic development and help communities reduce carbon emissions while creating jobs and delivering reliable local power.