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Dear Ms. Wynne:
I am writing today to thank you for your support of the Feed-In Tariff program and to solicit your help in expediting the FIT2.0 contract process at the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) as well as to make the case for raising the current Small FIT capacity limit of 200MW. With over 800 MW of Small FIT projects applied for and ready to be built, it is in the best economic interests of Ontarians, that the capacity be raised from 200MW to 400MW or higher.
With our overburdened electrical grid and the government’s commitment to eliminating coal-fired generation, Ontario needs new peaking and distributed power, which is exactly what Small FIT provides in the form of rooftop power.
If the capacity limit remains at 200MW:
- The majority of applicants will be denied contracts on projects they have been working on since Dec 2010 when the last OPA application window closed. The early adopters in Ontario’s nascent solar industry, including thousands of small business building owners like myself, already exhausted from process delays, will have our hopes finally dashed.
- The aboriginal equity partners, who were promised a role through FIT2 in shaping Ontario’s future energy supply, will have wasted time, effort, and resources forging agreements and relationships with developers for nothing.
- Municipal governments, who were given the opportunity to expressly voice their support through council resolutions for specific types of renewable energy projects in their municipalities, will feel that whereas before they were ignored when they said “NO,” they are now being ignored when they say “YES.”
- Investors, financial institutions, consultants, contractors, manufacturers, and the many other stakeholders will once again question the government’s commitment to the green energy industry and consequently the wisdom of continuing to invest in Ontario.
At a minimum, 200MW of the capacity reserved for Large FIT should be reallocated to Small FIT. Large FIT applications are comprised mostly of wind turbines and ground solar, which are unpopular with residents, are located far from where power is needed, and—in the case of wind—generate power predominantly during shoulder seasons and evenings when Ontario’s electricity supply already exceeds demand.
Small FIT applications, on the other hand, consist primarily of rooftop solar projects which locate the sources of generation at the points of consumption and provide energy timed in perfect synchronization with Ontario’s peak power needs. It is in the best interest of all Ontarians that the capacity limit for small FIT be raised to at least 400MW in advance of a timely awarding of contracts.