The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced that following a 30-day consultation period, it has finalized the price for the new microFIT ground-mounted solar price category at 64.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
The finalized price reflects input received during the consultation period and incorporates a wider variation of cost inputs and project configurations, including higher operating and maintenance costs for ground-mounted tracking systems.
“The outcome of a constructive consultation process is that these changes provide fairness for those who have applied to the existing program and good value for clean energy,” said Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Brad Duguid. “The microFIT program will continue to be a sustainable program that encourages residents to participate in the growing clean energy economy.”
“The microFIT program has been tremendously successful since it was launched in October 2009,” said Colin Andersen, CEO of the OPA. “With these changes, it has been made even stronger going forward.”
The new price category is effective immediately for eligible projects with applications submitted afternoon on July 2, 2010, when a new price category was proposed. Eligible ground-mounted applications submitted prior to noon on July 2, 2010, will receive the original price of 80.2 cents/kWh whether or not they have received a contract or conditional offer. These applicants will also have until May 31, 2011, to install and request a connection for their projects before higher domestic content requirements are required. Ground-mounted solar microFIT contracts signed and conditional offers received before July 2 will continue to be eligible for the original price of 80.2 cents/kWh.
During the 30-day consultation period, the OPA held three web-enabled teleconferences with 1,665 participants and received 1,645 written submissions about the proposed price. Based on this input, the OPA is also making the following announcements:
· To improve communication and increase transparency, the OPA is establishing a microFIT program advisory panel that will provide advice on program evolution, including the two-year review process.
· Commercial aggregators will no longer be allowed to participate in the microFIT program.
· The panel will make recommendations, on an expedited basis, about appropriate contracting provisions for aggregators to reflect the unique nature of commercial micro projects.
To implement these changes announced today, the OPA says new microFIT applications will be accepted beginning on Friday, August 20.
For more information, go to www.powerauthority.on.ca.