Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff Rates Reduced

April.23.2012

Feed-in Tariff rates change, but the program still offers investors an attractive ROI

Ontario microFIT pricing changesAs of March 15 2012, the Ontario Power Authority set new tariff rates for its FIT and microFIT programs. The solar installation industry breathed a collective sigh of relief as manufacturers and installers are finally able get back to work after months of delay caused by the tariff review process. With the first tariff review complete, the new rates see a reduction of 30%. Does this dramatic drop in revenue render Feet-in Tariff programs untenable?

New Feed-in Tariff rates for Ontario

A 30% decrease in tariffs may seem like a giant leap for some, but the incredible drop in panel prices helps to absorb most of this reduction. The reduction helps to create a renewable energy plan for the province that is sustainable and offers fair compensation for renewable energy. Rooftop mounted Feed-in Tariff systems of 10 kW or smaller will now receive 54.9 c/kWh and ground-mounted units of 10 kW will receive remuneration of 44.5 c/kWh. See a full table of pricing here. All applications submitted after September 1, 2011 will be subject to the new tariffs.

Solar industry

Ontario microFIT pricing changesThe 60% local content stipulation for those who wish to participate in the FIT and microFIT programs has meant that a growing local industry has been created. This industry of panel manufacturers and installers has floundered in the months it has taken the government to review the Feed-in Tariff programs. Thousands of jobs have been created and millions invested in the province to meet the demand created by these programs. The OPA has to price the programs fairly so that this burgeoning industry is able to survive. Tariff cuts may seem drastic, but they reflect the massive reductions in panel prices and the Feed-in Tariff programs remain viable for prospective applicants.
Prospective Feed-in Tariff applicants can still look forward to a 15% yearly ROI on both rooftop microFIT and FIT projects and 12.4% on a ground mounted tracking systems. If you are considering a unit, it may be pertinent to remember that the government will be reviewing tariffs every two years. It’s best to act now while tariffs are at a premium.

Feed-in Tariff in action

When SolarLine Power was asked to install a microFIT system on an apartment block, they met with some challenges. The 2.5 story SolarLine can show you how to make 15% yearly ROI with microFITbuilding contained 6 apartments on three floors and the challenge was to maximize the total kW amount to the microFIT 10kW maximum. Other tenders were unable to design systems over 5kW due to weight limitations on the roof which could only safely sustain a total of no more than 5 pounds per square foot. The full quota of panels needed to be installed for the project to be financially viable.
SolarLine Power, a local Ontario solar panel installation company, designed a system for the flat roof that consisted of 36 solar roof panels (9kW) with non-penetrating ballast weighing approximately 3000 pounds over 855 square feet resulting in an average additional load of less than 3.6 pounds per square foot. Additional pales were mounted on a custom awning attached to the side of the building.

Solar System Size

11.4kWh DC – 8.78kWh AC (77% derate factor)

AC Output Average Over 1 year

Daily: 36 kWh
Monthly: 1,098 kWh
Yearly: 13,148 kWh
SunMoney
Cumulative Savings

1 Month: $879
1 Year: $10,545
5 Years: $55,383
20 Years: $221,439
With a 15% ROI, the solar installation pays for itself in no time at all and then goes on to make the property owners a tidy sum. If you are considering a Feed-in Tariff install, it’s still well worth it. With the nest OPA review scheduled in two year’s time, its best to act soon.

Comments

  1. Ground Source Heat Pumps on June 12th, 2012

    Wow..its good that feed in tariff rates are decreased 

  2. Paul Savory on March 8th, 2013

    Is Solar power the panacea – no. It is just too variable. I have a solar array to power an electric fence through batteries and fine in summer but inadequate in winter. There was one seven day period when no generation occured.


    Solar Electric Fencing

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