Ontario’s Premier, Dalton McGuinty, has directed the Ontario Power Authority and the Ontario Energy Board to prepare a standard offer approach by the end of the year for distributed generation projects under 10MW. The new rules will be designed to encourage homeowners, farmers, schools and community co-ops to build renewable energy systems and sell excess clean electricity back to the grid at standardized prices.
The directive stems from recommendations put forth in a May 2005 report by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA). The authors conclude that standard offer contracts over a 20-year fixed period and the right to interconnect with the grid are the best policy options to move renewable energy forward in Ontario. The report states, “Furthermore, European experience indicates that small, distributed projects with community or local participation result in more renewable energy developed more quickly and increases the public’s acceptance of the technology.”
The standard offer program is one piece of the puzzle as the Ontario government plans to meet its commitment to close four coal power plants by 2009 [6,400 MW]. It plans to replace that power with a mix of renewable energy, nuclear and natural gas facilities as part of a more distributed electricity system.
- Full Text of Powering Ontario Communities: Proposed Policy for Projects up to 10MW – prepared by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, May 2005
- Background on Advance Renewable Tariffs and Feed In Laws Renewable Energy – from Paul Gipe’s Wind Works web site.