Renewable Energy Feed In Tariffs ( Solar Thermal Magazine)
The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is offering 332 new Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) renewable energy contracts. These contracts represent 100 megawatts (MW), enough electricity each year to power almost 13,000 homes.
On August 29, 2014, the Minister of Energy directed the OPA to offer up to an additional 100 MW of FIT contracts to eligible applicants through an extension of the FIT 3 procurement. Eligible applicants who had already submitted complete applications were asked to confirm their interest in participating. Applicants with projects that can connect to the grid are being offered contracts.
The breakdown of contract offers is as follows:
330 solar PV projects
2 bio-energy projects
The projects announced today include 121 projects (representing 31.4 MW) with First Nation and Métis community participation, 60 projects (representing 18.6 MW) with community participation, and 151 projects (representing 50 MW) with municipal or public sector participation.
On January 1, 2015, the OPA will merge with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The new organization will combine the OPA and IESO mandates. As a result of this merger, successful applicants will receive a FIT contract from the IESO. This change will not affect their FIT contract offer.
All applicants will receive information on their My FIT Home Page regarding the status of their application.
The OPA has been directed by the Minister of Energy to undertake focused stakeholder and community engagement to inform potential enhancements to the 2015 FIT and microFIT programs. As a framework for this engagement process, the OPA has posted discussion papers that outline proposed enhancements to both programs that are being considered. Interested parties may submit comments by January 23, 2015. The next application period for the FIT Program is expected to be in 2015.
Ontario’s clean energy initiatives have attracted billions of dollars in new private sector investments, generated thousands of jobs and significantly increased the amount of clean energy in Ontario’s supply mix.
Ontario’s FIT Program, enabled by the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009, launched North America’s first comprehensive guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production. It includes standardized program rules, prices and contracts for those interested in developing a qualifying renewable energy project. Prices are designed to cover project costs and allow for a reasonable return on investment over the contract term. Qualifying renewable energy technologies currently include biogas, renewable biomass, landfill gas, solar photovoltaic, waterpower and on-shore wind power.
The FIT Program continues to generate strong interest among power generators as well as communities across the province. The FIT contracts we are about to offer represent significant investment in Ontario and in our electricity system. They show that the transformation of our electricity system to be cleaner and more sustainable is well on its way.