On July 30, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) awarded 500 renewable energy contracts, representing 123.5 megawatts of power, under its Feed-in Tariff (FIT) program. According to the OPA, these contracts represent enough energy to power approximately 15,000 homes.

“The FIT contracts we are about to offer represent significant investment in Ontario and in our electricity system. They show that the transformation of our electricity system to be cleaner and more sustainable is well on its way,” said OPA CEO Colin Andersen.

The list of contracts awarded is heavily dominated by solar power. It includes 490 solar photovoltaic projects, eight bio-energy projects, one wind project and one waterpower project. Of these, 257 were with aboriginal participation, 161 with municipal or public sector participation and 81 with community participation. The OPA also stated that 95% of successful applications received municipal council support resolutions, highlighting the importance of community participation in the FIT program. In addition, the OPA will offer 63 contracts to successful applicants under the Unconstructed Rooftop Solar Pilot.

The FIT program was launched in 2009 as part of Ontario’s Green Energy Act to encourage the development of renewable energy in Ontario. It has an annual procurement target of 150 megawatts between 2013 and 2018.