Ontario to re-open the microFIT program on July 21 (Updated with microFIT rates)

Last Friday, Ontario’s electricity authority announced that it would re-open its feed-in tariff program for solar PV systems smaller than 10 kW. The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) suspended the program in April, citing issues with applications, and originally planned to re-open a new version of the program in July.

MicroFIT 4.0 will feature a CA$0.313 (US$0.24) per kilowatt-hour (kWh) feed-in tariff rate for PV systems under 6 kW, as a newly separate class. PV systems 6-10 kW will receive the previous rate of CA$0.294 (US$0.23) per kWh. As an alternative to the feed-in tariff, in-series net metering will be allowed if permitted by the local distribution company.

In May, Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) told pv magazine that the target to install 50 MW this year under the program was already in danger due to a 23% cut in microFIT payment levels. The organization warned of “significant impacts” due the suspension, which has fallen during the peak of annual installations.

As of June, IESO reports that only 4.7 MW of solar PV systems had applied for the microFIT in 2016 to date, which suggests that it is unlikely that the target will be met this year.

Update: This article was updated at 2:30 PM Eastern Time (U.S.) on June 20 to include comments from IESO.