Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is poised to introduce a feed-in tariff (FIT) for various forms of electricity production from renewable sources, including on-shore and off-shore wind, hydroelectric, solar, biogas, biomass and landfill gas. A stable, competitive price combined with a long term contract will be offered to its customers under FIT. Proposed prices and program guidelines announced will form the basis of an eight-week consultation process with renewable energy stakeholders and public.

FIT is for the development of renewable energy from a diverse range of producers including homeowners, community-based groups and larger scale commercial generators.

“The proposed feed-in tariff program would help spark new investment in renewable energy generation and create a new generation of green jobs,” Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure George Smitherman said. “It would give communities and homeowners the power and tools they need to participate in the energy business in the new green economy.”

“Ontario has made great progress in procuring renewables, becoming Canada’s leading province for wind power,” OPA Chief Executive Officer Colin Andersen said. “This proposed FIT program would build on our success and ensure that more contracts turn into projects sooner.”

The proposed Green Energy Act (GEA), if passed, would drive green investment in the province and create 50,000 jobs in the first three years. Additional changes proposed under the GEA would also make it easier and faster for projects to get connected to the grid.

The proposed FIT prices were developed based on experience here in Ontario and in other jurisdictions. Prices differ based on project size and type of renewable energy technology. They cover capital, operating and maintenance costs and allow for a reasonable rate of return on investment over an approximate 20-year period. They also provide special categories for community-based projects.