On May 14, 2009, Ontario's Bill 150, the Green Energy
and Green Economy Act, 2009 (GEA) was passed by the Ontario
Legislature. Modeled, in part, after successful programs in Europe,
the GEA is intended to provide the catalyst for the development of
the green economy in Ontario, improve the environment, implement
Ontario's commitment to climate change initiatives and create a
culture of energy conservation. To accomplish this, the GEA amends
15 other statutes - including the Planning Act, Electricity
Act, 1998 and Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998.
To re-cap our
February update when we first reported on Bill 150, some of the
key components of the GEA include the following.
Arguably the most fundamental element of the GEA is that it
paves the way for North America's first feed-in tariff program
(FIT) which aims to simplify current procurement methods and
provide incentives for investments in renewable energy technologies
through standardized prices and long term contracts. FITs will
replace the Ontario Power Authority's current request for
proposal process and standard offer program. On March 13, 2009, the
Ontario Power Authority released draft FIT rules and a draft FIT
price schedule. It is anticipated that the Ontario Power Authority
will finalize its FIT program this summer with the passage of the
Project approval streamlining
The approvals process for renewable energy projects will be
streamlined through a one-window, one-permit process with
province-wide standards. The GEA also creates a Renewable Energy
Facilitation Office within the Ministry of Energy for the purposes
of facilitating the development of renewable energy projects,
including working with proponents of renewable energy projects and
other ministries to shepherd projects through the various approvals
processes and through engagement with local communities.
Transmission and distribution
The GEA requires transmitters and distributors to connect
renewable energy generation facilities provided that certain
requirements are met. The GEA further empowers the Minister to
direct the Ontario Energy Board to take such steps, including
through license amendments, to require transmitters, distributors
and others to reinforce, enhance or expand their transmission,
distribution or other systems to accommodate the connection of
renewable energy generation facilities.
The GEA will help promote a culture of energy conservation in
Ontario by setting energy conservation targets for consumers and
distributors and encouraging the development of small-scale
renewable energy projects.
The GEA expands the Ontario Energy Board's objects to
include the facilitation of the implementation of a "smart
grid" in Ontario. In addition, every licence issued to a
transmitter or distributor under the Ontario Energy Board
Act will be required to prepare plans, in the manner and at
the times mandated by the OEB, for approval for the development and
implementation of the "smart grid" in relation to the
licensee's transmission or distribution system. A licensee will
be required in connection with any approved plans to make
investments for the development of the "smart grid" in
relation to the licensee's transmission or distribution
The GEA provides the framework for a green energy renaissance in
Ontario. The bulk of the detail regarding the implementation of
that framework will only be known once draft regulations are
released. Current expectations are that such regulations will be
released later this summer.
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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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