Energy & Power
OPA reports strong demand for Ontario’s feed-in tariff program
By Anthony Capkun
January 24, 2014 – Ontario Power Authority (OPA) reports the province’s renewable energy industry, municipalities, Aboriginal communities and community organizations continue to show strong interest in the program feed-in tariff (FIT) program more than four years after its launch.
During the recent FIT 3 application window from November 4 to December 13, 2013, OPA says it received 1982 applications representing a total of 493.71MW of generation capacity. These applications are for renewable energy projects (solar, wind, waterpower and bioenergy) with a proposed capacity of more than 10kW and up to 500kW.
“Communities across Ontario have recognized the benefits of participating in the FIT program, which generates revenues that can be invested into community-based projects,” said JoAnne Butler, vice-president of Electricity Resources, OPA.
OPA received applications with Aboriginal community participation (30.8% of net), municipal and public sector participation (26.9%) and community participation (11.7%). More than 75% of applications are for rooftop solar projects. The complete 2013 FIT Application Summary is available below.
The FIT program includes priority points for projects with Aboriginal, municipal, community and public sector participation, as well as for those demonstrating support from local municipal councils. Applications submitted during this period are currently being reviewed for completeness and eligibility.
FIT 3 applications that pass the completeness and eligibility reviews will be ranked according to priority points, and tested for transmission and distribution availability. OPA will award contracts for up to 123.5MW as a result of applications received during the recent FIT 3 application window. Successful applicants are expected to be announced in the second quarter.
OPA reports it also received 184 applications representing a total of 45MW for the new Unbuilt Rooftop Solar Pilot program, which has a separate procurement target of 15MW.
In addition, OPA continues to receive applications to the microFIT program for renewable energy projects up to 10kW. Version 3 of the microFIT Program was launched in August 2013. OPA says it will procure up to 65.3MW of microFIT projects this year. To date, 18,265 microFIT projects totalling 159MW have been connected, and are contributing power to Ontario’s electricity grid.
The feed-in tariff program was launched in 2009 as part of Ontario’s Green Energy Act to encourage the development of the renewable energy sector in Ontario. OPA now manages 2608 FIT contracts totalling 4624 MW.