Ontario enacts feed-in tariff program for hydropower

Price supports for hydropower are included in a new “feed-in tariff” program for renewable-energy producers serving Ontario.

The new program, enacted recently as part of Ontario’s Green Energy Act, pays producers a fixed price above market rates for the electricity they produce. The Ontario Power Authority is administering the new program.

Under the new feed-in tariff rules, hydropower producers will be paid 13.1 cents per kWh for up to 10 MW over a 40-year term. The rate is 12.2 cents for 10 to 50 MW over the same period.

Mike Layton, program manager for Environmental Defence, an organization that combats climate change, said the new program is sure to encourage more hydropower development in northern Ontario.

“I think it will help communities in the north get off diesel,” Layton said.

Already, the new program is being credited for plans to build two large new renewable-energy projects. Canadian Hydro Developers recently unveiled plans to acquire an offshore wind power project in the Great Lakes bordering Ontario, and the government of Ontario said it is negotiating another wind power project with Samsung C&T Corp.

“Ontario is breaking ground in North America and embarking on an important journey, one that we hope more governments will follow, including state and federal agencies in the United States,” said Denis Hayes, founder of Earth Day International.

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