Ontario Solar Industry to Hold Town Hall on Feed-in-Tariff Changes

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The fastest growing solar market in the world is on pause as the Ontario government invites input from stakeholders on its two-year old Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program. Half way through the six-week FIT Program Review initiated by the new Minister of Energy, Chris Bentley, Ontario Solar Network is bringing industry stakeholders together for a special Town Hall Meeting on Monday, November 28, 7:00-9:00 PM at University of Toronto’s OISE Auditorium, 252 Bloor Street West. The event is free and advanced registration is recommended.

Ontario’s FIT and microFIT program offers “performance-based incentives” (PBIs) to developers and property owners who build solar power plants that add clean, peak power to the province’s electricity grid. As the only major PBI program in North America, the growth of the sector has overwhelmed the government’s abilitiy to manage the program efficiently. The FIT Review will recalibrate the program to ensure its stability and growth.

At the Town Hall Meeting, the Solar Network’s “FIT Review Coalition” will present key points from a preliminary draft of its “Blueprint for  Ontario’s Solar PV Market” to be published one week later on Monday, December 5, in time for Solar Canada 2011, the large industry event hosted by the Canadian Solar Industry Association (CanSIA).

The coalition’s presentation will be followed by an open-mic format where stakeholders can respond to the proposals and offer their own solutions to current problems and recommendations for ensuring a strong and sustainable solar market in Ontario.

The evening is focused on building consensus in the industry and input received will be incorporated into the final “Blueprint.” Registered participants will receive an agenda prior to the meeting. The blueprint draft will be emailed automatically after the event for comments and/or endorsement.

In the final days of the FIT Review, ending December 14, the coalition will be seeking endorsement for the “Blueprint” from hundreds of companies, organizations, community leaders, and politicians.

The “Blueprint” will then become the guiding document of the new Solar Alliance of Ontario (SAO) founded by a broad-based group of industry leaders with a single, focused mission – to advocate for the accelerated and stable growth of Ontario’s PV market, furthering the province’s global leadership in this key sector of the new energy economy.

According to SAO co-founder, Graham Fowler, “Solar power’s success depends on the ability of thousands of small independent and privately owned PV systems working in unison as part of one collective.” He continues, “A successful solar industry must mimic this with government, communities, homeowners and businesses working collaboratively and in harmony to act as one collective enterprise.”

The event is free and advanced registration is recommended at: www.solarnetwork.org/ontario/frc/townhallmeeting

Additional Information

Special Discount: CleanTechies readers get $100 off any course offered by Solar Academy International. Simply use discount code ”CleanTechies100” when registering.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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