Large renewable energy projects will no longer form part of Ontario’s once world-leading Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program.
Following up on his announcement at the CanSIA Solar Ontario 2013 Conference in Niagara Falls on May 30, 2013, Bob Chiarelli, the Minister of Energy issued a Directive to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) on June 12, 2013 to implement changes to the FIT including:
- Removal of Large FIT from the program and replacing it with an RFP process.
- RFP was the regime that preceded the FIT
- This change was recommended by the Drummond Report (see our post March 7, 2012 – Storm Clouds Brew for Wind and Solar in Ontario)
- Government-owned Ontario Power Generation, forbidden from the FIT, can compete in the RFP
- Changes to the “domestic content” requirement for FIT projects
- This is required to comply with rulings from the World Trade Organization that the requirement discriminates against foreign firms
- Details of the changes remain to be announced
- Increased local participation in future renewable energy projects to support municipalities
- This, coupled with recently announced regional planning initiatives, reinstates some of the control over renewable energy projects previously removed from municipalities
procurement targets of 150 megawatts for Small FIT and 50 megawatts for microFIT for
each of the next four years
- There will be an annual price review
- New priority points table and new provisions for contract capacity set-aside for municipal, community, public sector and aboriginal applicants
- The OPA will sign Power Purchase Agreements with Constrained Applicants who have Combined Projects and successful results from the Transmission Availability Test and the Distribution Availability Test
- Aboriginal Participation Projects with Large FIT contracts that are on-reserve will be offered a four-year extension to the Milestone Date for Commercial Operation
To read the full Directive please click here.