The Government of Ontario released its Two-Year FIT Review Report late last week. Overall, the recommendations contained in the Review are to:
1- Continue a commitment to clean energy
2- Streamline processes and create jobs
3- Encourage greater community and Aboriginal participation
4- Improve municipal engagement
5- Reduce price to reflect lower costs
6- Expand Ontario’s clean energy economy
Highlights from the above recommendations include:
Price reduction of 14.8% for wind projects to 11.5 c/kwh from 13.5 c/kwh.
Price reductions for all types of solar projects an average of 20.6%.
No Price reductions for water, biomass, biogas or landfill gas projects.
The above would be subject to the Aboriginal and community price adders.
A New Point System
As part of efforts to encourage greater municipal and aboriginal engagement, the Review proposes introducing a new point system to prioritize which projects will receive new FIT contracts.
Points will be provided to:
(1) Applicants with equity participation by local communities or Aboriginal communities; and
(2) Applicants with equity participation by public schools, hospitals and long-term care facilities.
(3) Additional points would be awarded for local community, municipal and aboriginal support. Project readiness and system benefit (for water and bioenergy) would also attract additional points.
It is recommended that a minimum of one point be required to be eligible for a contract.
Special Reservation of FIT contracts
Ten percent (10%) of remaining FIT contract capacity is recommended to be set aside (ie. reserved) for local community and Aboriginal projects with greater than fifty percent (50%) equity participation.
A Streamlined REA Process
The Review recommends streamlining the REA process by reducing duplication and unnecessary delays. This would be accomplished by making changes to the REA regulation and by creating a Renewable Energy Committee that includes senior officials from relevant ministries to help drive the progress of projects through the approval process.
The Review also urges MNR to update its policy approach to renewable energy development on Crown land. The goal would be to align the release of Crown land with provincial energy plans and programs as concerns decisions on where to make Crown land available for renewable energy.
Publishing Transmission Availability
To assist applicants, the Review also encourages updating and publishing FIT transmission availability tables after each round of FIT contract awards.
You can read the entire report here
Albert is an Associate whose practice involves all aspects of Renewable Energy and Environmental Law. He joined Foglers in 2010 after 10 years with Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment. He is a graduate of York University’s joint MES/LLB program and also has a B.Sc. in Biology from York. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-864-7602.
Yadira is an associate in Fogler Rubinoff’s Environmental law department. She joined the firm as a summer student in 2009, and articled with the firm in 2010-2011. Her practice is focused on advice and litigation relating to environmental approvals, including approvals regarding renewable energy, resource extraction and land use. She can be contacted at email@example.com