How the FIT Program started
Following the success of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act, which was started in 2000 and within ten years led to nearly 30 billion Euros invested in renewable energy projects, the Ontario government decided to introduce its own feed-in tariff (FIT) program to try and increase renewable energy initiatives in the province. In April of 2009, under Dalton McGuinty’s Liberal majority, the Green Energy Act was passed. Under this program, an energy producer who generates electricity and sells its back to the province’s grid will receive a guaranteed price for the duration of a 20 year contract.
The MicroFIT program was designed for the average homeowner. It allows up to a 10 kW sized system, and the approval process is streamlined when compared to the larger FIT program.
The FIT program is divided up into small FIT (10 -500 kW) and large FIT (500 kW and larger). The FIT program has a limited application window, and continues to be oversubscribed.
For more information about the FIT and microFIT programs, including application and registration information, visit the Independent Electricity System Operator website (formerly known as the Ontario Power Authority).
Why is the Program Important?
The rationale behind the feed-in tariff program is quite straightforward. The program started with a large contract payment per kWh (80.2 cents). This caused an increase in Ontario based installers, suppliers, and system designers. The net effect was that the price of PV modules experienced a 75% decrease in the last 5 years.