Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Questions microFIT Cuts

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) must fully disclose the financial assumptions it used to justify the price cut to Ontario's renewable energy feed-in tariff (microFIT) program, says Gord Miller, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO).

On July 2, the OPA proposed reducing the tariff rate for solar energy under Ontario's microFIT program. It said the change would lower the unreasonably high rates of return that project developers receive on their investment.

Interested parties have until Aug. 3 to comment on the proposed changes. Using the powers of investigation given to him by the Environmental Bill of Rights, the ECO requested on July 16 that the OPA fully disclose the financial assumptions and methodology it used to calculate the new lower price. Miller says he has not received a response.

With the new rate, ground-mounted solar installations would receive C$0.5888/kWh (kWh) for the electricity they produce. The earlier tariff of C$0.802/kWh would only be paid for rooftop solar installations. This 27% cut in revenue affects installations that generate less than 10 kW of electricity and typically are installed on residential properties, farms and small businesses, the ECO says. About 11,000 applicants proposing to install ground-mounted solar power would be affected by this looming cut.

SOURCE: Office Of Gord Miller

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