On May 30th, 2013, Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli
announced the much anticipated changes the current Liberal
government is making to Ontario's Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program.
Speaking at CanSIA Solar Ontario Conference, Chiarelli confirmed
that they will replace the controversial approval process for Large
FIT projects (+ 500KW) with a new competitive procurement process
and provide municipalities with a greater role in locating projects
in their communities.
In addition, the Minister announced OPA procurement targets for
the next 4 years and the introduction of a roof top solar pilot
program for unconstructed buildings.
The Minister is expected to issue a directive to the OPA
memorializing these changes and programs in the coming days.
The Minister also affirmed the Ontario government's
commitment to complying with the WTO ruling regarding the FIT
program's domestic content requirements. (see our previous post). No details on the method of
compliance were shared and it is not yet known whether compliance
would have any impact on existing FIT contracts.
The following is a summary of the announced changes to the FIT
New Competitive Procurement Process for Large FIT
Ministry will replace FIT program for projects over 500KW with
a new competitive procurement process. This is not expected to
impact existing contracts, but would apply to current FIT
Developers of prospective projects will be required to work
with and seek the cooperation of municipalities before the Ontario
Power Authority ('OPA') will approve contracts. It is not
yet clear how the developer's obligation to cooperate with the
municipality would relate to the municipality's involvement in
the project. However, no veto over projects will be extended to
municipalities, which suggests the OPA would have some power to
offer a contract even if a municipality refuses to cooperate with
The OPA will approve Large FIT contracts partly on the basis of
regional need, location to transmission grid and community
Greater Role for Municipalities:
Projects led by, or in partnership with, municipalities will
receive priority points on a similar basis as First Nations and
communities receive priority under the FIT 2.0 regime.;
Smaller and mid-size municipalities will receive 'soft
funding' from the Ministry in association with designing and
developing community-based renewable energy plans
A portion of the annual procurement will be set aside for
municipalities, universities, schools and hospitals.
Property tax on lands siting wind turbines will be increased by
a yet unspecified rate.
OPA and Ministry of Energy Procurement Targets:
900 MW total procurement target for 4 year period between 2014
Commitment to a procure 50 MW of microFIT and 150 MW of Small
FIT each year between 2014 and 2018.;
Additional 90 MW window will be opening fall 2013, comprised of
70 MW Small FIT and 20 MW microFIT; and.
Rates will be reviewed on a yearly basis, beginning in the
summer of (2013).
Pilot rooftop solar program
The OPA plans to award a select number of FIT contracts for
rooftop solar projects on unconstructed buildings in the summer of
(2013). The current rules require projects to be on existing
buildings. The intention of this pilot is to encourage construction
of buildings with roof surfaces capable of supporting solar panel
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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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