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Final price for ground-mounted solar PV projects announced

New Price Category Proposed for microFIT Ground-Mounted Solar PV Projects (text copied from the OPA website)

Released August 13th, 2010

On August 13, the Ontario Power Authority announced that it has finalized the price for the new microFIT ground-mounted solar price category at 64.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This price applies to eligible microFIT ground-mounted solar applications submitted after noon on July 2, when a new price category was proposed.

The finalized price reflects input received during a 30-day consultation period and incorporates a wider variation of cost inputs and project configurations, including higher operating and maintenance costs for ground-mounted solar tracking equipment. The price strikes the right balance between providing a reasonable rate of return to electricity generators and protecting ratepayers from higher than necessary electricity prices.

Eligible ground-mounted solar applications submitted prior to noon on July 2, 2010, will receive the original price of 80.2 cents/kWh whether or not they have received a contract or conditional offer. These applicants will also have until May 31, 2011, to install and request a connection for their projects before higher domestic content requirements are required. Ground-mounted solar microFIT contracts signed and conditional offers received before July 2 will continue to be eligible for the original price of 80.2 cents/kWh.

During the 30-day consultation period, the OPA held three web-enabled teleconferences with 1,665 participants and received 1,645 written submissions about the proposed price. Based on this input, the OPA also made the following announcements:

To implement these changes announced today, the OPA is updating the microFIT application form, and new applications will be accepted beginning on Friday, August 20. Applications will then be open to individuals who are the registered owner of the property on which the generating facility is to be located and certain other entities. Other eligible participants will be discussed by the microFIT advisory panel. Existing applications can continue to be managed and resubmitted during this time.

The OPA is working to respond quickly to microFIT applicants. Most ground-mounted applications that have been submitted will be processed by the end of September.

The OPA will host a webinar on August 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. to answer questions about the finalized price, the advisory panel and other details.

On July 2, microFIT applicants received a notice advising that their application had been unlocked, with instructions to resubmit their application with additional information. If you need additional help with resubmitting your application, please do not hesitate to contact Powerhouse Solar at 1-866-56-SOLAR.

The deadline to resubmit microFIT applications has been extended to Tuesday, September 7 at 5 p.m. This extension will provide applicants with more time, if needed, to assess their project under the new category for ground-mounted solar PV projects.

In the meantime, the OPA is processing resubmitted applications so that conditional offers for ground-mounted solar PV projects can be made as quickly as possible following the announcement. Applicants are encouraged to resubmit their application as soon as possible if they have decided to go ahead with their project.

Applications that have not been resubmitted by September 7 will be withdrawn from the program. A new application can be submitted at any time.

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