Ontario energy regulator receives PV project proposals totaling 463 MW during latest FIT window
Post date: 29/01/2014
During the most recent FIT 3 application window, which ran from Nov. 4 to Dec. 13, 2013, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), the energy regulator of the Canadian province of Ontario, received 1,982 applications representing a total of 493.71 MW of renewable energy generation capacity. These applications are for solar, wind, hydropower and bioenergy projects with a proposed capacity of between 10 and 500 kW. Nearly 77% of FIT 3.0 applications were for rooftop PV projects – 1,499 applications for projects totaling 311.42 MW. A total of 383 applications – or 18% – were for ground-mounted PV projects. These proposed projects would have a combined capacity of 151.85 MW.
The OPA will only award contracts for up to 123.5 MW as a result of the most recent FIT 3 window. Priority will be given to projects with Aboriginal, municipal, community and public sector participation and to projects that demonstrate support from local municipal councils. Successful applicants will be announced in the second quarter.
The OPA also received 184 applications totaling 45 MW through its Unbuilt Rooftop Solar Pilot Program, which has a separate target of 15 MW. The OPA’s third small-scale renewable energy incentive program, the microFIT program for projects up to 10 kW, is accepting applications on an ongoing basis. The OPA will procure up to 65.3 MW through the microFIT program in 2014.
The OPA notes that it now manages 2,608 FIT contracts totaling 4,624 MW. Of this total, 878 projects totaling 1,147 MW have reached commercial operation. In December, the OPA reported that Ontario’s cumulative installed PV capacity had reached 900 MW.
Ontario aims to install 10.7 GW of wind, solar and biomass power systems by 2021 and 20 GW by 2025. The OPA plans to launch a procurement process for renewable energy projects over 500 kW later this year to accelerate renewable energy development.
FITs for new PV systems installed from Jan. 1, 2014 are the same as the rates published on Aug. 26, 2013. The next FIT price review will be carried out in fall 2014 and will establish rates for 2015. In 2014, rooftop PV systems greater than 10 kW and up to 100 kW will receive 0.345 CAD per kWh, while rooftop systems over 100 kW and up to 500 kW will receive 0.329 CAD. New ground-mount PV systems over 10 kW and up to 500 kW will receive 0.288 CAD per kWh.