The Green Energy Act, 2009 (GEA) was introduced to the Ontario Legislature on February 23, 2009. It includes a proposal for a new renewable energy program known as a Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program designed to further encourage the development of renewable energy supply.
What is the Feed-in Tariff Program?
The Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Program was developed in 2009 to encourage and promote greater use of renewable energy sources, including on-shore wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), bioenergy (biomass, biogas and landfill gas) and hydroelectricity for electricity generating projects in Ontario. Through this program, Ontario procures renewable energy from generation facilities that have a rated electricity generating capacity generally up to and including 500 kilowatts (kW).
In this section an overview of the FIT program is provided, including the:
- FIT program eligibility rules
- point system for priority ranking of FIT applications
- FIT contracting process
The microFIT program, for projects 10 kW and smaller, is also described.
In the event of any inconsistency between this information and the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO) FIT and microFIT documentation, the IESO’s program rules and contracts will govern. These, and other program documents, are available on the Program Resources section of the IESO’s FIT and microFIT websites.
FIT Program Overview
The FIT program is open to a variety of participants who generate renewable energy and sell it to the province at a guaranteed price for a fixed contract term. FIT program participants can include homeowners, communities, municipalities, Aboriginal communities, business owners, and private developers. Participants are paid a guaranteed price over a 20-year contract term (40 years for waterpower projects) for all the electricity that is generated and delivered to the Ontario grid.
The FIT program is managed by the IESO. The IESO opens the FIT program to applications on a regular basis and the window for submitting applications typically lasts one month. The IESO then reviews all applications for eligibility and the ability to connect to the grid. Projects that are successful at all stages are offered a FIT contract.
The most current information about the administration of the FIT program can be found on the IESO’s website.
The awarding of a FIT contract to a developer does not mean that the project is a “done deal.” A developer may not build a FIT project unless all of its key contractual and regulatory requirements, including the necessary environmental approvals, are met (see Section 6 for more detail).
The microFIT program offers a streamlined process for homeowners and other eligible participants to develop a small or “micro” renewable energy project 10 kW or smaller on their property. For more information about the microFIT program, see Section 4.8.