ONTARIO SOLAR MARKET UPDATE
Written by Nani Pradeepan, P.Eng.
The Ontario Power Authority (OPA), the organization that coordinated province wide Micro FIT, FIT and conservation programs, plans the electricity system for the long term has merged with the Independent Electricity System Operator to form a new organization that carry the name Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). The IESO currently balances demand for electricity against available supply through the wholesale market and directs the flow of electricity across the transmission system.
The previous responsibilities of both organizations will continue after the merger, including the operation of the microFIT Program. With regard to existing microFIT contracts, the IESO will be substituted for the OPA as the counterparty to the microFIT contracts. Going forward, all new microFIT documents will be branded as the IESO to reflect the new organization.
All OPA email addresses have transitioned from the old ‘@powerauthority.on.ca’ extension to the new ‘@ieso.ca’ extension on January 1, 2015. Phone numbers will remain the same.
As we informed earlier new Micro FIT rate also came into effect as of January 01, 2015 and new FIT rate came into effect as of September 30, 2014. Table below list the current FIT and Micro FIT tariffs.
All Micro FIT applications receive IESO’s approval after January 01, 2015 and FIT applications receive IESO’s contract after September 30, 2014 will be paid tariff listed on the table above.
IESO also expect to announce enhancement to FIT and Micro FIT programs by mid-2015. Following are the enhancements currently under consideration.
ENHANCEMENTS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR MICRO FIT PROGRAM
Expand the Micro FIT eligible participants to include: charities, conservation authorities and businesses.
Increase the per Applicant project ownership Limit
Context: Under the current rules, Individuals and Farmers, as defined in the Eligible
Increase the project ownership limit for eligible participants to more than one project per Applicant.
Utilities to accommodate in-Series Metering in Micro FIT projects where it will be able to meet Measurement Canada’s requirements and be able to properly settle accounts with in-series metered projects.
Extend the duration to connect a Micro FIT project from the Application Approval Notice to 240 days from current 180 days.
ENHANCEMENTS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR FIT PROGRAM
Priority points for price bid-down a bid-down allows projects with lower development costs to take advantage and bid the lower price that their project can accommodate.
Removing Project Type Priority Points – this would prevent projects with municipal, co-op or aboriginal participation to dominate the procurement and would enable cost-savings by broadening the range of potential ownership models.
Removing certain renewable fuel types from FIT program due to inactivity in those fuel types.