Wind support in Ontario slashed by 15%

CANADA: The feed-in tariff (FIT) for wind energy projects in Ontario will drop by about 15% to C$0.115/kWh following release of the province’s first scheduled review of the programme today.

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The new price reflects "substantial capital and operating cost reductions" in the global markets since the programme was launched in late 2009, the review states.

The government did not specify when the new rate would come into effect, but said that it will "act quickly to implement all the recommendations" in the report. It also recommended annual price reviews.

But the new tariff could prove extremely challenging for many projects, particularly smaller projects and new entrants to the industry, said Robert Hornung, president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA). 

The review recommendations specifically target some of those smaller players. A minimum of 10% contracts still needed to hit Ontario’s 10.7GW renewable energy target will be reserved for community and Aboriginal projects that have needed more time to mobilise than the large-scale industrial projects that have won the bulk of wind contracts so far.

The province should accelerate procurement to meet the 10.7GW mark by 2015, says the review, three years ahead of the current schedule. It should also "review Ontario’s electricity supply and demand forecast in 2013 to explore whether a higher renewables capacity target is warranted."

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