On April 7, 2015, the Minister of Energy issued a direction (the “Direction”) to the Independent Electricity System Operator (the “IESO”) directing it to make certain changes to the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program, while noting there are no substantial changes to be made to the microFIT program in 2015. The Direction is effective as of April 7, 2015.
Yesterday, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) held an ‘industry dialogue’ meeting in Toronto, during which it discussed and sought feedback on the upcoming enhancements to the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program that were proposed in the discussion paper posted in early December.… Continue Reading
On September 30, 2014, the Ontario Power Authority (the “OPA”) posted an updated FIT/microFIT price schedule.
The updated price schedule was made pursuant to a directive dated August 29, 2014 from the Ontario Minister of Energy, the Hon. Bob Chiarelli, and is part of an annual review by the OPA of prices offered to generators under the FIT/microFIT programs.
The new price schedule is effective September 30, 2014 for FIT projects (including FIT contracts offered through the extended FIT 3 procurement, but not those FIT contracts offered pursuant to the July 30, 2014 Offer List) and January … Continue Reading
In an unwelcome trend, electricity contracts seem to receive undue attention during Ontario provincial election campaigns. Most recently, on May 7th Ontario NDP leader, Andrea Horwath, made the vague assertion that an NDP government would “examine hydro contracts” as a means of finding savings for ratepayers. Readers of this blog will be aware that the contracts she proposes to examine are those between the Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”) and independent power producers. … Continue Reading
We recently highlighted some of the anticipated features of the Ontario Power Authority’s (the “OPA”) new Large Renewable Procurement (“LRP”) process, a competitive procurement system for renewable energy projects generally larger than 500 kW. Since then, the OPA has published two new documents which together provide added clarity on the LRP roll-out.… Continue Reading
We recently highlighted some important changes by the Ontario Power Authority (the “OPA”) to Ontario’s renewable energy procurement program for microFIT, Small FIT, Large FIT and Contract Capacity Set-Asides. Perhaps the most significant of these changes originated in an Ontario Ministry of Energy directive, issued on June 12, 2013, which instructed the OPA to replace Large FIT Projects (over 500 kW) with a new competitive procurement process to be developed based on feedback from municipalities, aboriginal communities, industry associations, the general public and other stakeholders.… Continue Reading
Today is the first day of the APPrO 2013 Conference, which will be taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. Sessions will cover a wide range of topics of interest to anyone involved in Ontario’s power sector and there is an impressive roster of speakers. In particular, look out for McCarthy Tétrault’s very own George Vegh, who will be moderating a panel on The Evolution of Policy and Regulation: What’s Ahead for Ontario’s Power Sector? We look forward to seeing you there.… Continue Reading
This week, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced the beginning of the final stage of its Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program: FIT 3.0. The OPA is accepting applications until December 13, 2013 for Small FIT Projects with proposed capacity of approximately 10 to 500 kilowatts. Applications are also being accepted during this period for a new Unconstructed Rooftop Solar Pilot.
The OPA provides a summary of the changes introduced by FIT 3.0 here. Of particular note, FIT 3.0 will not include Large FIT Projects, meaning applicants interested in developing projects larger than 500 kilowatts will be required to participate in … Continue Reading
Ontario’s feed-in-tariff (“FIT”) program has attracted billions of dollars in private-sector investment and resulted in a significant amount of project financing activity since its introduction in 2009. Yet with Ontario on track to procure 10,700 MW of non-hydro renewable energy by 2015, the Ontario government is now moving away from large FIT. In early 2012, the Ontario government reduced FIT rates due to potential overcapacity and nearly maxed-out transmission lines and, more recently, ended the FIT program for projects over 500 kW. The existing backlog of renewable energy projects will require an estimated $7 billion of debt to finance. Notwithstanding … Continue Reading
Last week, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced here that no less than 951 new Small Feed-in Tariff (FIT) renewable energy contracts had been awarded, mostly for small-scale solar projects. Based on the list of contracts posted on the OPA’s website, it appears that a large proportion of the contracts were awarded to school boards and for projects with Aboriginal participation.
On June 12, 2013, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Bob Chiarelli, directed the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) to make sweeping changes to renewable energy procurement in the province. The changes involved microFIT, Small FIT, Large FIT as well as Contract Capacity Set-Asides.
Notably, it is now confirmed that the OPA will not be procuring any more renewable energy under the Large FIT program and will instead be commencing a new competitive procurement process for large-scale renewable energy projects. This new process will involve additional communication with municipalities and Aboriginal communities to identify the best locations for upcoming projects. Any Large FIT … Continue Reading
On May 30, 2013, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced the end of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy projects over 500 kilowatts. Going forward, the government announced that large-scale projects over 500 kilowatts would be approved through a competitive procurement process, although it is not clear at this point what this process would look like.
These proposed reforms seek to increase municipal control over the development of future renewable energy projects, as well as to ensure that municipalities enjoy direct financial benefits from projects that are operating within their municipal boundaries. To achieve these goals, the government has pledged … Continue Reading
On May 6, 2013 the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) held that Canada was in breach of its national treatment obligations under Article III:4 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) because the Government of Ontario made the purchase of domestic components a condition of participation in the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program under Ontario’s Green Energy Act.
Canada and Ontario continued to be successful in their claim that the payment of the higher FIT rates to the generators was not an illegal prohibited subsidy under the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement. The success rested on … Continue Reading
Tomorrow is Ontario’s 2013 Feed-in-Tariff Forum, which will be taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Sessions will touch on topics ranging from the impact of surplus baseload generation to Aboriginal and community partnerships to, of course, FIT 2.0. The second day of the conference will offer two separate “tracks” focused on solar and wind powered projects respectively.
McCarthy Tétrault will be attending the Forum. In particular, look out for partners Seán O’Neill, who will chair a session on “Realities and Strategies for Project Developers” and Suzanne Murphy, who present on “Challenges of FIT 2.0 for Aboriginal … Continue Reading
On March 26, 2013, Ontario’s Deputy Energy Critic Lisa Thompson introduced Private Members’ Bill 39 to the legislature. Although this bill did not make beyond a first reading, it could have had a significant impact on developers and lenders in the project space by limiting the pipeline of potential renewable energy projects in Ontario.… Continue Reading
The BC government formally announced on June 22, 2012 that it was not planning to proceed with the implementation of the BC Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Regulation, citing efforts to limit electricity rate increases. Currently, the Clean Energy Act allows, but does not require, BC Hydro to introduce FIT programs.