Ontario Power Authority Releases FIT 2.0 Rules and Contract

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) issued revised rules and a form of contract and began accepting applications under version 2.1 of the Ontario feed-in tariff (or FIT) Program. The FIT Program is a comprehensive guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production. It provides standardized program rules, prices and contracts.

The Ontario Power Authority has developed the FIT Program to promote greater use of renewable energy sources for electricity generating projects in Ontario. The fundamental objective of the FIT Program, in conjunction with the Green Energy and Green Economy Act, 2009 (Ontario) and Ontario's Long Term Energy Plan, 2010, is to facilitate the increased development of Renewable Generating Facilities of varying sizes, technologies and configurations via a standardized, open and fair process.

Version 2.1 of the FIT Program was implemented pursuant to Directions issued by the Minister of Energy in exercise of statutory powers under the Electricity Act. FIT 2.1 contains extensive amendments from the first generation FIT program involving application windows, procurement targets and where projects may be located. A further important change involves the prioritization of applications for contracts, with points awarded based on project type (community participation, Aboriginal participation, or public university, publicly funded school, public college, hospital or publicly owned long-term care home participation or where they are a host), municipal support, Aboriginal support, project readiness and electricity system benefit.

Michael Boll and Christian Vechsler acted as internal counsel and Aird & Berlis LLP acted as external counsel to the Ontario Power Authority in drafting version 2.1 of the FIT Program rules, contract, standard definitions and other program documents. The Aird & Berlis team was led by Ron Clark (energy and corporate / commercial) and included Robert Doumani (municipal); Ken Clark, Paige Backman, Ajeet Grover and Karen Levin (energy and corporate / commercial).