Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff Program Backgrounder
• Ontario’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy generation is a cornerstone of the province’s Green Energy Act. The provincial government launched the program in September 2009, and the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) started accepting applications October 1, 2009. It is North America’s first comprehensive feed-in tariff program for renewable energy.
• The program includes a stream called microFIT which is designed to encourage homeowners, businesses and others to generate renewable energy with projects of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less. MicroFIT is designed to make it simpler and faster to get small-scale renewable projects installed and producing power. The FIT program is designed for larger projects greater than 10 kW.
• Prices paid for renewable energy generation under FIT and microFIT vary by energy source and take into account the capital investment required to get a project up and running:
Renewable Technologies and Pricing
Landfill gas 10.3¢ – 11.1¢/kWh
Biogas 10.4¢ – 19.5¢/kWh
Waterpower 12.2¢ – 13.1¢/kW
Biomass 13.0¢- 13.8¢/kWh
Windpower 13.5¢ – 19¢/kWh
Solar PV 44.3¢ – 80. 2¢/kWh
• Under the program, participants are paid a fixed-price for the electricity they generate. FIT and microFIT contracts are for 20 years, with the exception of waterpower, which has a 40-year contract.
• Domestic content requirements for both FIT and microFIT projects are intended to help support the creation of 50,000 new green jobs in Ontario. MicroFIT projects will help create new local businesses and green jobs as demand grows for technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, biomass and waterpower generation equipment, and for Ontarians who can design, build, install, operate and maintain these technologies.
• The first 700 microFIT conditional offers were issued on Dec. 16, 2009.
• As of March 8, 2010, over 180 projects were connected to the grid and will be receiving payments for the electricity generated.
• The OPA has received microFIT applications from across the province, from Windsor to Thunder Bay. There are some areas that have had a significant number of applications submitted, including Chatham-Kent, Toronto and Ottawa.
• As of March 8, 2010, the Ontario Power Authority has received over 6000 microFIT applications. Ontario Power Authority is continuing to review and verify these applications.
• Breakdown of microFIT applications received as of March 8, 2010 :
Number of Applications
Solar Photovoltaic (PV)
• As of March 8, 2010, the Ontario Power Authority sent almost 2000 conditional offers to microFIT applicants subject to applicants obtaining approval to connect to the electricity grid from their local distribution company (LDC).
• Once the connection offer is obtained from the local distribution company and a contract is signed, the length of time it will take for microFIT applicants to start generating electricity will vary depending on the readiness of individual projects.
• MicroFIT is an ongoing program with applications being accepted on a continual basis. Once the current applications have been processed, the Ontario Power Authority anticipates a 30-day turnaround for microFIT applications.
• The first of the 510 FIT Capacity Allocation Exempt contracts were awarded on March 10, 2010.
• Capacity Allocation Exempt means that they can be developed without significant impact on the transmission or distribution systems, and through an expedited connection process.
• As of Dec. 1, 2009, the Ontario Power Authority received 956 acceptable FIT applications. 510 of these projects were between 10 and 500 kilowatts and are Capacity Allocation Exempt.
• The OPA has estimated that there is approximately 2,500 megawatts of available transmission connection capacity for renewable energy projects over 500 kilowatts. The Ontario Power Authority is continuing to review and verify these applications and will give priority to “shovel-ready” projects.