Yesterday, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) held an ‘industry dialogue’ meeting in Toronto, during which it discussed and sought feedback on the upcoming enhancements to the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program that were proposed in the discussion paper posted in early December.

At the meeting, the IESO gave a brief overview of its proposals and discussed industry comments, including:

  • Priority points for price bid-down – IESO quelled criticism of the bid-down option by explaining that the prices published in the price schedules are not necessarily correct for each possible project, and that a bid-down allows projects with lower development costs to take advantage and bid the lower price that their project can accommodate.  Commenters expressed concern about the negative effects of a ‘race to the bottom’ that pricing would have on the industry; the IESO is considering having a floor, or a limited number of price down ‘buckets’ (e.g. 0-5%, 5-10%, etc.)
  • Removing Project Type Priority Points – IESO explained that removing these Priority Points, but keeping Contract Capacity Set-Asides (CCSAs), would prevent projects with municipal, co-op or aboriginal participation to dominate the procurement and would enable cost-savings by broadening the range of potential ownership models.  IESO also heard comments regarding reallocating the CCSAs to a more even distribution as between municipalities, co-ops and aboriginal groups.
  • Removing certain renewable fuel types – Several commenters noted potential with certain fuel types (e.g., biogas, biomass, etc.), but noted certain difficulties that the usual developers of such projects (e.g. farms, co-ops, etc.) face in obtaining a FIT contract.  The IESO invited formal comment submissions on this topic in order for them to consider whether to maintain such renewable fuel types in the program.

The full webinar can be viewed (after registration) here.