Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ontario opens application window for small solar PV FiT projects

To benchmark, Malaysia's FiT rates for small solar PV (2013) are:

  • up to 4kW        - RM1.1316/kWh  (US$0.36/kWh)
  • 4kW to 24kW   - RM1.040/kWh    (US$0.33/kWh)
  • 24kW to 72kW - RM0.9440/kWh  (US$0.30/kWh)
  • 72kW to 1MW  - RM0.9120/kWh  (US$0.29/kWh)

In the province of Ontario in Canada, small FiT projects (rooftop) attract the following rates:

  • Between 10 kW and 100 kW     - CAD$0.345/kWh (US$0.33/kWh)
  • Above 100 kW & below 500 kW - CAD$0.329/kWh (US$0.314/kWh)

For micro sized installations we seem to have better rates, which shows the government's commitment to get more individuals and home owners to participate in the clean energy generation. But, available quota and allocation seem to show otherwise. We have very limited quota for small sized installation in Malaysia.

Fort William First Nation 10.8MW solar farm in Thunder Bay, Ontario, is one of the biggest PV plants in Canada. Photo - Skypower

Great window of opportunity for Ontario

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has opened the application window for 'small FIT projects' – defined as projects above 10 kW and, generally, below 500 kW, in capacity.

The OPA will award FIT payment contracts for up to 123.5 MW of small projects as it has a stated 70 MW procurement target for 2013 and has 53.5 MW of outstanding capacity left over from the previous small project application window.

The deadline for applications is on December 13 and, according to the price schedule published by the OPA in August, rooftop projects between 10 kW and 100 kW in size will qualify for a FIT rate of CAD$0.345/kWh (US$0.33/kWh) and those above 100 kW in capacity will earn CAD$0.329/kWh. Non-rooftop small projects will earn CAD$0.288/kWh.

The OPA is also accepting applications for its unconstructed rooftop solar pilot program, for systems on houses yet to be constructed, and has 15 MW of capacity available separately for this scheme.

The announcement of the opening of the small FIT project application window by the OPA goes on to add the preparation of procurement arrangements for PV projects larger than 500 kW in size 'is currently ongoing' and will be announced in due course.

TheGreenMechanics' two cents

What Ontario is doing is actually very interesting. They open up FiT quota for a period of time according to prevailing situation and requirements. This way, they make the offer very attractive during the window so that individuals and corporations who are 'ready' can grab the opportunity and quickly put the projects to work.

Next window could be totally different - in a good way or otherwise - depending on our state of readiness. I'm sure, the guys at SEDA Malaysia are keeping abreast with changes and development in other countries.

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