Mesa Power Group to File NAFTA Complaint for Ontario's Green Energy Plan

A Texas-based renewable energy company, Mesa Power Group, plans to file a complaint charging that Ontario's green energy plan violates the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Ontario's feed-in tarriff (FIT) scheme pays above-market rates to producers of renewable energy under a 20-year, fixed-price contract. Mesa Power had not been able to win contracts for two wind energy projects in western Ontario in the last round of FIT awards.

A Canada Trade Department spokesperson said that the Canadian government has received Mesa Power's notice of intent to submit a claim, and should it proceed with the complaint, Ottawa will "vigorously defend" the country's interests.

Mesa expects to file a formal NAFTA notice of arbitration by October 3, which would launch an international process to review the Ontario legislation.

This is not the first international challenge to Ontario's green energy plan. In June, the government of Japan asked the WTO to form a legal panel to decide whether the Green Energy Act, which requires at least 60% of the equipment used in installations qualifying for FIT be manufactured in Ontario, gives an unfair advantage to local manufacturers.

The province's Progressive Conservative Party has promised to scrap the program if they win the October 6 election.

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