New Standard Price Will Add Up To 1,000 Megawatts over the Next 10 Years.
Ontario is leading the way in using clean, renewable electricity by setting a standard price that will make it easier for entrepreneurs and businesses to sell clean power from small projects to the grid, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced recently.
"We're taking a bold new step that will allow hundreds of small, local, renewable energy producers to get into the energy market -- providing cleaner energy that will help meet Ontario's needs today -- and in the future," said Premier McGuinty.
Until now, it was too costly and complex for small, renewable power producers -- such as farmers, rural landowners, community groups, First Nations, business owners or municipalities -- to sell their energy to the grid.
Through Ontario's Standard Offer Program, the government will set a fixed price for small renewable energy projects. Under the plan, the Ontario Power Authority 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 will be 42 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Over the next ten years, this will help add up to 1,000 megawatts of renewable energy to Ontario's electricity supply -- enough to power 250,000 homes. It will help ease the strain on Ontario's electricity system, reduce air pollution, promote reliability, protect the environment and create new, high-skill jobs.
Setting standard rates for renewable power is part of the government's plan to build a clean, affordable, reliable and sustainable energy supply in Ontario. In 2004, the government committed to generating five per cent -- or 1,350 megawatts -- of electricity through renewable sources by 2007. In the last year, Ontario has contracted for more than 1,300 megawatts of new, renewable power.
"Standard Offer contracts have been the fastest and most successful way of producing renewable energy throughout the world," said Premier McGuinty. "Encouraging communities to develop more renewable electricity will spur the kind of innovation in the energy sector that will help clean up our air, create jobs and contribute to our long-term prosperity."
To encourage the development of more renewable energy in Ontario, the government asked the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) to put together a report outlining the criteria for a program offering a standard rate for electricity to small or community-based renewable power projects.
In 2005, after gathering research from best practices around the world, OSEA released their report called "Powering Ontario Communities," which recommended that the government move quickly to develop a Standard Offer Program in Ontario.
Under a Standard Offer contract, all small-scale renewable energy producers will be able to sell renewable power to the grid for 20 years. Other key characteristics of the program include:
There is no limit to the amount of renewable generating capacity that can be brought online through this program
The project can be located anywhere in Ontario; however, projects must take into account distribution and transmission considerations
Each individual project can produce up to a maximum of 10 megawatts
The program is open to all interested developers with the exception of Ontario Power Generation
All new projects must connect directly to the distribution system (50 kilovolts or less)
Eligible projects must have been in service after January 1, 2000.
Renewable Energy Resources:
OMAFRA, Electricity Generation Using Small Wind Turbines at Your Home or Farm. www.gov.on.ca/omafra/english/engineer/index.html
MNR, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/mnr/windpower/
Ministry of Energy & MMAH
Municipal Tools for Planning and Development Series - Wind Energy
- Net- metering /Reverse metering Project:Measurement Canada/ Natural
Resources Canada www.micropower-connect.org
- Hydro One http://www.hydroonenetworks.com/en/
Wind Energy Maps
Environment Canada Wind Energy Atlas Maps: showing long-term, low-level wind statistics are produced at 5 km spacing over all of Canada. Web http://www.windatlas.ca/en/index.php
Canadian Wind Energy Association, CANWEA, web:www.canwea.ca
Canadian Solar Industries Association CanSIA web: www.cansia.ca
Federal wind atlas - http://www.windatlas.ca
Ontario Wind Map more detailed -MNR http://www.ontariowindatlas.ca
Model lease agreement
The "Ontario Landowners Guide to Wind Energy" is the definitive source of information on wind energy for landowners. Endorsed by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Canadian Wind Energy Association, the "Ontario Landowners Guide to Wind Energy" can be downloaded free of charge.
Email : email@example.com
Web site: www.ontario-sea.org/
Steve Clarke, OMAFRA, Kemptville