Ontario Premier McGuinty Steps Down, Leaving Solar Policy Uncertainty


Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who helped create major expansion of the province's solar market during his tenure, has abruptly resigned, according to numerous media reports.

In 2009, McGuinty's government enacted the Green Energy Act, which included provisions directing the Ontario Power Authority to launch a solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) program. Although the FIT program has helped drive significant solar development in the province, it has also been riddled with delays, as well as controversy and confusion among applicants.

In July, for instance, solar project developer SkyPower filed suit seeking $100 million in damages from the Ontario government due to changes made to the FIT program. Later that month, market research firm ClearSky Advisors revised its Ontario solar forecast downward, based on delays associated with a review and relaunch of the FIT program.

The FIT's domestic-content requirement has also come under fire. A World Trade Organization (WTO) panel reportedly concluded last month that the requirements violate WTO rules. A final decision is expected next month.

In the wake of McGuinty's resignation, the province's legislative session will end, according to the Toronto Sun. The legislators will not return to work until a successor is chosen, which may not occur until early next year.

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