Ontario Solar Farm Projects Subject to New Regulations

Posted by Admin on August 24, 2012

“The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) launched the next phase of the province’s Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) program.

The most notable change affecting farmers wishing to apply for a FIT project on their farm is a new regulation regarding land classification types. The version 2.0 policy document has tightened limitations for solar projects and solar farms will no longer be allowed on Class 3 or organic soils. This change is in addition to Class 1 and 2 agriculture soil types that don’t allow ground-mounted solar projects.

Other changes were made to project priorities. The new point’s system also takes into consideration factors such as municipal support, aboriginal support, project readiness.  Of course, available grid capacity for the project based on existing electrical infrastructure remains a substantial challenge in many areas.”

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Building-Integrated Photovoltaics in Toronto

Posted by Admin on July 26, 2012

The Enwave Theatre in Toronto has now completed the new work by glass artist Sarah Hall. She created “Waterglass”, which combines art and solar cells with insulating glass, and it creates bright waves of blue around the building. The west part of her work has 540 cells on 10 panels, and it is a first for Toronto. This concept is called building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).

Through the integration of solar cells, this method of applying PVs differs from solar panels you may see on the roof, through conspicuous placements such as roof shingles, skylights, windows, or siding. As big as BIPV is in Europe and Asia, this is very new to Canada. This is partially due to the FIT program not designing and factoring in the potential of BIPV projects.

With the large amount of new high-rise buildings coming to Toronto, this is the perfect time to considering integrating solar into architectural designs. This concept also should potentially have its own FIT rate.

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Top MicroFIT 2.0 Highlights

Posted by Admin on July 19, 2012

The new updates to Ontario’s microFIT program have been released, and people have been wondering about how 2.0 rules differ from the first microFIT draft. There is a new cost for per kilowatt hour, which is still appealing at $0.549. A new size limit of 10 kW for both DC and AC is now in effect, as well. The new rules apply to all those who applied on or after September 1st, 2011. The old applications will be processed first, followed by the new ones. However, all the old applications must be resubmitted before August 10 to keep their place in the queue.  As well, the entire microFIT process has replaced the step of Conditional Offer to Approval Notice. There is now a limit of one microFIT project per individual. Non-roof mounted projects also cannot be on residential properties anymore. The prices of FIT will also now be annually reviewed.

Contact us to find out our new reduced prices on PV solar turnkey system and installation services!

Province of Ontario Sued for $100 Million

Posted by Admin on July 16, 2012

The SkyPower Group, Canada’s largest solar energy firm, is planning on suing the province for $100 million. They are laying the lawsuit over charges that the McGuinty government made to the energy program.

The firm applied to build over one hundred projects that should have been completed this past April, but the province announced price changes and new criteria for approval of projects. SkyPower believes the changes are unreasonable and would cost them a lot of these projects. They want the government to reconsider the changes, for their projects to work under the old rules. If that fails to happen, the company will sue for $100 million in damages. The hearing has been set for July 24th.

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London Prototype Solar Farm

Posted by Admin on July 13, 2012

London Hydro is the electricity utility provider for the City of London and surrounding areas. The company has been exploring ways to integrate more renewable energy sources into the grid. Solar farms are idle at night and only partially utilized during the day. The research activities with Western University have led to the development of a prototype that will be demonstrated for the first time in Canada in December 2012 at a 10-kilowatt solar farm. More information is available at www.londonhydro.com.

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Revision of the FIT Program

Posted by Admin on July 11, 2012

The Ontario Minister of Energy initiated a directive for the Ontario Power Authority to revise the FIT and microFIT rules and go forth in implementing the programs. Click here to read this directive.

Over the next week or so, the OPA will be revising the rules which will be posted with the new edition of the contract form. The government will instruct the OPA to issue and approve the microFIT contracts, then let in a window of smaller FIT projects (under 500 kW). Larger FIT projects are anticipated to commence in early 2013. The announcement from the provincial government is expected shortly.

Brockville Solar Project to Create New Local Jobs

Posted by Admin on July 9, 2012

Construction of a 10 mW solar project in Brockville, Ontario has officially begun, states International Power Canada (IPC). The FIT project will be sufficient to serve 1,700 homes annually, and will begin to operate in the beginning of next year.

The $50 million project will have modules supplied by Suntech, and the construction team will consist of mostly local specialists and electricians. Final engineering is now underway. The modules will begin arriving at the site this month. This project is one of the first utility-scale projects for Suntech in Ontario.

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Ontario Provincial Budget has Passed

Posted by Admin on June 21, 2012

The provincial budget was finally passed, and the threat of election has been lightened this week in Ontario. After a week of heated arguments between Premier Dalton McGuinty and Andrea Horwath, amendments to the initial budgets were made, and the revised budget was passed. The revision included the wealth tax on the people who make over $500, 000 a year which was surprisingly supported by the Conservative party.  This tax was supported by 78% of people in a Forum Research poll taken this April.

Hudak, the leader of the Conservatives, aimed to achieve a budget that could boost job growth and cut down at the $10 billion debt that Ontarians have accumulated.  This new budget is relevant to all fields of business in Ontario. Last May, there was a sudden halt in the microFIT process. Now that there is no threat of election anytime soon, the microFIT program is here to stay and should continue to prove itself as a beneficial and “green” movement.

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CGC Contacts McGuinty to Suspend Regulation 0.98/12

Posted by Admin on June 20, 2012

The Canadian GeoExchange Coalition wrote to Dalton McGuinty, the premier of Ontario, for an immediate suspension of the new Regulation 0.98/12. One company has recently laid off 30 members of their team, and will be forced to lay off more employees. Companies all across Ontario in the geothermal field will see the same results soon. The regulation dampens Ontario’s green energy industry and hurts small business pertaining to the geothermal field.

The regulation requires companies to apply for an approval entitled the Environmental Compliance Approval, as stated in the revised Environmental Protection Act. This process would take a minimum of 45 days, meaning all new projects will be on hold until at least the end of August. This is very similar to Ontario’s FIT program, which is now on hold due to OPA delays. “Green” companies are at a risk of bankruptcy and the layoffs have begun.

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Ontario: Canada’s Greenest Province

Posted by Admin on June 11, 2012

The province of Ontario has been named Canada’s greenest province in the most recent Green Provincial Report Card released by the Corporate Knights. This report card assessed provinces on their performance in 7 different categories: air and climate, water, nature, transportation, waste, energy, and innovation. Our province earned the highest grade in this year’s report card.

The province was acknowledged on their reduction of green house gas emissions and their phasing out of coal-fired electricity generation. Ontario also introduced the proposal of the Great Lakes Protection Act this week which would ensure cleaner lakes for future generations. The McGuinty government is focused on protecting Ontario’s air, land, and water as well as enhancing quality of life for Ontario families and to ensure a strong and eco-friendly economy.

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