Ontario signs Renewable Energy contracts

Ontario, Canada (GLOBE-Net) – The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has signed agreements with 22 new renewable energy projects, the first to be selected under the province’s Standard Offer Program.

The program gives small producers of renewable energy – wind, solar, biomass and small hydro – a fixed price for electricity generated into to the provincial power grid. The OPA will purchase electricity produced by wind, biomass or small hydroelectric at a base price of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour. The fixed price for solar photovoltaic will be 42 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Eligible projects must:

  • be located in Ontario;
  • have a total capacity of 10,000 kW or less;
  • be connected to an Ontario Energy Board-licensed distribution system;
  • have a connection voltage of no more than 50 kilovolts; and
  • be metered at the generator’s expense.
Approved projects are able to sign a 20-year power supply contract with the OPA.

The first contracts issued represent a capital investment of some $336 million and solar energy, hydroelectricity, bio-mass energy and wind power. They range in size from a 3 kilowatt residential solar photovoltaic installation to a 10 megawatt wind farm. Total capacity for the first group of contracts will be more than 140 megawatts - enough to supply over 30,000 homes, says the OPA.

Wind energy is by far the largest technology represented, with 14 projects totaling 129.5 MW of capacity. All of the projects are between 9 MW and the 10 MW maximum, while the projects using other technologies are generally smaller in scale.

Bioenergy, including wood waste utilization and landfill gas energy, will provide 10.2 MW via three projects. Dynamotive Energy Systems was selected to deliver electricity to the grid from its 2.5 MW cogeneration facility at West Lorne, converting wood residue from Erie Flooring and Wood Products into a renewable fuel known as BioOil. Landfill gas will be utilized in a 5.6 MW project at Britannia Landfill in Mississauga, and a 2.1 MW project at Halton Landfill in Milton.

Three solar photovoltaic projects were selected, representing a total of 22.9 kilowatts. Two hydroelectric installations will deliver 2.45 MW.

A full list of the contracts awarded and a backgrounder on the Standard Offer Program can be found here.

A further 58 applications have been submitted, and the OPA will award contracts as they are evaluated. As part of the application process, each project has demonstrated the commencement of the environmental screening process, if required. All Standard Offer contracts are contingent on municipal and environmental approvals.

The Standard Offer Program is a significant component of the provincial government’s long term energy plan, which includes a goal of doubling the province’s use of renewables to 15,700 Megawatts by 2025.

Set-rate tariffs for renewable energy have been used successfully in countries such as Germany and Spain, who are among the world-leaders in wind and solar power.

British Columbia will establish a standard offer program as part of its recently announced energy plan, with provincial utility BC Hydro offering a set rate for projects less than 10 megawatts in size using clean electricity or high efficiency electricity cogeneration.

  • See: BC releases energy and emissions reduction plan

  • For More Information: Ontario Power Authority

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