On July 10, 2009, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) released
updated rules (Program Rules) for the Feed-In Tariff Program (FIT
Program). The purpose of the FIT Program is to promote the
development of renewable energy sources within the province of
Ontario through the creation of a standardized application and
approval process for renewable electric generation. The FIT Program
is an important element of the Green Energy and Green Economy
Act (GEA). The following briefly highlights the basic
FIT structure and significant revisions to the Program Rules.
The basic eligibility requirements for the FIT Program are that the
facility must: (i) be a new or incremental generating facility;
(ii) be located in Ontario; and (iii) generate electricity from one
or more of: wind, solar (photovoltaic), landfill gas, waterpower,
biogas, or renewable biomass. A new requirement is that applicants
must also provide evidence of the necessary title and access rights
to construct the project (the "Access Rights," as defined
in the Program Rules), which is more detailed than the previous
requirement of "Demonstrated Location Access." The
Program Rules also move the requirement that applicants give
evidence of resource assessment/planning and Renewable Energy
Approval from the application stage to the FIT Contract stage.
Although the requirement is not a condition for application to
the FIT Program, it is important to note that certain projects will
be required to achieve a certain level of "Provincial
Content," pursuant to the FIT Contract. The definition of
"Provincial Content" is still under review; however,
other sections of the Program Rules make reference to an
"irreversible manufacturing process" that occurs in
The Program Rules also set out specific rules for Community
Participation Projects and Aboriginal Participation Projects.
Community and Aboriginal Participation will be assessed based on
the aboriginal or community proponent's economic interest in
the project. A project that receives either of these designations
receives, among other benefits, reduced security requirements and
an increased price/MW.
One of the most significant changes to the Program Rules is the
inclusion of rules that specifically apply to early applications -
i.e., Program Launch (a time period to be defined by the OPA).
These rules include "rated criteria," whereby applicants
receive points for non-mandatory attributes. The new rated criteria
indicate the OPA's focus on ensuring that the initial projects
awarded FIT Contracts will be able to begin construction
immediately and achieve commercial operation on an expedited basis,
to assist the Government of Ontario in achieving the goals of the
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.
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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.
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