On August 13, 2010, following the completion of its
30-day consultation period with respect to the proposed change to
the pricing for ground-mounted solar PV projects up to 10 kilowatts
in size, the Ontario Power Authority announced amended and
finalized new pricing and introduced other new changes to the
microFIT Program, which among other changes prevents
"commercial aggregators" from participating in the
On July 2, 2010, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) introduced a
proposed change to the pricing for ground-mounted solar PV projects
up to 10 kilowatts in size (refer to Osler Update on July 5, 2010). At that time the OPA
announced that all ground-mounted solar PV projects, less than or
equal to 10 kilowatts and without an executed microFIT Contract or
a signed Conditional Offer for a microFIT Contract, would only be
eligible for a new lower price of 58.8 cents/kWh, rather than the
price of 80.2 cents/kWh that was initially set as the price for all
micro-scale solar PV projects at the launch of the FIT and microFIT
programs. Following its 30-day consultation period with respect to
these and other changes under the FIT and microFIT Programs, the
OPA announced on August 13, 2010 that it has finalized the price
for the new microFIT ground-mounted solar PV price category at 64.2
cents/kWh, and that this new price will apply to all applications
for such projects received after July 2, 2010. Applications for
projects received before July 2, 2010 will continue to be eligible
for 80.2 cents/kWh regardless of whether a microFIT Contract or
Conditional Offer has yet been executed.
In addition, the OPA introduced a dramatic new change to the
microFIT Program by stating that, effective August 13, 2010,
"commercial aggregators" (described in its press release
as "businesses that lease land or rooftops from
individuals for multiple renewable energy projects") will
no longer be allowed to participate in the microFIT Program.
Although the precise definition of "commercial
aggregators" remains to be defined by the OPA for purposes of
the program rules, a significant number of commercial players in
the micro-scale solar PV sector (both rooftop and ground-mounted)
will be impacted by this change.
In order to address the unique needs of commercial micro-scale
projects, the OPA has advised it will establish a microFIT Program
advisory panel to provide recommendations "on an expedited
basis" regarding appropriate contracting provisions and
processes for this market segment. Although the inability of
commercial developers to apply under the microFIT Program at this
time may create a development challenge for many, this new approach
presents an opportunity to create a contracting and application
framework that will improve the ability of such projects to obtain
Jacob Sadikman is an associate and his practise
focuses on the energy sector and on regulatory matters relating to
trading and marketplace activities. for securities, commodities and
derivatives. David Hanick is a partner and
practises primarily in public and private mergers and acquisitions
and corporate finance. Rocco Sebastiano is a
partner and his practice focuses on engineering, procurement and
construction law and infrastructure matters
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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