Ontario IESO picks hundreds of winners in latest FIT round of power procurement

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) announced June 29 that it will offer 936 long-term contracts for 241.43 MW of small-scale renewable generation, including solar, wind, hydroelectric and bioenergy projects.

These contracts are the result of the latest procurement under the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program, known as FIT 4. FIT projects have an installed capacity between 10 kW and 500 kW and are connected to local distribution systems. As was the case in previous application periods, most of these contract offers are for solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, many of which are located on industrial, commercial, institutional or municipal rooftops. Over the coming weeks, contracts will be offered to:

  • 907 solar PV projects for 232.258 MW;
  • 14 bioenergy projects for 3.45 MW;
  • 6 onshore wind energy projects for 3.00 MW; and
  • 9 waterpower projects for 2.722 MW.

Of these, 96 projects (representing 41.45 MW) have Aboriginal participation, 413 projects (representing 67.26 MW) have municipal or public sector entity participation and 186 projects (representing 60.24 MW) have community participation. More than 92% of the successful applications received municipal council support resolutions. The minimum number of priority points obtained by projects receiving contract offers was two.

The IESO received 1,702 FIT applications in total, of which 1,197 applications, representing about 336 MW, passed the completeness and eligibility review conducted by the IESO under the supervision of an Independent Evaluation Monitor.

New in FIT 4 was the opportunity for applicants to gain priority points by electing to reduce the base price available in the FIT price schedule by one of three optional tiers. Of the successful applications, 52% chose to apply for price reduction priority points, representing all three available price reduction tiers. Price reduction selections will be taken into consideration in the program price review and will influence the price schedule for future FIT procurements.

Ontario’s FIT program includes standardized program rules, prices and contracts for those interested in developing a qualifying renewable energy project. Prices are designed to cover project costs and allow for a reasonable return on investment over the contract term. Qualifying renewable energy technologies include biogas, renewable biomass, landfill gas, solar photovoltaic, waterpower and on-shore wind power.

“Renewable generation continues to make important contributions to Ontario’s supply mix,” said JoAnne Butler, Vice-President of Market and Resource Development at the IESO. “Projects developed under the FIT program represent an important step in broadening participation in the province’s energy sector.”

The FIT 5 procurement is expected to begin by Nov. 1, 2016. Draft FIT 5 documents will be available in the coming weeks for review and comments.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.