Kendra Kane, Marketing Project Manager, S-5!® September 1, 2010 - Recent changes to the rules and regulations of the Ontario Power Authority Feed-in-tariff (FIT) program are BIG news to the solar and metal roofing industries.
Responding to a deluge of microFIT applications for ground-mounted solar renewable energy projects, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced on August 13, 2010 that it was reducing the compensation price it would pay to ground-mounted solar renewable energy developers within the FIT program.
The OPA has received almost 19,000 microFIT applications in the first year of its inception, showing an overwhelming response to the most popular aspect of Ontario’s Green Energy Act passed in 2009. The FIT Program offers clean energy developers the opportunity to create new renewable energy projects and sell the acquired electricity back to the public grid provider. This amazing incentive program, the first of its kind in North America, was designed to benefit Ontario’s economy by providing increased manufacturing investments and job opportunities, reduced energy costs, and long term coordination of conservation initiatives. The OPA has supported this program by providing generous educational opportunities on the proper installation and use of solar and wind renewable energy systems.
The OPA has negatively impacted this program, however, with imposing restrictions on multiple projects on a single property, excluding ground-mounted solar projects greater than 10 MW, and reducing the price it will pay for the energy from 80.2 cents/kWh to only 64.2 centers/kWh. These new restrictions will greatly reduce the new ground-mounted solar projects being planned due to the reduced profitability potential, and the increased complications in design and installation. Without the options for ground-mounting, developers will turn instead to rooftop mounted solar projects, for which the OPA continues to pay 80.2 cents/kWh.
While many Canadian farmers are unhappy with these changes, since it effectively closes what would have been a very lucrative well of profit, the opportunities are even greater now for the Metal Roofing Industry and rooftop mounted solar developers.
Photovoltaic power generation is growing with promise, and worldwide demand is on the rise. As the recession retreats, North America is poised to become the largest global demand center for PV. Anticipating this trend, global solar market players from all parts of the value chain are seeking strategies to gain access to this market, with an estimated 16.1 GW of module manufacturing capacity expected to be online by the end of 2010.
The Metal Roofing Industry is enjoying stable growth as well, with current continental market share exceeding any other single commercial roofing material. Globally, as emerging nations develop the capacity and demand for ever increasing commercial, utility and residential construction, metal roof alternatives offer the supply, sustainability, and cost effectiveness that other non-renewable options just can’t. Both industries appeal to popular “green” objectives, while also pointing to fiscal responsibility, long-term ownership, low carbon footprints, sustainable construction and effective life-cycle cost. The marriage of PV with metal roofing makes more economic, ecological and just pain common sense than any other roof installation.
Canadian developers still hungry to cash in on this rich venture are turning to rooftop mounted solar system providers and suppliers. With sustainable, lifetime maintenance-free and 100% recyclable materials, metal roofing is the best surface to mount solar panel arrays. A material with a 30-50 year life expectancy, plus the benefit of “cool” roofing guaranteed to reduce overall utility costs, who wouldn’t agree that there really is no better option for installing solar systems.
What does this mean to you? OPPORTUNITY! Out of the nearly 19,000 project applications the OPA received in its first year, more than 6,100 offers were issued, and already more than 800 microFIT projects have been completed and are feeding clean energy into Ontario’s grid. These projects are part of the largest green energy investment of its kind in North American history, and are among the world’s leading profitable opportunities for renewable energy. According to Ontario’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid, “These projects are the latest accomplishment of the Green Energy Act which is making Ontario a place of destination for green energy development, manufacturing, and expertise.”
As an S-5!® Distributor, our partners not only have the perfect tools at their disposal to offer the best solar system attachment solutions on the market with the S-5-PV Kit, you also have the inside track on overcoming the Ontario FIT Program’s restrictions against foreign manufacturers. Since S-5! is the only foreign-owned manufacturer currently operating in Ontario and approved for the FIT program, our products meet the requirements for domestic content.
So, what are you waiting for?
~ Kendra Kane, Marketing Project Manager, S-5!®
Learn more about the Ontario Power Authority FIT Program