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Ontario to review feed-in tariff program

The Ontario government is launching a review of its controversial feed-in tariff (FIT) program for wind and solar energy, Energy Minister Chris Bentley announced Monday.

“We want to make sure that we continue to grow the clean, green energy economy at the right price,” Bentley said.

Deputy Minister Fareed Amin will lead the process, which is to conclude on Dec. 14 and involve input from many sources including providers and the general public, who can answer an online survey or make a written submission at Ontario.ca/FITreview.

The FIT program offers a successful applicant a guaranteed price for energy produced through renewable sources such as sun, wind, water and bioenergy.

It was designed so producers of the energy, whether a small solar panel project set up by a single landowner or a large wind turbine farm owned by a multinational firm – make a “reasonable” profit on their investment.

The program was both successful and contentious.

Some critics complained some guaranteed prices were ridiculously generous at the expense of hydro customers while others fought over the location of large wind turbine projects.

The Dalton McGuinty government brought down rates in response to the outrage.

This review could lead to even lower prices for renewable energy because many of the costs associated with the projects, including the technology, have decreased, Bentley said.

Any change in price would affect smaller projects without a contract that applied after Aug. 31 2011, and larger projects that have yet to obtain a contract.