The Minister of Energy issued a directive on April 5, 2012 to
the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) pursuant to which Minister
Bentley directed the OPA to follow the recommendations in the FIT
Review Report and issue new draft FIT Rules, draft FIT Contract and
draft Definitions (collectively, the "Draft FIT
Documents"). We will continue our analysis of the Draft FIT
Documents and provide further updates shortly. In the meantime,
please find links to the Draft FIT Documents below and some salient
points that were derived from the Minister's directive.
Please note it is our understanding that the 50 MW cap on wind
power projects found in section 2.2(iii) of the FIT Rules is a
mistake, and that the government is not proposing to cap on-shore
wind at this time. Revised documents will likely be released
The OPA will award 50 MW of microFIT and 200 MW of small FIT
projects as soon as possible. "Small FIT" is not defined,
however we presume that this refers to capacity allocation exempt
In offering contracts for small and large FIT projects, the OPA
shall allocate of the available capcity:
A minimum of 100 MW for projects that have greater or equal
than 50% community and Aboriginal equity participation;
A minimum of 50 MW for hydro-electric projects.
During the term of the FIT Contract, a change in the points
awarded under the prioritization process based on applicant type is
prohibited if such change would mean that the economic interest of
the Aboriginal community, municipality etc. in the project would
drop below the level that resulted in the project receiving such
points. An exception is made for rooftop solar, in that a change in
economic interest is permitted after 5 years from the date that
commercial operation is achieved, regardless of whether the
economic interest of the municipality, aboriginal community or
schools, hospital, etc. was used to obtain prioritization in the
Ground mount solar is not permitted on any lands with Class 1,
2 and 3 soils or mixture of those, land comprised of organic order
soils, or Specialty Crop Areas. Note that this change applies to
any amendments being made to any existing FIT Contracts.
Ground mount solar is also restricted from industrial or
commercially zoned lands where no such use is occurring, or where
the solar ground-mount facility is or will be the main or primary
purpose for which the property is used.
Pre-existing FIT Applications and microFIT applications
submitted on or after September 11, 2011 and prior to April 5th,
2012, shall have their security returned and may apply during the
first available application window. Time stamps will be kept,
however the time stamp will only be used to prioritize projects
with the same number or points.
Small FIT projects will be subject to the same availability
tests as large FIT projects. To that extent, the OPA has published
capacity availability tables.
There will be no Economic Connection Test.
The FIT Rules shall be revised to permit FIT Contract offers to
be made to projects where upgrades are not required to the
transmission system or where only minor upgrades are
In order to be eligible for a FIT Contract, the project must be
within a certain distance from the Connection Point. The draft FIT
Rules (section 2.1(k)) do not define this distance, but indicate
that it will be subject to special consultation.
For new large FIT projects, the OPA shall amend the FIT
Contract to provide for greater generator accountability in
circumstances where generation must be dispatched off. This will
directly impact curtailment.
The OPA is accepting comments on the Draft FIT Documents until
April 27, 2012. We are available to advise clients and will be
reaching out in certain cases to discuss amendments we deem
necessary from a legal/commercial perspective.
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.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
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.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).