On February 1, 2011, the OPA released much
anticipated draft rules and a proposed contract for commercial
aggregators under the microFIT program (available to 10 kW or less
projects). This group of renewable energy generators, being
businesses that lease land or rooftops from individuals for
multiple small renewable energy generation projects, has been shut
out of the FIT/microFIT program since last fall, when the OPA
announced size and applicant restrictions in both the FIT and
The proposed C-FIT program includes more commercial terms,
including secured lender provisions similar to those under the FIT
program, than those available to microFIT generators. The proposed
contract remains simplistic and does not include all standard
commercial terms, including assignment and change of control
provisions, but is still viewed as many as being critical in making
such projects financeable. Interestingly, the OPA has restricted
its own assignment right – limited to entities that have
a credit rating not lower than that of the OPA at the time of such
assignment. This provision is an attempt to address
lenders' concerns regarding the strength of the payment
covenant following an assignment of these contracts. This proposal
would make the C-FIT contract more onerous than the FIT contract in
terms of the OPA's assignment rights.
While the C-FIT proposal re-opens the microFIT program to
commercial aggregators, the terms of the program are not as rosy as
they were when the microFIT program was first announced. Under the
C-FIT program, generators will earn 71.3 cents per kWh for rooftop
solar PV projects and 44.3 cents/kWh for ground-mounted solar PV
projects. Under the microFIT program, projects of a similar size
earn 80.2 cents per kWh and 64.2 cents/kWh, respectively. Further,
prior to applying under the C-FIT program, generators must obtain
an offer to connect from the applicable local distribution company.
C-FIT applicants will also be charged an application fee of $500
per megawatt, with a minimum fee of $500.
Draft rules and the proposed C-FIT contract can be found on the
Comments on the draft documents will be accepted until February 18,
2011. The OPA expects to begin accepting applications for the CFIT
Program in mid-March 2011.
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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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