Solar Array on Farm in Southwestern Ontario
May 12, 2010
The Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 which was passed into law on May 14, 2009 to encourage the development of renewable energy in Ontario. The Feed-in Tariff Program (FIT) is North America's first comprehensive guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production. Long term contracts through the Ontario Power Authority are available for energy generated from renewable sources such as biomass, biogas, landfill gas, wind power, solar photovoltaic and waterpower. The microFit program is tailored to the homeowner, farmer or small business owner who develops a small or micro renewable electricity generation project (10 kilowatts or less in size) on your property. Once a project is approved a contract is signed guaranteeing a set price for all the electricity your project produces for at least 20 years.
Across Ontario many farms and businesses are harnessing the power of solar energy under the microFIT program. Currently hydro rates in Ontario through HydroOne are 6.5¢ up to 600 kWh per month and 7.5¢ per kWh over 600 kWh for those who have not already been transferred over to the new Time of Use (TOU) rates. In reality with services charges and taxes the total cost per kWh works out to be 15.5¢ per kWh up to 600 kWh to 17.9¢ per kWh over 600 kWh. Under the microFIT progam electricity generated using solar photovoltaic is paid a guaranteed 80.2¢ per kWh for the duration of the 20 year contract. In essence anyone participating in the program is realizing a net gain of 62.3¢ to 64.7¢ per each kWh generated over the 20 year contract making it a nice source of income.