Ontario is replacing its existing feed-in tariff (FIT) program for large-scale renewable energy projects with a competitive procurement process.
According to Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli, the province will work with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and municipalities to develop a competitive procurement process for renewable projects over 500 kW. Chiarelli says the new plan will require developers to work directly with municipalities to identify appropriate locations and site requirements for any future large renewable energy project.
To further strengthen municipal participation and support communities, Ontario says itÂ will do the following:
– Revise the small FIT program rules for projects between 10 kW and 500 kW to give priority to projects partnered or led by municipalities;
– Work with municipalities to determine a property tax rate increase for wind turbine towers; and
– Provide funding to help small and midsize municipalities develop Municipal Energy Plans, which will focus on increasing conservation and helping to identify the best energy infrastructure options for a community.
Ontario is also renewing its commitment to small renewable energy projects by making 900 MW of new capacity available between now and 2018 for the Small FIT and microFIT programs. This fall, the OPA will open a new procurement window for both programs, and starting in 2014, annual procurement targets will be set at 150 MW for the Small FIT and 50 MW for the microFIT.
Ontarios' FIT program, the first in North America, was ushered in as part of Green Energy Act of 2009.