Ontario Power Authority Proposes Cut to FIT

Last October the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) launched its microFIT Program and since that time, more than 16,000 applications have been submitted, with a large majority being for ground-mounted solar projects.

In order to keep the market for ground-mounted solar projects from over heating, the OPA is proposing a new pricing category of CAN $0.588 per kilowatt-hour (¢/kWh) for these projects. The new price category will better reflect the lower costs to install a ground-mounted solar PV project versus a rooftop project, the utility said.

The OPA will consult with applicants over the next 30 days about the proposed price of 58.8 ¢/kWh. During this time the microFIT application intake will continue. The microFIT Program is designed to encourage homeowners, farmers, small businesses and institutions to develop small renewable energy generation projects of 10 kW or less. Project owners are paid a fixed price for the electricity they produce, with prices set to recover costs as well as earn a reasonable return over the 20-year term of the contract.

“The OPA believes the new price category is fair, reasonable, more accurately reflects the costs associated with ground-mounted projects and maintains the long-term stability of the program,” says Colin Andersen, Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Power Authority. “It enables the program to continue to meet its original goals and provides proper value to both generators and ratepayers.”

Under the proposed new price category, ground-mounted microFIT applicants who already have an executed contract or received a conditional contract offer from the OPA will receive the original price of 80.2 ¢/kWh, consistent with the microFIT rules. All other ground-mounted microFIT projects, including those for which an application has been submitted but have not yet received a contract or conditional contract offer, will receive the price following consultations on the proposed 58.8 ¢/kWh.

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