Renewable energy programs stalled by rule changes
The next phase of Ontario's renewable energy program is currently on hold because of changing guidelines.
Ontario Power Authority was supposed to start accepting new wind- and solar-project applications this past week.
Under Ontario's Feed-In Tariff program, some solar- and wind-energy developers were to get the opportunity to produce energy and sell power back to the grid.
But the authority is still waiting to hear from an energy-industry working group set up by the province.
Many wind and solar companies have been waiting for more than a year to apply to build new projects.
But the rules and regulations surrounding these green projects have been rather fluid. In fact, over the summer, Ontario Power Authority set in place brand new guidelines.
Some say the changing rules are a bonus, because the delay gives them extra time to work on their applications.
Jim Cummings is president and CEO of Clearly Solar energy Inc.
He said it's now key to have a community or aboriginal group partner on renewable projects. Cummings says he's glad to have extra time to sign deals with community partners.
"We're seeking right now those partnerships, and that takes time," Cumming said. "Originally, our business model called for us developing the project by ourselves. As soon as you bring in a 50 per cent partner, that changes everything."
Les Lyster is president of Eclipsal Energy. More than 1,100 Eclipsal solar panels now sit on a commercial roof in Orleans. Lyster agrees the new guidelines means building new alliances.
Lyster said his solar firm has already signed an agreement with a First Nations group in Northern Ontario.