Ontario government reviews FITs23. March 2012 | Markets & Trends, Industry & Suppliers, Top News | By: Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger
The Ontario government is taking immediate steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of its renewable energy program. More jobs, lower prices and giving communities more say are in the agenda. FIT cuts are also planned.
The government has reviewed the FIT program and will implement a reduction of premium rates for solar and wind power in a two-year review with 4.6 gigawatts of contracts. The feed-in tariffs for solar PV will see a fall of approximately 20 percent and wind, 15 percent.
For solar rooftops:
- Less than 10 kW, from 80.2 Canadian cents (€0.61) to 54.9 cents (€0.42).
- More than 10 but less than 100 kW, from 71.3 cents (€0.53) to 54.8 cents (€0.41). This is a new project size as the previous size included projects up to 250 kW.
- 100 up to 500 kW (previously 250 to 500 kw), from 63.5 cents (€0.47) to 53.9 cents (€0.40).
- More than 500 kW, from 53.9 cents (€0.40) to 48.7 cents (€0.36).
- Less than 10kW, from 64.2 cents (€0.48) to 44.5 cents (€0.33).
- From 10 up to 500kW, from 44.3 cents (€0.33) to 38.8 cents (€0.29).
- More than 500kW to 5MW, from 44.3 cents (€0.33) to 35 cents (€0.26).
- For more than 5MW, from 44.3 cents (€0.33) to 34.7 cents (€0.26).
*All conversions are approximate.
The prices will be reviewed annually every November for the following year.
The Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) welcomes the announcement which gives assurance for the Ontario government’s continued commitment to the province's growing renewable energy sector through the FIT program. "The price cuts to the FIT program are very aggressive," said Michelle Chislett, chairman of CanSIA. "We are confident in our industry’s ability to adapt and innovate, but the government will have to ensure the efficiencies in the application and approvals process announced today are implemented appropriately. This is especially true for the microFIT segment."
The focus and intent of the microFIT program will remain as the report review states. Thousands of Ontarians were also consulted and one focus of the submissions was domestic manufacturing and job creation. Many stakeholders advocated for the continuation of domestic content requirements as a way to support manufacturers and job creation.
The creation of a domestic content grid for concentrated solar PV to facilitate participation in the FIT program is also in the technical recommendations. After the first review of Ontario's FIT program, the government has pledged to implement all recommendations as quickly as possible. These include:
- Creation of more jobs sooner by streamlining the regulatory approvals process for projects while maintaining the highest environmental protection standards.
- Reduction of prices - for solar projects by more than 20 percent and for wind projects by approximately 15 percent.
- Encouraging greater community and Aboriginal involvement via a new priority point system, which will give advantage to projects with municipal support.
- Reserve of 10 percent of remaining capacity for projects with significant participation from local or Aboriginal communities.
- Developing a Clean Energy Economic Development Strategy to leverage Ontario's significant expertise and strengths to become a global leader in the sector.
Thus far, Ontario's strategy has brought in more than 27 billion Canadian dollars in new investment and economic opportunities. About 20,000 jobs have been created in the sector and 50,000 jobs are underway under the clean energy development.
"CanSIA members, through our Working Group structures will be working closely with government to stream line the process and create the efficiencies that are needed to ensure we have a sustainable industry that is creating jobs in this province," Chislett added. Solar PV creates about 25 jobs per installed MW, an estimated five more jobs per MW than non-renewable energy sources.
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