Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FW: Spanish energy firms surviving on renewables



Spanish energy firms surviving on renewables

July 26, 2012
As strain continues to build on the Spanish energy sector, renewable energy
has come to be a driving force for many companies rather than a financial
drain, according to Reuters.

Spain, which is currently looking to dramatically slash its government
expenditures as it attempts to control its budget deficit, is preparing to
implement harsh taxes on electricity generators in the country.

The energy sector, which recently represented one of the strongest parts of
the economy, has become a major drain on the economy due to excessive tariff
costs associated with strict price controls.

As the industry prepares to face stiff new taxes, however, companies that
invested in renewable energy markets beyond Spain such as Iberdrola and
Acciona have seen profits from those businesses rise dramatically with
growing interest in regions from the U.S. to Brazil.

Nevertheless, Reuters reports that the energy industry has raised strong
objections to the new taxes, which it suggests could essentially eliminate
profits and dramatically increase risk of instability in the energy supply.

An outlook for the Spanish power market through 2020 is available at
PennEnergy's Research area.

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FW: Wind power project in Canada sold to Innergex - Power Engineering

Sale price for a BC wind project still in permitting. Works out to be
approx. 10% of all-in costs, or $0.29/watt AC. Payments staged to milestone


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Sponsored by FLSmidth

Jul 26, 2012

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc., a Canadian independent renewable power
producer, on July 26 said it has entered into an agreement with Finavera
Wind Energy to acquire its Wildmare wind energy project in British Columbia,
Canada for approximately C$22 million ($21.8 million).
The price is subject to adjustments based on the realization of certain
events and milestones. Innergex said it expects the transaction to close by
the fall of 2012, subject to regulatory approvals and other closing
The Wildmare project is expected to generate 77 MW, with all of the power
produced being sold to BC Hydro under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The project, which is currently in the permitting phase, should reach
commercial operation in 2015, with construction lasting approximately 15
months. The total cost of the project, including the consideration paid to
acquire it, is estimated to be C$217 million ($215.3 million).
Read more contracts and projects news

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FW: Ontario Brings More Rooftop Solar Power Online, Creates Jobs

See below. SPN was at one time committed to JCM/Solar Power Partners. I see no mention of them in this. Also, how did this rooftop install end up at 1.3MW? Multiple roofs on separately titled properties?


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



From: Ontario News [mailto:newsroom@ontario.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:43 AM
To: mbannerman@arcstarenergy.com
Subject: Ontario Brings More Clean Solar Power Online, Creates Jobs


Ontario Brings More Clean Solar Power Online, Creates Jobs

July 31, 2012

New Rooftop Solar Project Will Power 120 Homes

Ontario's newest rooftop solar installation is bringing more clean electricity online while creating good jobs for families.

The rooftop solar project at Jamieson Laboratories' manufacturing plant in Windsor is one of the largest rooftop solar projects to come online since Ontario's Feed-In Tariff program was introduced.

The project, to be completed this fall, will have a total of 4,500 solar panels. Once completed, this project will generate 1.3 megawatts of clean electricity -- enough to power 120 homes each year. During its peak construction period, this project is expected to create about 70 jobs.

Through the manufacturing, construction and installation of this project, Solar Power Network is partnering with suppliers in Windsor, Mississauga, and Wallaceburg.

Growing the clean energy sector is an important part of the McGuinty government's plan to create and support jobs for Ontario families while ensuring we have the electricity we need to power our homes, schools, hospitals and the economy.


"Our plan to ensure a sustainable, clean energy system in Ontario is working. The Feed-In Tariff program encourages local participation in Ontario's clean energy economy and creates new jobs. As we increase the supply of clean, renewable energy, we move closer to completely eliminating dirty coal-fired electricity generation by 2014, creating cleaner air for future generations."

 – Chris Bentley
Minister of Energy

"At Jamieson, we are always looking for efficient, sustainable manufacturing solutions. We are proud to be part of Ontario's growing clean energy sector--contributing clean energy to the electricity grid and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions."

 – John Falls
VP of Global Operations, Jamieson Laboratories

"Solar Power Network believes that the solar industry is the future of Ontario's electricity generation. With the province's support, we are transforming unused rooftop space into sources of clean electricity generation and providing value to businesses and communities."

 – Peter Goodman
President and CEO, Solar Power Network


  • Ontario is home to the largest solar projects in the country and is the leading solar energy producer in Canada.
  • Ontario has about 500 megawatts of solar PV capacity online and has more than 1,600 megawatts of additional solar PV capacity under contract. This is expected to produce enough electricity to power over 250,000 homes.
  • Eliminating coal-fired electricity in Ontario is the single largest greenhouse gas reduction measure in North America.


Ministry of Energy


Canadian wind developer up for sale



Western Wind Energy puts itself up for sale

31.07.2012: The board of directors and the CEO of Canada-based renewable energy company Western Wind Energy Corp. have decided to put the company and all of its assets up for sale, effective immediately. The company, which owns wind and solar projects in California, Arizona and Puerto Rico, will select two mergers and acquisitions advisory firms within the next month to manage and administer the sale process. The company expects to be worth approximately $560 million at the time of sale. Western Wind Energy owns three wind power plants in California with a combined capacity of 159.5 MW and a 10.5 MW integrated wind and solar facility in Arizona. The company is also developing a 30 MW photovoltaic project in Puerto Rico that is due to come online in March 2013. The $150 million Yabucoa solar project has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA). … Source: Western Wind Energy Corp.; Summary: PHOTON



The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



BBC: Ex-skeptic - Humans cause warming

Originally funded by the Koch Brothers, he now admits he was wrong.

** Ex-sceptic - Humans cause warming **
A formerly sceptical climate scientist says human activity is causing the
Earth to warm, as a new study confirms earlier results on rising


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Friday, July 27, 2012

First U.S. Tidal Power Project Set to Launch in Maine | Renewable Energy News Article

Small modular nuclear reactor test facility begins full operations

US could potentially have 155,000 GW of PV

US could potentially have 155,000 GW of PV

27.07.2012: The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates that the US has the potential to host nearly 155,000 GW of installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity, representing an annual technical potential of over 283,000 TWh. Included within this is 664 GW of rooftop PV, equal to 818 TWh. In a new report detailing the renewable energy potential of every US state, the NREL finds that Texas has the highest potential for utility-scale PV, while California has the highest potential for rooftop PV. According to the NREL, the states with the highest technical potential for PV include Texas (39,367 TWh), New Mexico (16,397 TWh), Arizona (12,012 TWh), Minnesota (10,840 TWh), Colorado (10,298 TWh) and South Dakota (10,016 TWh). In comparison, the largest PV markets in the US are California and New Jersey. … Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Summary: PHOTON





Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Panel Trade War Spreads to Europe

EU trade complaint backed by more than 20 mostly anonymous companies

27.07.2012: A group of more than 20 European solar companies has launched EU ProSun, a new industry organization set up to support a trade complaint against Chinese solar manufacturers that was filed with the European Commission earlier this week. The organization, which says its member companies represent the majority of EU solar industrial production, calls on the European Commission to investigate unfair trade practices by Chinese manufacturers. Milan Nitzschke, a spokesman for German photovoltaic company SolarWorld AG, will act as the organization’s spokesman and president. Nitzschke confirmed to PHOTON that SolarWorld and insolvent German manufacturer Sovello GmbH are both part of the group, but he refused to provide a complete list of member companies. The Italian association of PV producers Comitato IFI acknowledged it is a member of EU ProSun – its president, Sandro Cremonesi, told PHOTON: “The request for an antidumping investigation has been strongly supported by our association, which aims to stop Chinese solar producers from invading the market with dumping prices.” Meanwhile, Tomás Díaz, a spokesman for Spanish solar association UNEF, said his association was not against the SolarWorld petition per se, but he said incentives would better serve the Spanish market: “We believe the local industry must be supported, but with incentive measures, not restrictive measures.” The European Photovoltaic Industry Association released a statement calling for a “quick and fair resolution to disputes over solar trade practices.” In China, meanwhile, the country’s four largest photovoltaic companies – Suntech, Yingli Green Energy, Trina Solar and Canadian Solar – urged the Chinese government to take action. According to Reuters, the four companies held a common a press briefing in Beijing. At the event, Yingli Green Energy’s Chief Strategy Officer Wang Yiyu told the press: “If the EU were to follow the precedent of the US and launch an antidumping investigation on Chinese solar products, the Chinese solar industry would suffer a fatal blow. We call on the Chinese government to take all necessary and resolute measures to protect the legitimate interests of the Chinese solar industry.” The companies noted that nearly 60 percent of China’s solar exports, worth $35.8 billion, were shipped to the EU in 2011. … Sources: Reuters, EU ProSun, EPIA; Summary: PHOTON



The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

FW: Flett Exchange Alert: Governor Christie Signs New Jersey Solar Legislation

Note new preferences for brownfields and landfills.


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



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Sent: Monday, July 23, 2012 3:21 PM
To: apope@arcstarenergy.com
Subject: Flett Exchange Alert: Governor Christie Signs New Jersey Solar Legislation



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Governor Christie Signs New Jersey Solar Legislation

Trenton, NJ: Governor Chris Christie signed S1925 / A2966 into law today. This law makes adjustments to the solar incentive program in New Jersey.      As most of our customers know by now, solar development in NJ during the past 2 years has exceeded State mandates for solar. Since the payments for solar production are based on a market structure called the Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC), the overbuilding of solar in relation to State mandates has resulted in lower SREC prices. This had a negative effect on investors who have already installed solar and those who would like to install solar now. On the other hand, ratepayers have benefited from the low SREC payments.

     Since the passage of the last solar legislation over two years ago, there were two major changes in solar that required this new legislation. First, the cost of solar panels has dropped significantly and second, the solar industry in New Jersey has increased in size and has become a job creator.

     These events created a unique opportunity for lawmakers to adjust the program for the benefit of both ratepayers and solar investors. Simply put, reduce cost exposure for ratepayers over the long term while increasing solar development in the short term.

     It is encouraging to see that the Christie administration and the Democratic Controlled State Senate and Assembly came to agreement on a bill that takes advantage of external changes in the solar industry (declining solar costs coupled with an increasing willingness of investors to invest in NJ solar) and brings those advantages to ratepayers and solar investors alike. With an estimated 3 billion dollars invested so far in New Jersey solar infrastructure, political stability is the most important factor in attracting cheap capital to build out the remainder of the solar capacity mandated by State Law.

Here are some of the changes implemented by the new legislation:

  1. Increase RPS: (Renewable Portfolio Standard) Increase the amount of SRECs that need to be purchased in the short term to absorb the oversupply and maintain a higher build rate
  2. Decrease the SACP: (Solar Alternative Compliance Payment) Lower the fine level from $600+ to $339 and lower to protect ratepayers.
  3. Limit solar farm development
  4. Incentivize solar development on landfills, brownfields and large net metered projects.
  5. Aggregated net metering for electricity consumption by certain governmental bodies and school districts.

     Investors new and old in New Jersey solar still have to keep in mind the risk of overbuilding in the future still exists. Many solar developers lobbied for throttle mechanisms to help guarantee profits to solar owners by crowding out future development of solar in case of an overbuild situation again. This approach was rejected. Instead, land use and consideration for net benefits for net metered projects took precedent. These were all alluded to in the Energy Master Plan put out by the Christie Administration late last year. Many people in New Jersey have started to complain about solar farms and the legislature and Governors office has heard them.

The following have had instrumental input in either creating this legislation or influencing its outcome:

Governor Chris Christies' office
Stephen M. Sweeney - Senate President
Senator Bob Smith - Environment and Energy Committee
Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula - Telecommunications and Utilities Committee
Stefanie A. Brand, Esq - Director, Division of Rate Council - State of New Jersey

     New Jersey Renewable Energy Coalition - a coalition of industry investors, headed by Tony Pizzutillo, was able to marry the objectives of both the Governor's Energy Master Plan with Legislative leadership. Also, the Coalition successfully identified statewide labor organizations as proponents of the industry.

     There are many other renewable energy coalitions, environmental groups, electricity companies, large electricity consumer advocates, labor organizations along with New Jersey business owners and individuals who worked tirelessly over the past year to advance this legislation. I don't feel that any one group got exactly everything they wanted but in the end it is a good piece of legislation.

     The only guarantee is that inputs will change as the years go on. If they are as extreme as they have been in the past two years future "tweaks" will be needed. I look forward to adding whatever information I can about SREC market structure, investors in solar and electric company interaction with RPS requirements.

This is a good day for all in New Jersey!


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Governor Christie Builds on Record of Growing Renewable Energy Sources with Action to Strengthen Solar Market

     Trenton, NJ - Taking action that continues the Christie Administration's commitment to fostering the development of renewable energy resources in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie today signed into law bipartisan legislation to strengthen and encourage the continued growth of New Jersey's solar industry, while protecting ratepayers from increased costs. The bill, S-1925, couples an acceleration of the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) for solar energy with a reduction of the solar alternate compliance payments, meeting an important goal of the Governor's 2011 Energy Master Plan (EMP), strengthening the solar market in New Jersey, and securing the state's place as a national solar energy leader.

     "Since my time running for office, I made it clear that my Administration would be unrivaled in our aggressive support for the development of renewable sources of energy in New Jersey. Renewable energy not only helps meet our goals of increasing sustainability and protecting the environment, but can be an engine for economic growth and the creation of good-paying jobs for the people of our state," said Governor Christie. "The bill I am signing today furthers these goals and will help us remain a national leader in the solar energy industry as we continue to promote innovative approaches to solar development, like developing landfills and other unusable lands and transforming them into sources of usable clean energy, all while holding down costs for families and businesses."

     Solar Alternative Compliance Payments (SACPs) set a ceiling on the market price of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs"), which the suppliers and providers of electricity are required to purchase in an amount that satisfies the annual RPS requirement. The Division of Rate Counsel estimates that the law will save ratepayers approximately $1.076 billion over the next 15 years as compared to the current solar subsidy schedule.


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US Solar industry responds to Chinese trade case announcement

Solar industry responds to Chinese trade case announcement

21.07.2012: Renewable Energy Corporation ASA (REC), one of the companies named in the Chinese Ministry of Commerce’s (Mofcom) trade case against US polysilicon producers, said it has done nothing wrong and regrets “this escalation of the solar industry trade war.” REC believes the antidumping and countervailing duty investigations announced by Mofcom were provoked by SolarWorld’s trade case in the US. Last year, at the request of SolarWorld, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) launched antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into Chinese crystalline silicon solar cell and module imports. As a result, the DOC has imposed steep preliminary antidumping duties on Chinese PV products. REC calls on both the US and China to engage in constructive dialogue instead of relying on punitive measures. Dow Corning Corp., the majority shareholder of Hemlock Semiconductor; the Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy (CASE), which was created to oppose SolarWorld’s US trade case; and the US Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) all issued statements along the same lines as REC. Noting his disappointment at the US and China’s inability to resolve global trade issues through negotiation, Dow Corning President and CEO Robert Hansen warns that the case could impact Hemlock Semiconductor’s ability to sell polysilicon to China – its largest market. CASE President Jigar Shah said, “Tariffs at any point in the global solar value chain are counterproductive and make solar energy less competitive against fossil fuels.” Shah continues: “We urge all countries to avoid unilateral actions that impede trade…We urge the US and China to…engage in productive dialogue to prevent this destructive trade war. Lowering, not artificially raising, the cost of solar should be a global goal.” And finally, SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch said: “We are disappointed by China’s decision to escalate the US-China solar trade conflict. Unfortunately, these investigations will have an immediate, adverse impact on US polysilicon manufacturers, regardless of the investigations’ outcome. The investigations also threaten the Chinese solar industry’s access to the world’s most efficient and innovative polysilicon products.” Meanwhile, SolarWorld Industries America Inc. President Gordon Brinser released a statement on the Chinese trade case via the Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing: “Today’s announcement by the Chinese government proves once and for all that China is intent on unfairly and illegally allowing its manufacturers to dominate the global solar industry…The announcement of retaliatory investigations into US polysilicon production is harmful to the international trade system.” Dow Corning’s Hansen and market research company NPD Solarbuzz both caution that any duties imposed on polysilicon imports into China will not only damage foreign manufacturers but also Chinese wafer producers and their customers, Chinese solar cell manufacturers. This, both Dow Corning and Solarubuzz warn, could lead to higher costs and prices throughout the solar supply chain. … Source: Renewable Energy Corporation ASA, Dow Corning Corp., Coalition for Affordable Solar Energy, Solar Energy Industries Association, Coalition for American Solar Manufacturing, NPD Solarbuzz; Summary: PHOTON



The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



US China trade war spreading like a virus


China launches trade cases against US and South Korean polysilicon producers

21.07.2012: China’s Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) confirmed it will open antidumping and countervailing duty investigations into US polysilicon imports into China. It will also launch an antidumping investigation into polysilicon imports from South Korea. In statements published on its website, Mofcom said it received applications requesting the investigations earlier this month from four Chinese companies: Jiangsu Zhongneng Polysilicon, LDK Solar, Sino-Silicon and Daqo New Energy. Under the investigations, Mofcom will attempt to determine if alleged dumping and unfair subsidies have damaged China’s solar industry over the last four years. In May, Mofcom suggested it could open an investigation into US imports when it accused six state-level US renewable energy incentive programs of violating global trade rules. … Source: China’s Ministry of Commerce; Summary: PHOTON





Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Man who stripped to protest TSA before San Jose flight not guilty of indecent exposure - San Jose Mercury News

Nuclear Waste Showdown Looms for N.J., Nation | RenewablesBiz

ENTECCO proposes massive solar project of up to 2,000 MW in New York using innovative P3 structure

Guaranteed price will show advantage of nuclear- EDF chief - Power Engineering International

Would be the first time in history that nuclear was delivered on time and on budget. Don’t believe a thing this weasel says. There are massive public subsidies buried in there somewhere.


UK solar firms demand compensation after tariff cuts - Power Engineering International

Mexico must double capacity over next 15 years to meet demand - Power Engineering International

Decline in PV module prices to slow in second half of 2012 due to rise in demand


Decline in PV module prices to slow in second half of 2012 due to rise in demand

19.07.2012: According to a new report published by US market research company IHS iSuppli, price declines for photovoltaic (PV) modules will slow somewhat in the second half of 2012 due to increased global demand. PV module prices are still expected to fall in the next half year, but only by 11 percent, down from 20 percent in the second half of 2011. The average market price of PV modules is expected to drop to 57 euro cents (70¢) per watt in the fourth quarter. … Source: IHS iSuppli; Summary: PHOTON



The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Investors purchased $10.8 billion worth of PV projects in 2011

Investors purchased $10.8 billion worth of PV projects in 2011

19.07.2012: According to a new report published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), investors around the world acquired 3.9 GW of approved and operating photovoltaic projects in 2011. Jointly, these projects are worth an estimated $10.8 billion. BNEF reports that the amount of gigawatt capacity purchased in 2011 was up 122% year on year. This was due in large part to new policies in Europe aimed at trying to contain the development of new PV projects. These policies have driven investors to invest in solar projects that have already obtained permits (1.1 GW) or in those that are already in operation (2.8 GW). Italy was the most active market for investments in PV projects in 2011, with 540 MW of projects changing hands. … Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance; Summary: PHOTON



The complete press release can be viewed in PHOTON's archive using the following link:



Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Trina Solar defends itself in trade dispute | RenewablesBiz

Chinese government investigates South Korean polysilicon producers for potential dumping

What goes around does eventually come around. What a bizarre claim by the Chinese.


Chinese government investigates South Korean polysilicon producers for potential dumping

18.07.2012: The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has begun a preliminary investigation into South Korean polysilicon manufacturers for alleged dumping, according to Bloomberg, which cites an unidentified official at the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Commerce has informed the South Korean Embassy that it is collecting data to check whether OCI Corp. and other solar companies have dumped sufficient quantities of polysilicon on the Chinese market to hurt domestic producers. According to the article, OCI has not been informed about any probe. Shares of several South Korean solar producers suffered considerable losses after news of the investigation emerged. … Source: Bloomberg; Summary: PHOTON





Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Northland Power closes financing for six 10 MW solar parks in Ontario

Northland Power closes financing for six 10 MW solar parks in Ontario

17.07.2012: Canadian power plant operator Northland Power Inc. has secured financing for the first 60 MW phase of a 130 MW ground-mount project the company is developing under Ontario’s feed-in-tariff program. The $227 million CAD ($224 million) credit facility was provided by Union Bank Canada Branch, Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. and CIT Financial Ltd. under an 18-year contract. Total project costs are budgeted at $285 million CAD ($281 million). The first six 10 MW solar parks are expected to begin commercial operations in 2013 – the remaining seven solar parks are due to come on line no later than 2014. Miwel Construction Ltd., a subsidiary of Aecon Group Inc., is providing construction services for the first six projects. … Source: Northland Power Inc.; Summary: PHOTON





Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



Monday, July 16, 2012

FW: Ontario Re-Boots FIT 2.0 With Ministerial Directive

Gowlings assessment. Their view is that we will lose one half of a point for project readiness, bringing our total to 1.5 in this category for ground projects. A cheesy claw-back for projects that were in the last 3 months before the deadline.


Monty Bannerman

ArcStar Energy



From: Devlin, Kristina [mailto:Kristina.Devlin@gowlings.com]
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2012 3:03 PM
To: Devlin, Kristina
Cc: Timmins, Thomas
Subject: Ontario Re-Boots FIT 2.0 With Ministerial Directive



Ontario Re-Boots FIT 2.0 With Ministerial Directive

Thomas J. Timmins and Kathryn Higgins


On July 11, 2012 Ontario’s Minister of Energy issued a directive (directive) to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) clarifying certain policies and slightly adjusting the feed-in tariff (FIT) program rules and contract. The directive was issued following the Ontario government’s review of feedback regarding the draft rules, contract forms and definitions for the revised FIT 2.0 program issued in April of this year.

Summary of the Directive’s Key Points:

i. Prioritization of Community and Aboriginal Participation Projects

The ministerial directive clarified that the OPA will prioritize applications for projects with (a) greater than 50 per cent community equity interest held by a co-operative with at least 50 members being local property owners, or (b) greater than 50 per cent Aboriginal equity participation. With respect to the contract capacity set aside for projects with at least  50 per cent community or Aboriginal equity participation, the OPA is now directed to offer contracts to projects described in (a) or (b) before offering contracts to other projects in the application window.

Further, it has now been made clear that a change in the prescribed levels of community and Aboriginal participation will constitute grounds for termination of the contract. 

ii. Other Changes to Priority Points

The directive amended the FIT program priority points. The modified priority point system table was set out in Appendix A of the directive.

One key modification was the expansion of the project readiness category:

  • One priority point will now be awarded for projects that applied on or before July 4, 2011; projects that applied on or after July 5, 2011 will be awarded 0.5 priority points.
  • These points may be added to the one point that is awarded if a solar rooftop applicant owns or has firm site control, or if an applicant has sufficient space and a firm lease/option or ownership of the land for a wind, solar ground-mount, bioenergy or waterpower project. 
  • There is a maximum of two points to be awarded for this category.

iii. Protection of Agricultural Lands

Ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities greater than 10 kW are now prohibited from being located on (or relocated onto) any of the following sites:

  • Land with any class 1, 2, and 3 soils (as per the Canada land inventory agricultural capability maps), unless the site is located on one of the following: airport/aerodome, closed landfill, contaminated site, a sited zoned and primarily used for industrial use, a federal military installation, or for class 3 soils only, a site owned by a municipality at the time the application was made.
  • Land with a mixture of class 1, 2, or 3 soils with another soil class. However, if the solar facility is located on the part of the property that is not class 1, 2 or 3, the site is not prohibited.
  • Land with organic soils (as per the Canada land inventory agricultural capability maps).
  • Land that is designated as “specialty crop areas” by the provincial policy statement.

Note: The land restrictions above do not apply to existing FIT contract holders who requested site amendments before April 5, 2012.

iv. Community Energy Partnership Program (CEEP) Eligibility

The ministerial  directive instructs the OPA to amend the CEEP eligibility requirements to match those for community projects under the FIT rules, as set out in the April 5, 2012 directive.

The OPA is also directed to allocate $1,000,000 a year for education funding and capacity building, $100,000 of which is to be specifically allocated to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario for education programs.

v. Land Use Rules

The directive also instructs the OPA not to amend existing FIT contracts to permit relocation of facilities greater than 10 kW to properties that are any of the following:

  • Zoned to permit residential use or border a property zoned to permit residential use.
  • Zoned for commercial or industrial use, but where not such use is occurring.
  • Zoned for commercial or industrial use and the solar ground-mounted PV generation facility is (or will be) the sole or primary use of the property.

Going forward, the Ministry of Energy will establish a working group made up of a number of interested stakeholders (including the OPA). The working group will provide recommendations and solutions to project siting issues. Further revisions to the FIT rules may arise out of this working group.

vi. Connection Point and Project Location Proximity

The directive instructs the OPA to amend certain rules for non-hydroelectric plants. Specifically, the rules are to provide a limit on the distance between such a project’s connection point on the transmission or distribution grid and the area of the project property that the applicant has access rights to. Further, the distance between a proposed project and its proposed connection point on the grid can be no greater than 50 km.

vii. microFIT ‘Offer to Connect’ Timelines

The microFIT rules (for projects of 10 kW or less) will be amended to require applicants to seek an Offer to Connect within 30 days of the OPA confirming their application. The applicant will then have a 90-day period in which they must receive and accept an offer to connect from the local distribution company.

viii. Changes to the FIT Contract

In direct response to strong feedback from the project development and finance committees, the minister has directed that the proposed FIT 2.0 contract clauses pertaining to termination for convenience (which would have made most projects non-viable) be set aside. The OPA will not change termination for convenience clauses from the FIT 1.0 contact.

In addition, the voluntary withdrawal period for existing FIT contract holders is now extended to September 30, 2012.

ix. Pilot Program for Solar Projects on New Buildings

By the end of 2012, the OPA is now directed to create and implement a pilot program in which applicants with unconstructed buildings can apply for small FIT rooftop solar contracts. Up to 15 MW of the overall 2013 small FIT contract capacity will be reserved for the pilot program.


With the launch of Japan’s feed-in tariff program and the anticipated renewable industry growth in South America, South Africa and Central Europe, analysts expect less attention to be focused on the slowing Ontario market. Although significant panel, turbine and EPC supply opportunities still exist in respect of FIT 1.0 contracts to be fulfilled, the policy complexity and uncertainty associated with FIT 2.0 is expected to slow the pace of new market entry in the province.

At this stage the OPA now needs to implement the changes associated with the ministerial directive – a process which we expect to see competed over the course of the summer months.

© 2012 Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. All rights reserved.




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