Feed-in tariff regulations introduced in Ontario


Toronto, ON, Canada — (METERING.COM) — September 28, 2009 – Feed-in tariff (FIT) regulations offering long-term price guarantees for renewable electricity generators have been introduced in Ontario as part of the province’s Green Energy Act.

The FIT program is aimed at increasing investor confidence and making it easier to finance energy projects, and it is expected to encourage billions of dollars in investment to help Ontario’s energy supply mix become one of the cleanest in North America, the Ontario government said in a statement.

Key features of the FIT program, which is intended to provide a straightforward way to obtain a contract for renewable electricity generation, are that it allows all sizes of generators from homeowners to large developers to participate and is open to various renewable energy technologies, including biogas, biomass, landfill gas, solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and waterpower.

FIT payments vary according to the technology and project size, and are intended to cover total project costs and provide a reasonable rate of return over a 20-year contract (40 years for waterpower). Typical payment can range from 10.3 c/kWh (9.4 US c/kWh) for landfill gas projects larger than 10 MW to 80.2 c/kWh (73.3 c/kWh) for residential solar rooftop projects 10 kW or smaller.

The FIT also includes a “price adder” for Aboriginal and community projects to encourage participation.

In addition to the FIT other regulations introduced cover domestic content requirements for wind and solar projects, a streamlined approvals process and a service guarantee to bring developers greater certainty, regulations for setting wind turbines certain distances from houses, roadways and property lines, and a new Ontario Renewable Energy Facilitation Office to serve as a one-stop shop to help renewable energy projects get off the ground faster.

“Ontario has taken the lead in Canada and set the ground rules for doing green business, said Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. “Now investors, renewable energy companies and skilled workers can really move our green economy forward.”

Under the Green Energy Act more than 50,000 direct and indirect jobs are expected to be created.

The FIT will be administered by the Ontario Power Authority, and applications will be accepted starting October 1, 2009.