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New legislation to promote investment in Canadian hydro

The provincial government of Ontario in Canada, has announced that it will be tabling new legislation to promote significant investment in environmentally friendly electricity generated by hydroelectric dams. The proposed legislation intends to provide tax incentives for more water power.

Developed in consultation with industry, the legislation would replace property taxes with lower charges on the gross revenue of individual hydro plants. The gross revenue rates would gradually rise based on the output of the power dam with smaller plants paying the lowest charges.

At the same time, the government is changing the way the province charges for the use of water power dam sites it owns. These charges, or water rentals, will also be based on gross revenues of individual plants. In addition, output from new power dams and plants that are completely rebuilt and/or expanded would qualify for a ten-year holiday on property tax and water rentals. It is anticipated that the measures would set off some C$2B (US$1.3B) in new investment over the next ten years in clean, safe water power generation in Ontario.