Ontario reduces feed-in tariffs 1-5% for solar PV

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After scrapping its domestic content rules in July, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) published annual revisions to its feed-in tariff at the end of September. Rates have been reduced 1-5% for the FIT and MicroFIT programs, to C$0.274-0.384 (US$0.25-0.35) per kilowatt-hour.

The changes for the FIT, which covers projects 10-500 kW in size, took effect September 30th. MicroFIT rates will take effect on January 1st, 2015. Solar PV in the two programs is capped at 200 MW annually, though undersubscribed capacity from the previous year is rolled over.

NPD Solarbuzz expects impact on the province’s market will be limited. “In terms of its overall market impact it is negligible on previous forecasts, because the decline rates are so low,” says NPD Solarbuzz Senior Analyst Michael Barker.

This has not always been the case. In 2013 Ontario eliminated projects above 500 kW from the feed-in tariff, cut rates 25-39% and capped projects at 200 WM annually under the FIT 3 program. At the time the OPA also announced that it would move to a competitive solicitation for larger projects.

OPA is still finalizing rules for this program for PV projects above 500 kW, and NPD Solarbuzz expects the program to be rolled out in 2015. In 2013 the government of Ontario set a target to procure 140 MW of utility-scale PV annually through the program.