Ontario backpedals once again on solar program

By ANTONELLA ARTUSO, Queen’s Park Bureau Chief  
Toronto Sun

Solar-powered anger has fueled a change in the price being offered to ground-mounted operators.

The owners of eligible projects who applied before July 2, 2010, will get the original price offer of 80.2¢ per kilowatt-hour.

The Ontario Power Authority has also announced that it will pay 64.2¢ per kilowatt-hour for ground-mounted solar microFIT contacts signed after July 2.

This is still higher than the 58.8¢ per kilowatt-hour proposed in early July which set off a political firestorm in many communities where people invested in the technology hoping to get a high rate of return.

There have been almost 19,000 microFIT applications in less than a year, and about 800 are already feeding power into the grid.

19 thoughts on “Ontario backpedals once again on solar program

  1. Wonderful.

    Shore do make me feel better knowing that some of my neighbors are gouging me for useless power — not wanted, not needed.

    Whoop-tee-do. Be still my beating heart!

    MA: Maybe you should re-run the editorial from the Orangeville paper about neighbor gouging neighbor. Just tut all of this in perspective…

    Then I better go find some blood pressure pills! 🙁

  2. One local fella up our way took advantage of the roof top program and when I said: “you know that this will make the rest of us have to pay higher Hydro Bills he just replied: I don’t really give a damn….that’s your tough luck!”

    Nice fellow citizen eh?…………..and he runs a business to boot!

    So there you have it…………all the negative stories that make this Scam such a tragedy is summed up by the few who only know one thing………….$$$$$$$

    How much is enough I say!

  3. You keep saying that this is all a scam but can you prove it, Quixote?

  4. Paying anyone, using taxpayers money, above market rates for electricity is wrong unless the taxpayers agree to this which they haven’t.

    Is it considered a good practice by the Province to pay providers of other goods & services above market rates/prices for any other goods & services purchased by the Province?

  5. Hey Sam…instead of asking questions trying to stir up a debate just click on my name……go to the site, and spend at least two solid weeks of reading more than the 2,400+ posts showing why this is not only a SCAM but one of the most “criminal” conspiracies ever perpetrated by Governments world-wide to “steal money” off hard working honest people!”

  6. Unlike wind power, most solar power will be reliably produced on hot summer days when demand is highest. At such times, utilities often have to pay a lot more to neighboring utilities to get the extra power they need. (I knew a fellow who worked in this “market”.)

    The contracts are for 20 years. What looks expensive now will be CHEAP by tomorrow’s standards.

    Also, I think there is less infrastructure investment needed to buy solar power. IWTs go to a central spot. Solar power is used in neighborhood or community where it is produced –less loss in transmission.

    FYI, a Ford plant in Wayne, Michigan is building a solar plant. The power company is contributing and there’s a grant from the state, so Ford is actually paying relatively little of upfront cost:

    “Combined, the solar power systems are expected to save $160,000 a year in energy costs. Installation is scheduled to begin later this year.”

    “With this solar energy system, we will be able to gain vital understanding about the integration of renewable power, smart-grid technologies and energy storage at an industrial facility,” said Jim Tetreault, Ford’s vice president of manufacturing in North America.”

    “Ford will invest $800,000 in the project, with an additional $3 million investment by Detroit Edison’s SolarCurrents program and a $2 million grant from the Michigan Public Service Commission.”

  7. This one is rather complicated – aside from the fact the government now look like twits.
    Wasn’t the justification for lowering the price that we couldn’t afford it?
    It’s hardly a huge issue. David could correct me, but these are microFITs with 10kW limits – so 20000 applications is only 200MW of potential and maybe 40 of average output – with the bulk of the output actually having some relevance to addressing peak demand and curtailing the need for extra generation capacity.
    The concern is price and, more importantly in my opinion, the abstract principles that government should not be picking winners and losers, and that one should pay attention to factors providing a competitive advantage. Both those concerns make it the same as wind, but few others.
    Solar does appear to be a developing technology – prices are coming down, quality going up, etc, and companies are still filing for patents at a very healthy rate.
    That doesn’t put Ontario at a higher altitude, or further south, or with clearer skies – where I suspect the market winners will come from – but it’s not the same scale of dopey as the wind policies (which is not getting cheaper, where patent applications are declining, and where the capacity factors, around here anyway, seem to be dropping).

  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scam

    You can’t say that it’s a scam because I believe honest, hard working people are thinking about our future and the fact that we WILL run out of resources to create energy in the future.

    So sitting back and point the finger at the gov’t or green industry a scam is very shortsighted.

    McGuinty is sticking his neck out and whatever the outcome of this Green economy, it will cost him in the next election. He knows that but he’s doing it anyway because it has to be done.

    Was it a scam when the grid was build with taxpayers money in the first place? Was it a scam to build the Niagra Falls Hydro station? Was it a scam to get people hooked on electricity? I think history will judge wind/solar/bio the same way as the above.

  9. Scott:

    I could quote enough numbers to make you blue in the face but read this…

    From: http://www.enviroharvest.ca/electric_solar.htm

    What Output can you really expect ?

    Time of year (angle of sun and number of sunlight hours), haze, clouds, rain and snow and of course location all affect the performance of your photovoltaic array. Performance logs taken over a period of years from a location a number of miles from you may not apply exactly to your location, however, they will be a good indication of what you can expect.

    “The following measurement is based on how many Watts are actually produced not the number of sunlight hours in a day.

    Based on logs developed over the past three years at our area in Ontario at a Latitude of about 45 [deg.] North we get an annual average of almost 3 3/4 hours of sunlight per day taking into account all of the points listed in the previous paragraph. To get to the point quickly, expect about ONE Hundred kilowatt hours of power per year from a 100W photovoltaic panel. If your usage is only in summer you can expect about 5 usable hours of sunlight daily in our area. Latitude has less to do with available light than environmental conditions. South of us humidity haze and smog reduce productive hours to just over 3 1/2. To the north of us in the Sudbury area they average just under a four hour annual average.”

    If anybody truly wants solar then my vote goes to a dealer willing to discuss facts as best they can discern them from all the hype. So if you are in their neighborhood start with them and get what seems to be some objective information. However, I know nothing more about them and have not even knowingly talked to anyone involved with that business.

    I have posted this information before.

    Solar and Wind Power boosters appear to be living in a fantasy world where engineering and statistics hold no sway. It seems like a nice neighborhood. Perhaps I can get a house there someday too…

  10. Sam and all the “renewable believers”……….here’s is the reality of your pshyco babble you are so good at………..why would older folks up our way that are on fixed incomes have to sell their homes they have lived in all their lives because they can’t afford the electricity bills that are coming at them now?………..these people don’t care about figures and the BS sprouting from McGuinty and CANWEA but only care about their last days on this planet being able to live in their homes with some small degree of dignity!

    Your crap and BS is lost on these hard working honest retirees who have found themselves at the mercy of a small group of power and money hungry investors who are willing to sacrifice the most vulnerable of society for the monetary gain of a few…….

    This is crystal clear with the latest news this morning that McGuinty is offering “free” water and electrical appliances for the Low income groups of Ontarians who will be forced from their homes by high electricity prices coming down the pipe! (bribery?)

    To say McGuinty is sacrificing his election hopes by doing the right thing with renewables would be “laughable” if it wasn’t so serious!

    Once again,spend some serious research and click on my name and read some of the 2400+ posts that will give you the TRUE story.

    Until then, don’t try and pervert the real story here………. Ontario Citizens are being “beaten like rented mules” by our so – called “Leaders”!

  11. So tell me why this does not describe the GEA…

    Noun 1. scam: – a fraudulent business scheme, cozenage, swindle, cheat, rig – the act of swindling by some fraudulent scheme; “that book is a fraud”

    Verb 1. scam: – deprive of by deceit;
    “He swindled me out of my inheritance”;
    “She defrauded the customers who trusted her”; “the cashier gypped me when he gave me too little change”

    bunco, con, defraud, diddle, gip, goldbrick, gyp, hornswoggle, mulct, nobble, rook, swindle, short-change, victimize, short, short-change – cheat someone by not returning him enough money
    cheat, rip off, chisel – deprive somebody of something by deceit;

    “The con-man beat me out of $50”;
    “This salesman ripped us off!”;
    “we were cheated by their clever-sounding scheme”;
    “They chiseled me out of my money”


    What part of this did the renewables energy industry along with their political partners miss?

    What part of this did the pie-in-the-sky green weenie organizations miss?

    How is it not a scam to charge 4 to 20 times the going rate for something that may or may not be delivered? …and if it is delivered it is usually to little, too late, too early or in other words just not there… at a rate 30% of the promised value.

    Why is it not a scam to promise that Solar and Wind power will reduce CO2 emissions — yet I have never seen any proof that stands up to any scrutiny.

    Show me an engineering grade study that CO2 causes warming.

    Show me an engineering grade study that Solar and Wind power prevent or mitigate global warming.

    And what the heck — show me an engineering grade study that shows that current (minor) warming is anything more than climbing out of the little Ice Age — and would not have occurred any way.

    Show me an engineering grade study that conclusively links any disasters (or increase thereof) to Global Warming — and/or lack of mitigation efforts.

    Till you can do those things keep the dreamy eyed stuff to yourself.

    Sam — and others like him — best educate yourselves on engineering and statistics before yu return to the fray. Maybe we would settle for simple numerical skills to start.

  12. Right on David!!! Are the taxpayers going to be asked to pay electric bills for poor and low income families? Where does all of this end?

    We are in no danger of running out of fossil fuels.

    Hooked on electricity. Try running a hospital surgical unit with out electricity.

    This is all Green rubbish propaganda.

  13. Sam, what you believe about the people is irrelevant to whether it is a scam …
    well, not entirely.

    The snake oil salesman can’t carry off the routine without suckers.

    Each example you gave was a public risk taken on a public asset for the public good.

    The current government is funding the privatization of generation in a method that not only destroys any semblance of competition among suppliers, but in fact gives priority to the least reliable, poorest, product at the highest rates and subsidizes that purchase with money collected on public supply (nuclear and hydro).

    I don’t know where you live, but on my planet public hydro is regulated at 3.5 cents/kWh and private natural gas is obviously over 10 (although we have no right to see those contracts).

    That’s not environmental – that’s a scam.

  14. Total cost of the Ford solar project is $ 5,800,000 of which less than $ 1,000,000 is being paid by Ford.

    Detroit Edison customers are on the hook for $ 3,000,000 which will be in their electric bills and $2,000,000 paid by the Michigan taxpayers in their tax bills.

    What a great deal for Ford. Would not be done if Ford had to pay for this project.

  15. Sam,

    People are suffering because 550 metres is an inadequate setback for an IWT from a home (some people live even closer than that if the turbs were developed prior to 2009); birds are dying; natural environments are being destroyed.

    IWTs are DANGEROUS. And those with the power are LYING about it.

    That’s why this is a scam.

    You’re a troll, in every sense of the word. May you burn in hell. (Or live in a house surrounded by wind turbines.)

  16. When banks will loan the money for renewable projects without equity, then I will know it is a worthwhile and viable option.

  17. If you read the OPA site they say they can change the price if they so desire, in this case seller beware

  18. Margaret:

    I have a lot of sympathy for people who cannot pay their power bills. Ours is now about $200 a month. We do not have an air conditioner.

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