IESO awards contracts to next wave of small-scale Ontario power producers
Ontario grid operator to add 936 solar, wind, hydroelectric and bioenergy projects—totalling 241.4 megawatts of capacity—to energy mix
TORONTO—The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has handed down the next wave of contracts to small-scale renewable power producers across Ontario.
Awarded under the latest iteration of the crown corporation’s Feed-in Tariff program (or FIT 4), the contracts will add 936 solar, wind, hydroelectric and bioenergy projects with nameplate capacities between 10 kilowatts and 500 kW to the grid.
Solar photovoltaic power sites account for the vast majority of the new projects; the 907 new small-scale solar facilities will generate 232.2 megawatts of the overall new capacity of 241.4 MW. 14 bioenergy projects, nine hydro power sites and six onshore wind facilities will also be added to the province’s grid.
“Renewable generation continues to make important contributions to Ontario’s supply mix,” JoAnne Butler, vice-president of Market and Resource Development at the IESO, said. “Projects developed under the FIT program represent an important step in broadening participation in the province’s energy sector.”
The grid operator received a total of 1,702 applications under the program, reviewing the projects using a priority point system. Under 2016 rates, the IESO will pay between 20.9 cents per kilowatt hour and 29.4 cents/kWh for solar and between 16.8 cents/kWh and 26.3 cents/kWh for bioenergy. For small-scale hydro power Ontario pays 24.6 cents/kWh, while wind power earns suppliers 12.8 cents/kWh.
The awarding of the small-scale power contracts follow those announced under the Large Renewable Procurement program earlier this year.
As it closes out its FIT 4 program, the IESO said it is already preparing for the next wave of applicants. It expects to begin the procurement process for FIT 5 Nov. 1.