Canada: OPA Launches Ontario´s Feed-In Tariff Program - A First In North America

Last Updated: November 4 2009
Article by Danielle Waldman

On September 30, 2009, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) (re)released the official feed-in-tariff (FIT) rules and contract. The FIT program is intended to encourage and promote greater use of renewable energy sources including wind, waterpower, renewable biomass, bio-gas, landfill gas and solar for electricity generating projects. The FIT program is designed for generating facilities with a maximum capacity of 10 MW for solar (PV) projects, 50 MW for waterpower projects and unlimited capacity for projects using other renewable fuels.

Under the FIT program, the OPA will have no responsibility to assess the viability of a project. To be eligible to participate in the FIT program, a proposed generating facility must:

  1. be a renewable generating facility of the types mentioned previously;
  2. be located in the Province of Ontario;
  3. meet the contract capacity requirements discussed above;
  4. in the case of solar (PV) projects that are not rooftop facilities and have a contract capacity greater than 100 kW, not be located on certain agricultural classes of land;
  5. not be an existing generating facility (although some limited exceptions apply for upgrades and expansions); and
  6. connect to a distribution system, and (vii) not have had a power purchase agreement in respect of the facility.

The OPA began accepting applications as of October 1, 2009. Applications will be accepted for the initial launch phase of the FIT program until November 30, 2009. The OPA's target for processing applications is 60 days following delivery of notice to the applicant that its application is complete.

Applicants that have entered into a connection cost agreement in respect of the project must terminate any such agreement prior to applying for the FIT program, unless physical construction of the connection asset relating to the impact assessment had commenced as of September 24, 2009.

Highlights of the FIT program include:

  • Upon acceptance of an application, the OPA will determine whether the transmission system has sufficient connection resources to accommodate the connection of the project. If there are insufficient resources, the application will be subject to an economic connection test. If there are sufficient resources, a FIT contract will be awarded;
  • The OPA will then determine whether the applicable distribution system has, or will have, sufficient connection resources to accommodate the connection. Where an application does not specify a connection point, it will be deemed not to pass the distribution availability test. If there are, or will be prior to the milestone date for commercial operation, sufficient distribution system resources to accommodate the connection, a FIT contract will be awarded. If there are approved plans to accommodate the connection of the project, but such resources will not be in service prior to the milestone date for commercial operation, the applicant will be added to the production line. If there are no such distribution resources, actual or planned, the applicant will be subject to an economic connection test;
  • An economic connection test will be run at least every six months for each region of the province to ensure that costs of connecting a project that will ultimately be borne by rate-payers are reasonable. The test will assess the economics related to the investments necessary to connect proposed new generation, to the extent that such investments will be allocated to transmitters and ultimately passed on to rate-payers. The transmission and distribution tests discussed above will be conducted on all projects in the production line to determine whether the project should be awarded a FIT contract, remain in or moved to the production line, moved to the FIT reserve or withdrawn from the program;
  • Projects in the production line are intended to provide input into the transmission and distribution planning processes, as the cost of connecting these projects is within economic thresholds, and similarly, the FIT reserve is intended to support the production line until such time as the cost of connecting these projects is within economic thresholds;
  • The Supplier, as defined in the FIT contract, is required to own or lease the generating facility for the term and to design, build, operate and maintain the facility in compliance with all applicable laws and policies;
  • The FIT contract term is for a period of 20 years, or for facilities using waterpower, for a period of 40 years.
  • The FIT contract will require that facilities utilizing windpower with a contract capacity greater than 10 kW or utilizing solar (PV), achieve a minimum percentage of domestic content. There are as follows:

Wind Projects over 10 kW

Minimum Domestic Content Level

Year of Commercial Operation


2009 - 2011


2012 and later

Solar PV Projects over 10 kW and less than or equal to 10,000 kW

Minimum Domestic Content Level

Year of Commercial Operation


2009 - 2010


2011 and later

  • Projects may qualify for the ecoENERGY for Renewable Power Program, and if so, must transfer half of all payments received to the OPA;
  • Projects may not be divided into smaller projects for the purpose of obtaining a higher contract price or any other benefit under the FIT program. If the OPA determines that a project has been divided into smaller projects, it may reject all applications, apply the contract price that would have been applied had all projects been the subject of a single application, or such other action as it may determine; and
  • Projects for which 10% or more of the applicant or Supplier is held by an aboriginal community, will have an amount added to the price payable by the OPA pursuant to the terms of the FIT contract. Similarly, projects for which 10% or more of the applicant or Supplier is held by either individuals resident in Ontario, a registered charity with its head office in Ontario, a not-for-profit organization with its head office in Ontario or a co-operative corporation whose members are resident in Ontario, will have an amount added to the price payable by the OPA pursuant to the terms of the FIT contract. Where a project may have combined aboriginal and community participation, both price additions shall apply, provided that the total shall be subject to the greater maximum price adder.

Where the project is (i) exempt from the new renewable energy approval process set out in the Green Energy Act, (ii) an applicant, or any person who controls or is controlled by the applicant, who own or have executed a fixed or guaranteed maximum price contract with an equipment supplier, or (iii) where the applicant has taken delivery and registered and beneficial title has passed from the equipment supplier; the supplier may have an advantage. Similarly, applicants, or any three full time employees of the applicant or its control group who have successful experience with planning and developing a similar facility as either prime contractor or as design/builder, and applicants who have a tangible net worth of CAD$500 or more per kW of proposed contract capacity at the end of the most recent fiscal year, may also have an advantage.

There are no residency requirements for applicants other than in respect of aboriginal and community projects as discussed above. Applicants may not assign an application, other than to a related person, without the prior written consent of the OPA. An applicant may not permit or allow a change of control without the prior written consent of the OPA. An applicant will not be permitted to assign an application or permit or allow a change of control of the applicant until one year following the submission of the application.

The OPA will accept applications in respect of a generating facility that is the subject of a standard offer contract which has not achieved commercial operation (as defined in the applicable standard offer contract). The applicant will be required to repudiate and terminate the standard offer contract, impact assessment and connection cost agreements associated with the facility. If a Certificate of Approval (Noise Emissions) has been issued by the Ministry of Environment (Ontario), the party to such standard offer contract may request, no later than 30 days after the program launch, an amendment to the standard offer contract, which will result in (i) the substitution of the contract price, (ii) relief from the requirement to share with the OPA payments made under the ecoENERGY, (iii) a requirement to maintain the completion and performance security and (iv) a requirement that the facility achieve commercial operation no later than December 31, 2010.

The FIT program pricing is intended to cover development costs plus a reasonable rate of return for projects meeting certain assumptions relating to cost and efficiency. For certain renewable fuels, the price shall be escalated annually on the basis of cumulative increases on the CPI between the base date of the price schedule and the earlier of (i) the milestone date for commercial operation, and (ii) the commercial operation date. The pricing for each renewable fuel is set out below:

Feed-in-Tariff Prices for Renewable Energy Projects in Ontario

Base Date: September 30, 2009

Renewable Fuel

Size tranches

Contract Price ¢/kWh



≤ 10 MW



> 10 MW





≤ 100 kW



> 100 kW ≤ 250 kW



≤ 500 kW



> 500 kW ≤ 10 MW



> 10 MW




≤ 10 MW



> 10 MW ≤ 50 MW


Landfill Gas


≤ 10 MW



> 10 MW


Solar PV


Any type

≤ 10 kW



> 10 ≤ 250 kW



> 250 ≤ 500 kW



> 500 kW


Ground mounted

≤ 10 MW





any size



any size


The FIT program and Green Energy Act are intended to promote and facilitate the connection of renewable generating facilities in an efficient manner. Applicants are cautioned that in certain areas of the Province, it is not currently economically or technically feasible to connect additional generating facilities to a distribution system or the IESO-controlled grid, including projects connected directly to host facilities. Projects in these areas may not be able to obtain a FIT contract immediately and will be reserved until conditions change.

The FIT program is critical to the Green Energy Act's objectives of increasing conservation and creating a culture of conservation in the Province of Ontario, creating 50,000 "green" jobs in three years and developing a smart grid in Ontario. The FIT program will be beneficial to investors, manufacturers, developers, generators and the residents of Ontario because it will ensure standard rules, contracts and pricing for electricity, differentiated only by the energy source and capacity of the facility.

The Province is keen to develop "green" industries through new investment and job creation, as well as to provide incentives for investment in renewable energy technologies. Developers, manufacturers, operators, investors and various other parties will have a rare opportunity to become involved in the development of Ontario's generation, transmission and distribution systems at the ground level.

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

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Events from this Firm
8 Nov 2016, Seminar, Ottawa, Canada

The prospect of an internal investigation raises many thorny issues. This presentation will canvass some of the potential triggering events, and discuss how to structure an investigation, retain forensic assistance and manage the inevitable ethical issues that will arise.

22 Nov 2016, Seminar, Ottawa, Canada

From the boardroom to the shop floor, effective organizations recognize the value of having a diverse workplace. This presentation will explore effective strategies to promote diversity, defeat bias and encourage a broader community outlook.

7 Dec 2016, Seminar, Ottawa, Canada

Staying local but going global presents its challenges. Gowling WLG lawyers offer an international roundtable on doing business in the U.K., France, Germany, China and Russia. This three-hour session will videoconference in lawyers from around the world to discuss business and intellectual property hurdles.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
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).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.