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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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.

Scottsdale, Arizona Solar Energy Projects

Posted by Admin on June 28, 2012

The city of Scottsdale is creating shade and collecting solar energy simultaneously with their plan on installing solar-shade structures in the parking lots of many schools in the area. Through these structures and the installation of pv panels on the rooftops of schools, the school district will cover almost 25% of their energy needs and will save $300,000 every year.

Green Choice Solar, a company based in Scottsdale, recently completed a 1.32 solar system at the Jewish Community Campus, which includes rooftop panels and solar canopies covering 400 parking spaces. This system covers 90% of the campus’s energy needs and will save over $15 million over its lifetime.

All of the planned projects throughout Scottsdale should be complete by this September. This city has been advocating green energy, and specifically solar energy, for over a decade. Green energy is even a requirement in all the municipal buildings.

To find out about having your own solar panel system, click here to find out about Ontario’s solar programs.

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Dawson Creek: Taking Solar Energy and Their Green Movement Seriously

Posted by Admin on June 27, 2012

While being in the centre of nonrenewable energy producer areas in Canada, the small city of Dawson Creek ironically shows signs of a small green movement. The mayor even imposed a carbon tax of $100 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions. All the money collected from this tax goes towards a carbon fund, used to fund green energy projects. Last year, the city emitted 3,600 tonnes, so they put aside $360 thousand towards green initiatives in the city.

Dawson Creek takes their green initiatives seriously, and has completed green audits on public buildings, and even installed solar panels on City Hall. They also reduced their use of natural gas by using solar thermal water systems on high energy-eating buildings such as City Hall, firehall, police station, and airport.

Similar to Dawson Creek, Edmonton is one of the sunniest cities in all of Canada and in 2010, it even began offering a rebate program for home and business owners who installed PV systems connected to the grid. This little city plans on becoming carbon neutral, even if they are located in oil and gas central.

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Net Zero Energy Buildings

Posted by Admin on June 25, 2012

Buildings consume almost half of all energy produced in the United States, and the number is growing. The IEA predicts that if India and China’s energy consumptions reach the same levels as the US, their consumption would be four and seven times greater than they have been in recent years.

There have been several plans on improving this consumption, including the plan to use a two-pronged approach. First, all buildings must be designed to consume less energy. Second, the buildings must have a way of generating some energy to offset their consumption. This concept is referred to as NZE (Net Zero Energy Buildings).

The IEA argues that the most effective and affordable method for the energy generation step of the plan is through PV solar panel systems. The decreasing costs of using solar energy have increased interest in this renewable energy generation source.

To find out how to make your property a Net Zero Energy Building, contact us today!

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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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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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Samsung and Pattern to Build 250 MW Plant in Ontario

Posted by Admin on June 4, 2012

Samsung Renewable Energy Inc and Pattern energy Group LP announced their plans on building a 250 MW PV plant in Ontario. Construction of this plant is expected to begin in September, and will be operational by the spring of 2014. The two companies are currently awaiting approval for their application from the province.

Samsung has plans to install 2.5 gigawatts of solar panels in Ontario over five phases. To date, three of the facilities have been opened. The solar energy products produced will be used both in Samsung’s projects and exported globally.

Samsung is investing a total of CA$7 billion in Ontario. As the spokesperson explained, all project financing is being arranged by Samsung and its partners, under the conditions of its Green Energy Investment Agreement, signed with the Government of Ontario in January, 2010.

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Sault Ste. Marie Solar Project Completed

Posted by Admin on May 30, 2012

Starwood Energy Group has announced the completion of their 69mW solar PV project in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. This project consists of over 300 thousand Q. CELLS Q. BASE modules across their three sites. Q.CELLS North America was the supplier of solar panels and other materials, engineer, and construction manager and built all three phases for solar power with a fixed budget and a turn-key method.

David Orazietti, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, stated that Ontario is an innovative leader of North America’s renewable, ans specifically solar energy movement. He argues that using solar energy projects created local jobs, helped the local economy, and significantly improved the environment. Their community saw almost $1 billion in renewable energy investments in recent years.

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Revision of the FIT Program

Posted by Admin on May 28, 2012

Ontario’s completed revision of the FIT program has shown that energy generation and prices fell sharply, about 30% for solar power. This is in line with the worldwide trend of falling costs for global renewable energy. Much like Germany, a global solar energy leader, the decline follows the same trend with maturation.

Germany currently pays about half of what North American solar leaders such as Ontario currently pay per kWh. That is largely due to their gradual decline by reason of the development and maturation of the use of solar energy in the country.

While some argue against the increasing cost of electricity in Ontario because most believe its due to the renewable energy programs, the programs are still high in popularity. This is mostly because there is the prospect of over 43,000 jobs and an enormous amount of energy can be generated without harming the environment.

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