The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has announced that Version 2.0 of the province's feed-in-tariff (FIT) program rules, contract and other program documents have been posted on the OPA's FIT website and are now final and effective.
The OPA is not accepting FIT applications at this time but currently anticipates that the application window for small FIT projects (those 500 kW or smaller) will open on Oct. 1 and close on Nov. 30. The OPA says further details and confirmation of the application-window dates will be provided at a later date.
There have been several revisions made to the draft version of the rules as a result of feedback received. Key changes to the FIT program include the following:
* Wind and solar prices have been reduced to reflect decreased equipment costs;
* FIT applications will now be accepted during specific application windows, rather than on an ongoing basis, and the OPA, as a first step, will award 200 MW of small FIT contracts;
* All project applicants, including those with small FIT projects, will now need to submit application security if they wish to apply or reapply under the new program rules;
* Applications with greater than 50% equity participation from Aboriginal or community (co-ops) participants (contract capacity set-aside projects) will be prioritized above all other applications in an application window;
* Soil studies, using an expanded methodology and peer-review process, will continue to be required for projects proposed on the non-CLI 1, 2, 3 or organic soil portions of a property with a mix of soils;
* The earlier zoning exemption is no longer in place; however, there are limited exemptions to the CLI 1, 2 and 3 soil restrictions – for example, on airport or aerodrome lands, closed landfills or federal military installation property;
* There are now restrictions on assignments and changes in participation level for projects that receive priority points based on the participation of certain types of entities (i.e., community, Aboriginal community, public university, publicly funded school, public college, hospital or publicly owned long-term-care home participation or where they are a host).
FIT prices will be reviewed annually, with prices published in November that will take effect Jan. 1 of the following year.
The final FIT rules can be viewed here.