On Tuesday August 2, the Ontario Minister of Energy announced
three changes to development processes for renewable energy
projects with the goals of providing increased stability and
predictability to project development.
The first is the issuance on August 2, 2011 of a Ministerial
directive to the OPA requiring the OPA to allow FIT contract
holders to elect to obtain a waiver of the OPA's termination
rights contemplated under Section 2.4(a) of the FIT Contract,
provided the Supplier can meet specified conditions. The conditions
vary for CAE and non-CAE projects. In general terms, developers who
are able to demonstrate a completed Domestic Content
Plan and a manufacturing equipment agreement will now be
able to request a waiver of the Ontario Power Authority's
termination rights included in the Notice to Proceed provisions of
Feed in Tariff contracts. The Supplier must satisfy these
conditions by December 31, 2011. Projects will still be required to
submit a financing plan, connection impact assessment and obtain
all regulatory approvals before proceeding to the construction of
The second change relates to proposed improvements to the
Renewable Energy Approvals (REA) process that will provide greater
certainty for project developers. Specifically, today the Ministry
of the Environment announced additional guidelines for the REA
process, including the draft REA Aboriginal Consultation Guide to
assist renewable energy project applicants with the requirements
for consultation with First Nations. The draft REA Aboriginal Guide
also explains how the regulatory requirements relate to the
Crown's duty to consult with Aboriginal communities in respect
of renewable energy projects. The Draft REA Aboriginal Guide will
be posted on the EBR for 90 days for review and comment.
The third development, based on recent consultations with
industry stakeholders, the Ministry of Finance has proposed new
rules to provide greater clarity and stability to the property tax
assessment of renewable energy projects. The Ministry of Finance
has proposed changes to Regulation 282/98 that establishes greater
clarity by creating additional categories for assessment based on
the size and location of the proposed wind, solar, or anaerobic
digestion generation project. The draft regulation is posted on the
Ontario Regulatory Registry and will be open to
review and comment until August 29, 2011.
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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