New legislation promising to create thousands of jobs and make more room for renewable energy has passed in the legislature.

The green energy act is being touted as a key piece of legislation that will transform the province's struggling economy.

It passed in a 59 to 13 vote, despite opposition from the Progressive Conservatives.

They have long argued that some of the measures in the act amount to extra costs for already strapped consumers.

Energy Minister George Smitherman says the bill will make it easier to bring renewable energy projects online.

It also replaces a patchwork of local bylaws governing where energy projects can be located with provincewide standards.

The act has come under fire from several communities after Premier Dalton McGuinty warned that the province won't tolerate any objections to new wind turbines or solar panel farms that aren't based on safety or environmental concerns.

Environmentalists also warn the plan still relies too heavily on nuclear power.