Feed-in-Tariff Program helping Ontario on the road to cleaner energy
The application window for the Small FIT Program closed on January 18 this year. The OPA is reviewing each application for completeness, and then checking to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements. Applications that pass both of these stages are ranked according to priority points and time stamp, and then tested for transmission and distribution capacity.
There have been nearly 4,000 Small FIT applications submitted since the program’s relaunch, representing more than 825,000 kilowatts (kW) or 825 megawatts (MW). A summary of the Small FIT applications that have been submitted is available here. The OPA expects to start awarding contracts in Q2 of 2013.
The OPA continues to process microFIT applications until the 50 MW procurement target is achieved. As of March 4, 2013, just under 8 MW of that target still remains to be allocated. The 2012 price schedule remains in effect.
A date for the Large FIT application window is pending and will be communicated once details are finalized.
For more information about the FIT and microFIT programs, visit: http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca
Hydroelectric Projects Directive to OPA from Minister of Energy
Connection availability for this stream will be based on impact assessments carried out by the distributor, transmitter or Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), as appropriate, before the contract is executed. To be eligible for this stream, a FIT application must have been submitted to the OPA before June 5, 2010, and the project size must be consistent with the size indicated in the project’s pre-existing application.
The OPA will plan for the opening of an application window for this new stream following the award of Small FIT contracts.
The Minister’s directive also indicated that the capacity target of 50 MW for hydroelectric projects set out in the April 5, 2012 direction from the government is no longer set aside within the FIT Program. The Ontario government remains committed to allocating the remaining 40 MW of the target. A future direction will include the criteria for further hydroelectric procurement initiatives.
The OPA is also directed not to commence new negotiations relating to refurbishment, upgrade or expansion of existing facilities currently holding Hydroelectric Contract Initiative (HCI) contracts.
Click here to read the Directive.
“saveONenergy home” interactive tool can help Ontarians better manage their electricity costs
A new interactive tool on the saveONenergy website is helping Ontarians find more ways to save energy in their homes.
The tool takes users on a tour through the “saveONenergy home”, highlighting energy saving opportunities to help better manage electricity.
Users can select the energy saving measures they are already taking in their home and at the end of the tour, receive a summary of their results, tips on further energy savings opportunities and links to savings coupons and programs to help achieve these potential savings.
Click here to view the tool.
Latest Progress Report on Electricity Supply released
The Progress Report on Electricity Supply is prepared on a quarterly basis to provide updates on the electricity supply contracts currently being managed by the OPA.
As of the end of the third quarter of 2012, the OPA administered contracts for 21,491 MW of electricity supply generation. This capacity represents over $36 billion of new capital investment in power generation in Ontario’s electricity system since 2005.
Click here to view the full report.
New market rule changes to make renewable energy facilities dispatchable
OPA and local distribution companies working
together on extension of programs
18-Month Outlook points to continued reliability
According to the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO’s) 18-Month Outlook, Ontario will continue to have adequate generation and transmission capability to meet consumers’ needs over the next 18 months.
The period will also see a significant amount of renewable energy integrated into Ontario’s bulk power system. The IESO expects more than 3,200 MW of renewable capacity to be connected to the transmission system, including Ontario’s first two transmission grid-connected solar projects, located in Haldimand County and Elgin County. By August 2014, total wind and solar generation connected to the province’s transmission and distribution systems is expected to reach approximately 6,800 MW and produce approximately 14.9 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy annually.
Progress continues to be made in removing coal-fired generation from the supply mix in Ontario. The remaining generating units at Lambton and Nanticoke are scheduled to stop burning coal by the end of 2013 and the conversion of Atikokan generating station from a coal-fired unit to biomass is underway, with the unit expected to be in service by the end of 2014.
The IESO regularly assesses the adequacy and reliability of Ontario’s power system. The 18-Month Outlook is issued on a quarterly basis and is available here.
Other electricity news
- Ontario Energy Board issues Report of the Board: Supplemental Report on Smart Grid
- Ontario getting out of coal-fired generation
- IESO releases 2012 electricity production, consumption and price data
- Past OPA executive speeches and presentations
Just the facts…
The number of FIT and microFIT contracts that came into commercial operation in 2012 was 5,286 representing 167.88 MW.
The percentage of energy generated by coal in Ontario in 2012 was only 2.8 percent.