Ontario Proposes Massive Renewable Energy Boost With New Feed-In Tariff Program

solar panels on roof photo
Renewable energy in Ontario could get a massive financial boost with newly proposed feed-in tariff rates. Though Ontario has had feed-in tariffs for about two years, the project size was capped at 10 MW, under the newly proposed rates that cap is lifted or raised for most technologies (solar power not being one of them).

Feed-In Tariff Costs Shared Across All Electricity Consumers
For those unfamiliar with feed-in tariffs, qualifying projects receive an above-market rate for the electricity they produce, fixed for a given time period (say 20 years). All of the electricity produced is sent into the grid. The costs of implementing the incentive program are then spread across all consumers of electricity. In general, the costs increase a customer's utility bill only slightly, while stimulating the development of renewable energy. Of all the ways of promoting renewable energy growth, though not widely adopted in North America, are found by many analyses to be the most cost-effective incentive program.

This is what the new Ontario program could offer:Biomass
Biomass projects of any size would receive 12.2¢/kWh.

Biogas projects less than 5 MW size would receive 14.7¢/kWh; those above 5 MW would receive 10.4¢/kWh.

Hydropower projects of less than 50 MW would receive 12.9¢/kWh. Community-based projects of less than 2 MW would receive 13.4¢/kWh.

Landfill Gas
Landfill Gas projects of less than 5 MW would receive 11.1¢/kWh; those greater than 5 MW would receive 10.3¢/kWh.

Solar PV
Here's where it gets a bit more complicated:

Rooftop systems of less than 10 kW would get 80.2¢/kWh. That's about thirteen times the going rate for electricity and slightly less than double the previous feed-in tariff.

Rooftop systems of 10-100 kW would receive 71.3¢/kWh, while projects of 100-500 kW size would receive 63.5¢/kWh.

Ground mounted solar PV systems of less than 10 MW size would receive 44.3¢/kWh.

Wind Power
Onshore wind power projects of any size would receive 13.5¢/kWh, while offshore wind power projects would receive 19¢/kWh. Community based wind power projects of less than 10 MW would receive the greatest incentive, 14.4¢/kWh.

If approved, these rates would go into effect by June.

via: Toronto Star, Clean Break
photo: Dominic Alves via flickr
Renewable Energy Incentives
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