The Ontario Power Authority has announced that a new price of 64.2 cents per kWh will apply to ground-mounted solar projects within the microFIT program (designed for small scale renewable projects of 10 kilowatts or less). New applications will be accepted starting on August 20, 2010.

The adjusted price comes after much controversy and opposition from within the industry and from rural Ontario, after the initial proposal to reduce the price from 80.2 cents to 58.8 cents per kWh, a reduction of approximately 27%, caught program participants by surprise. The OPA’s stated intention was to even out the rate of return between roof-mount and ground-mount solar systems, but it came under criticism for underestimating the cost of ground-mount systems, and for applying the proposed price to applications already submitted, but not yet processed./p>

The compromise announced in August will see the new, lower price of 64.2 cents per kWh for applications received after July 2, 2010, and will leave the original price of 80.2 cents in place for projects with applications submitted prior to that date, whether or not an offer or conditional offer has been received. Projects in queue prior to July 2, 2010 will have until May 31, 2011 to install their projects and request a connection before higher domestic content requirements become applicable.

The OPA has also announced that commercial aggregators will no longer be allowed to participate in the microFIT program.