Ontario approves 77 solar PV applications under FIT (corrected version)

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Renewable energy companies in Ontario have received approval for 184 new ‘green’ contracts under the country’s feed-in tariff scheme, of which 77 are solar PV. This marks the largest renewable energy initiative in Canada to date, adding to the 510 medium-sized projects declared in March. The combined contracts are estimated to generate more than 2500MW.

“These projects are the latest accomplishments of the Green Energy Act which is making Ontario a place of destination for green energy development, manufacturing, and expertise,” said Ontario’s minister of energy and infrastructure, Brad Duguid. “The investments generated by FiT will not only create green jobs, but will also build a coal-free legacy for future generations.”

Ontario’s Green Energy Act is part of the government’s Open Ontario Plan. It provides a stable price for clean energy producers to invest in the country, and creates a potential 50,000 Ontario jobs.

“In six short months the feed-in tariff program has delivered strong results and has more than exceeded our expectations,” said Ontario Power Authority CEO Colin Andersen.

A key objective of the country’s Green Energy Act is to enable community and aboriginal participation in renewable energy development. Thirty-six community and aboriginal projects will be the first to receive an FiT contract.

“I’m pleased to see aboriginal and local communities across Ontario as active participants in the green energy movement. Their leadership enhances Ontario’s efforts to establish itself as a North American leader in renewable energy,” said Duguid.

Of the 184 approved projects, seventy-six are ground-mounted solar PV, 47 are onshore wind and 46 are waterpower. Seven biogas, two biomass, four landfill gas, one rooftop solar and one offshore wind project has also been given the go-ahead.

Projects that did not receive a first round FiT contract offer will now be put through an Economic Connection Test (ECT) to identify transmission or distribution system expansion projects that support renewable generation and meet economic requirements. The first test will start in August/September 2010. Renewable energy projects enabled by these expansions projects will be eligible for a FiT contract once work begins.

(This is a corrected and updated version of the news that was reported earlier; certain figures in the original report were incorrect.)

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