Ontario Renewable Energy SOP Enters Final Phase

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is scheduled to begin receiving applications for the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP) on Wednesday, November 22. Prior to the launch of the program, the OPA is releasing a number of documents on its website to help interested parties prepare their applications.

The intent of the RESOP is to make it easier for operators of small renewable energy generating facilities to contribute to Ontario’s electricity supply by providing power to their local distribution company — and receiving payment for the power they provide. According to Paul Gipe, who served as Acting Executive Director of the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association in 2004, the Ontario program is a true renewable energy tariff–or rate paid for renewable generation. “It is not an ‘incentive’ it is more fundamentally a ‘payment’. In this regard the Ontario program is closer to a true feed law after which it was patterned,” said Gipe. To be eligible, projects must have begun operation after the restructuring of Ontario’s electricity sector took effect. In some areas of the province, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) may impose limits on eligible projects because of transmission system constraints. Projects are expected to range in size from residential rooftop generation of one kilowatt or less up to projects of 10 MW. Initially, all generators except solar PV projects will be paid a base rate of [CDN] 11.0 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electricity delivered to the local electricity distribution company. Starting May 1, 2007, 20 percent of the base rate will be indexed annually for inflation. Projects that demonstrate that they can operate reliably during peak hours will be paid an additional [CDN] 3.52 cents per kWh for electricity delivered during peak hours. Solar PV generators will be paid a fixed price of [CDN] 42.0 cents per kWh for the full 20-year term of the contract. To learn more about the RESOP visit the OPA website.

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