OPA News Archive
Previous editions of the OPA's monthly newsletter beginning in 2009
News Online is produced monthly to keep you up-to-date
with the latest developments at the OPA.
James D. Hinds appointed chair of the OPA
On December 9, 2010, James D. Hinds was appointed chair of the Ontario Power Authority.
Mr. Hinds, who has served as Chair of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), replaces John Beck, who is stepping down as OPA Board Chair after more than three years of service. Mr. Beck, who has been a member of the OPA Board for more than five years, will continue to serve as a member through a period of transition.
Mr. Hinds is a retired investment banker. Starting in 1985 at CIBC Wood Gundy Inc., he joined Newcrest Capital Inc. and then served as a managing director of TD Securities Inc. A native of Sudbury, Ontario, Mr. Hinds received a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University at the University of Toronto, a Master of Business Administration degree from Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania, and a law degree from the University of Toronto.
Click here for the news release.
Ad campaign engages public on Long-Term Energy Plan
The OPA launched an advertising campaign on December 8, 2010, to engage the public on Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP), called Building Our Clean Energy Future. The LTEP, which was released on November 23, sets out Ontario’s expected electricity needs until 2030 and establishes the most efficient ways to meet them.
The three-week campaign included a variety of media, including print, on-line banner ads and ads at selected public transit sites.
For more information about the plan, visit www.powerauthority.on.ca/the-plan.
OPA Employee named Solar Public Servant of the Year
Jim MacDougall, manager of the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) Program in Electricity Resources at the OPA, recently won the Solar Public Servant of the Year award sponsored by the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA).
One of CanSIA’s Solar Awards, the Solar Public Servant of the Year goes to a government or utility employee who has made a significant contribution to broadening the use of solar energy in Canada. Winners are nominated by CanSIA members.
The CanSIA Solar Awards celebrate those who embody the belief that solar energy holds the promise of our future.
Jim was recognized for his leadership in making the FIT program work in Ontario. CanSIA mentioned its high regard for the hard work Jim has done to implement FIT programming.
FIT and microFIT program updates
Proposed rule change for capacity allocation exempt projects:
Interest in the FIT Program for Capacity Allocation Exempt (CAE) projects has been tremendous. As a result of this success, applications are outpacing upgrades needed to enable more connections in some areas.
The OPA is therefore proposing a rule change to the FIT Program for CAE project applications submitted on or after December 8, 2010. This will improve the application process and better align projects with available capacity.
The OPA proposes to include connection capacity assessments as part of the application review process to ensure that potential connection issues are identified as early as possible in the application and contracting process. For more information on the proposed rule change for CAE FIT applications, click here. The comment period on this proposal closed on January 7, 2011.
Priority ranking list posted:
The OPA has posted the priority ranking for 242 first-round FIT projects. Although the ranking is based on the "shovel readiness" of all contracts awarded to applications submitted during the program launch period between October 1 and November 30, 2009, this group of projects did not receive contracts due to a lack of available connection capacity. These projects will have priority access to connection capacity when it becomes available.
More information can be found here.
As with the FIT Program, positive response to the microFIT Program will require changes to the application process. The OPA is therefore proposing that all new microFIT applications submitted on or after December 8, 2010, would need an offer to connect from their local distribution company before the OPA issues a microFIT conditional offer of contract.
The OPA strongly encourages microFIT applicants to speak to their local distribution company about connecting to the grid.
For more information, click here. The comment period on this proposal closed on January 7, 2011.
IESO outlook highlights renewable energy
On December 3, 2010, the IESO published its quarterly 18-month outlook forecasting Ontario’s electricity demand while assessing the province’s generation and transmission needs.
The outlook reports positive findings in power supply, highlighting renewable resources such as wind and solar energy as key contributors to power generation. It also mentions the recent deregistration of several coal-fired units, demonstrating Ontario's commitment to renewable energy highlighted in the province's recent Long-Term Energy Plan, Building Our Clean Energy Future.
More information on The Ontario Reliability Outlook can be found here.
For more information on Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, visit www.powerauthority.on.ca/the-plan.
Tim O'Neill appointed Chair of the IESO
Tim O'Neill was appointed Chair of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) on December 9, 2010.
O'Neill is president of O'Neill Strategic Economics, a visiting professor at Duke University, a member of the Canadian Employment Insurance Financing Board, and a director of the United Church of Canada Foundation.
The appointment follows the departure of Jim Hinds, who is now the Chair of the Ontario Power Authority.
Click here for the news release.
New wind tower plant in Windsor
The Government of Ontario recently announced a wind tower manufacturing plant that will bring 300 new full-time jobs and up to 400 construction and indirect service jobs to Windsor.
Built and run by a new Ontario-based subsidiary of CS Wind, the Windsor wind tower plant is part of a $7 billion investment by Samsung and its partners in Ontario.
Ontario's clean energy plan aims to move the province away from resources such as coal to cleaner energy sources such as wind, solar and bioenergy.
For more information, click here.
New wind blade plant creating jobs in Tillsonburg area
Ontario's first wind blade manufacturing plant will open in Tillsonburg, bringing as many as 300 jobs and up to 600 additional construction and indirect service jobs to the region.
Similar to the wind tower manufacturing plant in Windsor, the Tillsonburg blade plant is part of a $7 billion investment by Samsung and its partners. The new plant is being built by Siemens Canada as part of its agreement to supply 600 megawatts (MW) of wind turbines to Samsung C&T and development partner Pattern Energy. This is enough clean electricity each year to power more than 160,000 homes, or a city the size of Oakville.
For more information, click here.