Ontario’s microFIT program under review

By Penny Caldwell »Penny Caldwell

You may soon be getting less for the power your solar panels and wind turbines contribute to the province’s grid

November 10th, 2011


Photo by M. Gifford

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Guest post by Blair Eveleigh, senior associate editor

Last month, the McGuinty Liberals just squeaked ahead to victory with a minority government. Is it any surprise, then, that some of what they did when they had a majority is now being reconsidered? Take the Green Energy Act. Even though the government’s push for a cleaner energy economy in Ontario has been praised by Canadians’ favourite environmentalist, David Suzuki, the act contributed to some of the losses the Liberals had in the election.

Now, one of the components of the green energy agenda, the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program, is under review. Part of the review will consider the price the Ontario Power Authority has been paying renewable energy providers, including cottagers in the microFIT program, who feed power from solar installations or wind turbines into the grid. For example, if you’ve put solar panels on the roof of your cottage and signed up for the program, the OPA contract gives you 80.2 cents for every kWh your system generates onto the grid. Expect that fee to be reduced, as has happened in the UK and Germany in the last few years.

The FIT review will also look at other renewable technologies, such as geothermal energy, and decide if they will be eligible for inclusion in the program. If you want to contribute to the FIT review, you can take an online survey, until Dec. 14. I’ll keep an eye on the review and let you know of any developments. Meanwhile, I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has a microFIT contract and what they think of the program.

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