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Ontario is poised to introduce new electricity pricing to encourage the development of renewable energy from a diverse range of producers, including homeowners, community-based groups and larger-scale commercial generators, according to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).

As North America's first guaranteed pricing structure, this feed-in tariff (FIT) for various forms of electricity production would offer a stable, competitive price combined with a long-term contract. A FIT would establish prices for energy generated from renewable sources, including onshore and offshore wind, hydroelectric, solar, biogas, biomass and landfill gas.

Proposed prices and program guidelines will form the basis of an eight-week consultation process with renewable energy stakeholders and several general information sessions for the interested public.

"The proposed feed-in tariff program would help spark new investment in renewable energy generation and create a new generation of green jobs," says George Smitherman, deputy premier and minister of energy and infrastructure.

The proposed FIT prices were developed based on experience in Ontario and other jurisdictions. Prices differ based on project size and type of renewable energy technology. They cover capital, and operating and maintenance costs, and allow for a reasonable rate of return on investment over an approximate 20-year period. They also provide special categories for community-based projects.

The OPA will begin consulting with renewable energy stakeholders on the proposed design of a FIT program.

SOURCE: Ontario Power Authority


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