Ontario Agriculture

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The Ontario government is changing the price they will pay for solar power -- here's what they have to say....

"To help ensure the program remains sustainable the OPA has proposed a new price category for microFIT ground-mounted solar PV projects. Ground-mounted solar PV
projects of 10 kilowatts or less will be eligible to receive a proposed price of
58.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (¢/kWh). Rooftop solar PV projects, as defined in
the microFIT Rules, version 1.4, will continue to be eligible for 80.2 ¢/kWh.


The proposed new price category will better reflect the lower costs to install a ground-mounted solar PV project versus a rooftop project. It will provide a
price that enables future project owners to recover costs of the projects as
well as earn a reasonable return on their investment over the long term."

The business side of me is actually pretty angry with the move. We are getting ready to file an application - taking the cautious approach. Making sure to comb over a number of deals to make sure when we lock into 20 years -- we don't get the short end of the stick. Now - because we have taken the time to do that (which they encouraged) we are out over 20 cents. After all they said the price wouldn't change until October 2011.

That said - I couldn't figure out how they were going to pay 80 cents to begin with. Although - 58 cents is still too high.

This all makes believing what government says pretty tough to do -- doesn't it....

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Price has not been set in stone yet. Comment period is open for 30 days (or less by now). I have not yet found where to make comments but rest assured - we are working on it.
Point is though - the price will be dropping as it has in other jurisdictions. By how much?
Does 58 cents still pay well enough for the investor (such as farmer Andrew)?
I also can't find the place to send any comments.....it makes me wonder if they really want them.

Although, you will notice that they have had the time to already published these new 58c price points and the new 58c category.

They have also included a phrase that for RoofTop projects, that the building has to be 'pre-existing' to the solar application - ie you can't build a building after being awarded the solar project.... there goes a whole bunch of projects aswell !!

Watch the fine print !!!
Comments!! - Check out http://microfit.powerauthority.on.ca for July 6 & 8 Sessions and for comment instructions.

There will be a 30-day comment period on the proposed new price category. Please send all comments and submissions to microFIT@powerauthority.on.ca. While all emails will be read, not all emails will receive individual responses.

Comments also can be mailed to the following address and must be postmarked no later than Tuesday, August 3, 2010.

Ontario Power Authority
120 Adelaide Street West, Suite 1600
Toronto, Ontario M5H 1T1

Attention: Ground-Mounted Solar PV
we all knew it was to high to be true. The ones getting screwed are the people that have already bought the equipment and signed contracts. I know a farm that is putting in a biogas digester and OPA changes the rules almost by the day. OPA is a government body that doesn't like to do what the politicians have made manditory. Why buy power from everyone when you are used to buying from a couple of people.
Really?

Somebody believed something the McGuinty government said?
There's lots to be angry about in this whole thing, starting with the slowness of reply to applications. There's the issue of financing, which is difficult at best for a lot of people in animal agriculture. They could really use a little pocket change. People have gone through legal costs to arrange financing, spent time on investigating and researching. Those I know who don't have the money sitting around and arranged financing, are seriously considering cutting out.
The 80 cents is not a really big issue, when the sun is hot, and the air conditioners get humming, it costs more than that to bring in outside power at peak times, exactly when the solar is working best. I dislike conspiracy theories, but it seems like someone figured out that farmers in the province might be getting some cash, and put a damper on the whole thing.
I don't think you are not too far off Mary Ann.

The idea that the cost of rooftop panels are that much more expensive that ground mounted is outrageous. They should have known the costs before putting this in place, and made decisions based on that. If application numbers weren't so high - would they be doing the same thing?

All of the sudden - farmers are taking advantage of this is big numbers - and then get their legs cut from underneath them.
What kind of contracts did Farmers have with the developers...with this price drop - do people need to continue to install and pay for a solar project even though revenue has dropped by 30% ??
This is mainly for individuals who bought and installed on their own. Farmers who have a signed contract will still get the 80.2 cents from my understanding. It is the ones who, like has been stated, waiting to check things over with a fine tooth comb, that will be disadvantaged. The technology has not improved that much in the last 30 days to account for the big drop in price.
As with any government program - it will change... and not likely for the best.
The bigger projects (over 10 kW) will be on a different price structure (and much lower than 80 cents).

Graham Dyer said:
What kind of contracts did Farmers have with the developers...with this price drop - do people need to continue to install and pay for a solar project even though revenue has dropped by 30% ??
The truth is even though they are paying 80.2 cents it doesn't mean that is what it is costing them.
1. Distributed Generation, generates the power where it is needed without large power losses in the resistance of the wire ove long distances, I have heard that this can be up to a 30% loss from nuclear, coal or Hydro plant to your home
2. Job creation, part of the money put into the coffers to fund this program was for job creation in the much needed manufacturing sector
3. Dept repayment, Would you rather pay a larger Dept repayment charge one the new nuclear reactors that are built and once again 40% over priced ( that's a lot of money on a 20 billion dollar expenditure.)
4. Your Hydro is already subsidized, Would you rather have the subsidy or would you rather give it to the big businesses so they can pad their executives pockets.

Do you still think 80cents is to high
I agree with you Andrew. A 60 page agreement, I can imagine, has plenty of wiggle room in it. I can well imagine there will be more surprises in the future.

Many people questioned how the government can afford paying 80 cents to produce hydro only to turn around and sell for 9 cents.

When one looks up the definition of "ponzi scheme" and "pyramid scheme"....... one wonders if the whole solar bandwagon is a hybrid of the two.

Our provincial government shows little to no respect towards agriculture and the latest stunt amplifies the contempt they have towards farmers.
Why does the "Pigeon King" come to mind?

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