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Provincial Feed-in Tariffs Spurring Community Power

| Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 5, 2010 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/provincial-feed-tariffs-spurring-community-power/

With its feed-in tariff, the Canadian province of Ontario is set to become the leading community renewable energy center in North America. 

In an Oct. 12, 2010 report, [Ontario Power Authority] said that it has signed contracts for 264 megawatts of community-owned projects, and another 120 megawatts of projects owned by Ontario’s aboriginal peoples. The contracts represent 16 percent of Ontario’s 2,500 megawatts of feed-in tariff contracts to date.

No other jurisdiction in North America has made such a concerted effort as Ontario has to guarantee that a portion of the new renewable generating capacity to be built will be owned by its own citizens and native peoples through the province’s innovative feed-in tariff program.

This is in addition to Ontario’s microFIT program (a small renewable energy project program under the umbrella of feed-in tariff programs), which assures connection for homeowners and farmers wanting to generate electricity with solar panels for sale to the grid. There are 20,000 applications for microFIT contracts.

It’s noteworthy that despite Ontario’s success, Europeans still have significant leads based on their longstanding feed-in tariff policies.

…One-half of all wind generation in Germany, or more than 12,000 megawatts, is owned by local investors. The percentage of local ownership is even higher in Denmark and the Netherlands.

But North Americans are learning.  Vermont recently adopted a feed-in tariff, and the several other U.S. states and the Canadian province of Nova Scotia are also considering it.

Nova Scotia begins hearings Nov. 8, 2010 on the province’s community feed-in tariff program. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board will determine feed-in tariffs for large and small wind, biomass, and tidal power that will go into effect on April 4, 2011. Projects in the 100 megawatt program are set aside for Nova Scotians.

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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power. More

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