Ontario’s standard offer contract is spurring hundreds of MW of small renewables projects

Global Power Report November 9, 2006

The Ontario government’s planned standard offer contract for smaller renewable energy projects is spurring the development of hundreds of megawatts of wind, solar and other “green” projects.

Under the SOC, which the Ontario Power Authority and Ontario Energy Board expect to become final within the next few weeks, owners of renewable projects of 10 MW or less will be eligible to enter into 20-year agreements to sell the project’s output into the provincial grid.

Owners of qualifying wind, hydroelectric, “renewable biomass,” waste-to-energy and landfill-gas projects  will be paid $110C/MWh ($97US.55/MWh) for their output, while the owners of solar/photovoltaic facilities will be paid $420C/MWh.  Renewable  projects  that  can  “demonstrate  generation  control”  will  be  eligible  for  an additional $35C.20/MWh for all electricity delivered during on-peak hours (GPR, 23 March, 22).

The newest project to advance because of the SOC is solar. SkyPower Corp. and SunEdison LLC said November 6 that they have agreed to jointly “develop, build, own and operate” up to 50 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity in Ontario over the next few years. Solar farms would be built at several sites to keep each under the SOC’s 10-MW cap. The first project site is scheduled to be announced soon after the SOC becomes final, the companies said.

Meanwhile, Greey CTS plans to build a 400-ton/day municipal solid waste-to-energy plant in Southgate Township, said David Milliner, the township’s environmental services manager.

Milliner said that the project would generate 10 MW, as well as steam for use by nearby industrial facilities and planned greenhouses. The township expects to take about six months for the project to secure all needed approvals. The facility could come online as soon as 2008, Milliner said.

Several small wind projects also are under development as a result of the SOC. The Ontario Energy Minister said that it expects the SOC to lead to the development of 1,000 MW of new renewable capacity in the province over the next 10 years.

OPA plans to hold the next in a series of telephone conference calls on the SOC on November 10, at 10 a.m. Developers and others interested in participating should call 416-849-6206. Archives of previous calls are available at OPA’s web site: www.powerauthority.on.ca.

Copyright 2006 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.