Ontario’s process for energy bids includes First Nations, hydroelectric power

During the first week of April, the government of Ontario, Canada, announced the second phase of the competitive Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) process that includes a Request for Qualifications (RFP) process to be issued by August 1. The RFP is for 930 MW of renewable energy, which includes hydroelectric generation, following engagement with stakeholders that include First Nation Peoples.

Following the First Nations Energy Table the week of April 17 at which Ontario’s First Nation leadership, the Ontario government and its agency’s leaders met to discuss issues and opportunities relating to Ontario’s energy sector, all parties agreed to move forward on a number of key issues.

LRP I and LRP II, according to the government of Ontario:

  • LRP I replaced the large Feed-In Tariff program, and it covers renewable energy projects generally larger than 500 kW, designed to strike a balance between community engagement and achieving value for ratepayers;
  • In March 2016, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) — responsible for the day-to-day operation of Ontario’s electrical system as well as the safe and reliable operation of that system — offered contracts to 16 successful LRP proponents, for about 455 MW of renewable energy capacity;
  • Of the 16 projects that received contracts, 75% received support from local municipalities;
  • For LRP Phase II, Ontario has set targets of up to 930 MW, of which 50 MW includes hydroelectricity;
  • The IESO engagement process will include surveys, webinars and meetings with industry associations, municipal associations and First Nation Peoples; and
  • Further engagement opportunities will take place during the LRP II RFQ and RFP phases.

“We are working together to ensure that in the immediate future First Nations will not only be consulted in a matter that represents equal partnership,” said Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day, “but also empower our communities to participate in resource revenue sharing, as well as other economic opportunities within Ontario’s vast energy sector.”

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Gregory B. Poindexter formerly was an associate editor for HydroWorld.com.

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