TORONTO—The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is expanding an energy incentive program for industry to include other energy-intensive sectors that didn’t previously qualify.
Launched in January 2013, the expanded Industrial Electricity Incentive (IEI) program will see electricity costs reduced for eligible firms working in sectors like data processing, refrigerated warehousing and greenhousing as the OPA launches the third phase of the initiative.
The program was previously open to eligible companies working in mining, quarrying, manufacturing and oil and gas extraction.
Firms in those sectors are still eligible for the program, according to the OPA.
The latest installment of the IEI program is open to both new and existing businesses in Ontario with plans to build new facilities or expand existing ones, according to an OPA spokesperson.
A directive from Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli dated April 24, 2014, states that four terawatt hours of “unallocated annual electricity consumption” will be made available to applicants under the third phase of the initiative.
About one terawatt-hour of new annual industrial load is expected to come online through successful phase two applicants, according to Chiarelli’s directive to the OPA.
OPA spokesperson Mary Bernard said in an emailed statement that, much like phase two of the IEI program, “there is no minimum capital investment requirement” from phase three applicants.
The first phase of the program was only available to firms that were new to the province and required them to make a $250-million investment in new technology, products or processes.
Under the first phase of the IEI, eligible businesses qualified for contracts of up to 20 years for electricity at $55 per megawatt-hour, including transmission and delivery charges, compared to the normal rate of $75 per megawatt-hour.
Under the second and third phases there is no fixed price—instead “the price floats based on the marginal cost of providing the energy,” Bernard said in an email.
Eligible applicants to the program must be building or expanding facilities that carry out operations within specific North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Canada 2012 sectors, including greenhouses, nurseries and floriculture production, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, refrigerated warehousing, and data processing, hosting and related services.
The OPA said it expects to finalize details of the final IEI phase by September and begin accepting applications between September and November.
It said it will offer contracts under the program to approved applicants by the end of December.
The OPA is hosting a webinar July 30 to provide additional information, answer questions and receive feedback about the program.
To participate in the webinar or find out more details about the program, visit the IEI section of the OPA website.