The End of FIT?
On May 30, 2013, Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced the end of the feed-in-tariff (FIT) program for renewable energy projects over 500 kilowatts. Going forward, the government announced that large-scale projects over 500 kilowatts would be approved through a competitive procurement process, although it is not clear at this point what this process would look like.
These proposed reforms seek to increase municipal control over the development of future renewable energy projects, as well as to ensure that municipalities enjoy direct financial benefits from projects that are operating within their municipal boundaries. To achieve these goals, the government has pledged to, among other things, work with municipalities to establish a property tax increase on wind turbine towers and provide financial assistance to smaller municipalities in order to create so called “Municipal Energy Plans” which will help identify optimal energy infrastructure opportunities for these municipalities. Additionally, the Ontario government will be changing the Small FIT program (which includes projects between 10 and 500 kilowatts) to give priority approval to developers that are partnering with municipalities. At this stage the government’s proposals are by no means final, so watch this space for further updates.
More information can be found in the Government of Ontario news release.
Bob Chiarelli feed-in-tariff FIT Government of Ontario municipal boundary Municipal Energy Plan property tax Small FIT wind turbine tower