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Ontario launches North America?s first Feed-In Tariff Program

Toronto, Ontario, 25-September-2009 - The Government of Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff Program, established under the Green Energy Act, launched yesterday to officially make it North America’s first Feed-in Tariff renewable energy program.

The Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program designed to spark investment in renewable energy, is modeled around Germany’s renewable energy policy to provide a fixed premium for those who generate green power. The FIT program is also centered on creating jobs within the renewable space, made known by one of the requirements that states that at least 25% of wind project costs and 50% of large solar project costs come from Ontario goods and labour.

While official program rules will be announced shortly, we know that applications will be accepted starting October 1st, 2009 with plans to issue the first 20 year power purchase early in December. The program will be run by the Ontario Power Authority.

Only four months after the release of the act, the Ontario government has brought to life the initial ten steps of the Green Energy Act. A summary of the completed steps are as follows:

  1. Ontario will close four coal-fuelled power units in 2010 (as opposed to 2014 target).
  2. Launched Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program to build capacity and participation for community energy plans.
  3. $250 million Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program created to facilitate participation in energy projects (providing loans up to 75% for an eligible project).
  4. Partnership with Hydro One on 20 transmission projects to upgrade the networks for preparation of renewable energy to the grid.
  5. Creation of Community Energy Partnerships Program to help farmers, co-ops and non-profit organizations bring green energy projects to their communities.
  6. Creation of Municipal Renewable Energy Program to support municipalities with costs associated with new renewable energy projects.
  7. Establishment of Renewable Energy Facilitation Office to provide a single access for information on renewable energy project requirements.
  8. Renewable Energy Approval law passed to ensure that renewable energy projects are developed in a way that is protective of human health, the environment, and Ontario’s culture and natural heritage.
  9. Domestic content requirement to ensure a percentage of the cost and labour is going to an Ontario provider.
  10. Feed-in Tariff program launched to guarantee specific rates for renewable energy for a fixed 20 year term.

As more information is released, we will be able to see the magnitude of this monumental step towards battling climate change and establishing Ontario as a leader in green energy.

The Green Energy Act, passed legislation May 14th, 2009, revolves around three major themes, energy conservation, renewable energy and green jobs. The Government is paving the way to create a culture of conservation, expedite the growth of renewable sources and create green jobs to build a stronger, greener economy.

Stayed tuned for more information