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Next Stage of Renwable Energy Program Launched

News Release for local2 sault ste. marie
July 19th, 2012 at 8:41am



MICROFIT HEADLINEThe province is moving forward with the next phase of its landmark clean energy strategy and is now accepting applications to the microFIT program under a newly enhanced rules and approval process, David Orazietti, MPP, announced today.



“Our government’s renewable energy strategy is building a modern and reliable electricity system while at the same time creating and supporting high quality, well-paying jobs,” said Orazietti. “The province’s renewable energy plan has already attracted nearly $1 billion in investment to Sault Ste. Marie and the recent improvements to the microFIT program will help support the ongoing development of this growing sector in our community, which has grown into a green energy leader in North America.”



The microFIT project review and approval process has been simplified, making it easier for people to participate in the program, which is open to both pre-existing and new applicants. The new rules also encourage greater participation from municipalities, universities, schools and colleges, hospitals, long-term care homes, social and affordable housing and First Nations communities. These improvements, made through Ontario’s Feed-In-Tariff Program Review, will help ensure the continued success of the microFIT program, encourage the development of renewable energy technology, attract investment and create new clean energy jobs in Ontario.



“We are back on our FIT”, says Martin Pochtaruk, President of PV module manufacturer Heliene in Sault Ste. Marie. “The Green Energy Act and its FIT and Micro-FIT programs have created new and green jobs in our community, providing not only new, value added jobs but also a necessary industry diversification for northern Ontario. As we continue to work through the contracts issued in the previous round of the program, FIT 2.0 will bring new and needed distributed power generation for 2013 and beyond.”



The microFIT Program was launched in 2009 as part of the Ontario government’s efforts to increase renewable energy in the province. The program provides homeowners and other eligible participants with the opportunity to develop a small or “micro” renewable electricity generation project (10 kilowatts (kW) or less in size) on their property. Continuing to develop the clean energy sector in Ontario is an important part of the province’s plan to modernize its electricity infrastructure, help prevent blackouts and improve the environment.



“The Green Energy Act and Feed-in-tariff program provided the cornerstone for building the renewable energy industry in Ontario,” said Ted Curry, President, Superior Energy Solutions. “We have seen significant increase in the number of companies operating in the province. With the Launch of FIT-2.0 the Ontario Power Authority has laid a foundation to support long-term, sustainable economic development. All involved in bringing this opportunity to Ontario have demonstrated a commitment to a brighter energy future.”

“The government’s Green Energy Act is absolutely moving Ontario in the right direction with respect to the province’s green energy future,” said Gerry Bugyra, General Manager, Solar Logix Sault Ste. Marie. “Initiatives like the microFIT program are helping build Ontario’s supply of clean, green, renewable energy and helping to clean the air we breathe by decreasing our dependency on fossil fuels.”

The new rules and contract information for the microFIT program are available online at http://microfit.powerauthority.on.ca/



Provincial investments that are delivering clean energy and transforming Sault Ste. Marie into the green energy capital of North America while also strengthening the local economy and creating jobs in the Sault and Algoma region include:



o Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $400 million investment by Brookfield Renewable Power in 189 MW wind farm

o Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $300 million investment by Starwood Energy in 60 MW solar farm

o Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $135 million investment by Essar Steel in 70 MW Co-gen plant

o Over $7 million to green Sault Ste. Marie schools including energy retrofits

o $7.4 million in provincial gas tax funding to increase ridership for public transit also reducing air emissions

o $3.5 million for Heliene Canada to build a $14 million solar module manufacturing plant

o $1.4 million to construct methane collection system at landfill to reduce greenhouse gases

o $900,000 for Elementa project for bio-conversion

o $50,000 for AU solar project

o $50,000 for Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) to create alternative energy strategy

o FIT and MicroFIT Programs

o Completed North Sault Ste. Marie Transmission Line Upgrades to enhance electricity stability





QUICK FACTS

Applications for both pre-existing and new contracts can be submitted through the Ontario Power Authority

Ontario’s clean energy strategy has attracted significant renewable energy development, leveraging more than $27 billion in new investment and economic opportunities

More than 20,000 clean energy jobs have been created and the province is on track to create 50,000 jobs, while helping build a healthier future for all Ontarians

The FIT and MicroFIT programs have delivered nearly $1 billion in investment to Sault Ste. Marie, and continue to strengthen the growing renewable energy sector in the Ontario economy

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