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June 27, 2017
Opening Note from CanSIA Policy & Market Development Director, Patrick Bateman
In December 2016, I delivered a Year-In-Review at Solar Canada 2016 where I observed that the past twelve months were defined by three factors: climate action driving energy policy; utilities & regulators addressing distributed solar; and prairies taking the lead on utility-scale solar.

As the first half of 2017 comes to a close (and along with it CanSIA's 2016/2017 Membership year), it is a good time to begin to consider what we may be reflecting on as the defining factors for 2017 at your industry's national annual conference later this year ( NB: while I'm on the topic, don't miss out on the registration promotion offering discounts of up to 75% until Canada Day on July 1st):
  1. The Federal Government are committed to a national target of 90% non-emitting electricity by 2030. The single largest factor affecting the achievement of this target will be the extent to which new capacity additions to replace the coal-fired facilities being phased-out by federal regulation in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are emitting or non-emitting. How will federal policy, regulation and investment create opportunities for solar energy to support decarbonization the electricity-mix in these provinces?
  2. The realization that providing options for clean local electricity supply to households, businesses and communities is not only what customers want, but also that it will drive grid planning and operation decisions for the 21st Century electricity system, is becoming increasingly mainstream. Ontario is continuing its Renewed Regulatory Framework for Electricity (including re-designing net-metering and reviewing rate design for non-residential customer classes). The Alberta Utilities Commission is undertaking a nine-month review of its practices governing distribution-connected generation and a consultation on community energy. Saskatchewan has consulted with industry, electricity customers and advocates for local clean energy and are understood to be revamping their approach to solar electricity options for their customers. Hydro Quebec has announced a smart and solar home demonstration program. Will the outcomes of these processes and programs deliver the policy and regulatory frameworks necessary for a cleaner, smarter and more distributed electricity grid?
  3. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO)'s first round of the Renewable Electricity Program (REP) seeking to procure 400 MW of renewable electricity capacity is well underway as is SaskPower's competitive procurement for the province's first utility-scale solar electricity generation facility (10 MW). Proponents will soon finalize and submit their proposals to Alberta Infrastructure's Negotiated Request for Proposals (NRFP) for the supply of 135,000 MWh. Quebec Hydro has announced that they will be developing a 100 MW solar farm. Will the price discoveries from these competitive procurements reveal that utility-scale solar electricity generation in Canada is now competitive with other options for new electricity supply? Will other provinces join Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec in market development for utility-scale solar?

Read on for further policy, market development and regulatory updates from the CanSIA executive team:
Policy & Market Development
CanSIA's 2017-18 Strategic Projects commence July 1 with New Membership YearStrategicProjects
Each membership year, CanSIA's Strategic Projects tackle market and policy barriers across the country, allowing CanSIA to position the solar energy industry for market growth and success in the near and distant future. With a new membership year beginning July 1st, CanSIA surveyed our members this past March to gauge the relative importance of a variety of issues and opportunities to Canada's solar industry. Roughly a fifth of our membership weighed in and the responses have helped us prioritize the strategies that will have the greatest impact over the upcoming membership year. CanSIA is pleased to announce the following 2017-18 Strategic Projects:  

Federal Solar Electricity Strategy
Project Aim: To convert the Federal Government's climate change and clean growth commitments into growth in solar electricity's national market share.

Alberta Solar Market Development
Project Aim: To capitalize on the momentum built from Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan and to secure the necessary policy, regulatory, procurement, and programs to accelerate small, medium and large solar market segments.

Building Public Support for Solar
Project Aim: To garner public support for solar energy-educating and informing the public on its advantages and shifting the perception of solar from a technology of the future to an indispensable energy solution of the present.

Members at the Corporate 1, Corporate 2, and Supporter 1 levels are eligible to become Influencers by financially supporting and participating in Strategic Projects. Influencers receive a number of exclusive benefits that are not available through traditional membership. Visit the CanSIA website to learn more about these Strategic Projects and to learn how your company can participate.
Alberta's Residential & Small Commercial Solar Program LaunchedABRes
Energy Efficiency Alberta's $36-million Residential and Commercial Solar Program launched on the Summer Solstice (June 21). The two-year Residential and Commercial Solar Program is expected to create roughly 50 megawatts of solar capacity and support 900 jobs in Alberta's solar sector by 2019.

In the program, homeowners can receive up to 30 per cent off solar panel installation costs, to a maximum rebate of $10,000. Businesses and non-profit organizations are eligible for up to 25 per cent of system costs, to a maximum rebate of $500,000. Rebates are based on the size of the system and calculated at $0.75 per watt. For further details, please visit the Energy Efficiency Alberta website.

A #SolarSelfie picture campaign is also making social media waves. Individuals including farmers, schools, residents, First Nations communities and small towns are posting pictures of themselves with their solar installations on display behind them to social media using the hashtag #SolarSelfie. Please consider participating in this fun activity by posting your own #SolarSelfie, encouraging your friends, families and clients to do the same, and by retweeting other's pictures including those from accounts @SPhillipsAB and @AB_EP.

Initial Details of Canada's Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) AnnouncedLCEF
Details of the Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF), originally announced as part of the 2016 Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF) and detailed in Budget 2017, have now been made available. Overall, the LCEF will disburse $2 billion over 5 years to projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and save Canadians and companies money. The money will be divided into two funding streams the: i) Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund; and ii) Low Carbon Economy Challenge.

The Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund will consist of $1.4 billion for provinces and territories that have signed on to the PCF. Manitoba and Saskatchewan must sign on to the PCF by the end of 2017 to be eligible for funding. $30 million base funding will be provided to each eligible province or territory. The remaining approximately $1 billion will be allocated based on population. Upon federal government approval, funding can flow through proponents to eligible partners: municipalities, Indigenous organizations, businesses, and so on. Consultation with provinces will take place over the summer on projects, and bilateral agreements to be signed over the fall and winter.

The remaining $600 million will flow directly to projects submitted by provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governments, organizations, businesses through the Low Carbon Economy Challenge. This funding will target "ambitious" projects that will leverage Canadian "ingenuity." The government will provide further details in Fall 2017.

Examples of fundable projects for both funds include home and building efficiency, helping companies to innovate and access technology and helping forest and agriculture sectors to enhance stored carbon. Emissions reductions achieved through projects must be material, be incremental to existing projects, contribute toward the 2030 target of reducing GHG emissions by 30% and be as cost effective as possible.

Updates to Alberta Infrastructure's NRFP for 135,000 MWh of Solar Electricity per yearNRFP
The deadline for submitting proposals to Alberta Infrastructure 's NRFP for 135,000 MWh of solar electricity per year announced at CanSIA's Solar West 2017 has been extended to July 5, 2017. Multiple addendums have been uploaded to the bid package and may be viewed at

CanSIA provides input on design on Federal Diesel Displacement programFederalDiesel
In Budget 2017, the Federal Government committed $220 million over five years to renewable energy projects that displace the use of diesel for electricity generation in northern and remote communities.

CanSIA understands that the program is intended to reduce the reliance on diesel fuel of a number of the approximately 200 Northern and remote communities by supporting clean, renewable energy infrastructure in communities not currently connected to the electrical grid nor to the piped natural gas network that are permanent settlements with at least 10 dwellings. CanSIA Members may view CanSIA's recent submission on this topic online.

Could Canada Infrastructure Bank address Financing Challenges for Distributed Solar?InfastructureBank
As part of the Government of Canada's Investing in Canada plan, the Canada Infrastructure Bank is a new tool that could support the build-out of more infrastructure in communities across Canada. Investments from the bank, would contribute to economic growth and reduce GHD emissions.

If approved by Parliament, the Bank would invest $35 billion from the federal government into transformative infrastructure projects. $15 billion would be sourced from the over $180 billion Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, including: $5 billion for green infrastructure projects, including those that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deliver clean air and safe water systems, and promote renewable power. Specifically, the Bank would: invest in infrastructure projects that have revenue-generating potential and are in the public interest; attract private sector and institutional investors to projects so that more infrastructure can be built in Canada; and serve as a centre of expertise on infrastructure projects in which private sector or institutional investors are making a significant investment; foster evidence-based decision making and advise all orders of government on the design of revenue-generating projects; and collect and share data to help governments make better decisions about infrastructure investments. CanSIA Members may view CanSIA's recent submission on this topic online.

Utilities & Regulatory Affairs
Alberta Utilities Commission's Distribution-Connected Generation Review Kicks-Offkickoff
On March 31, the Alberta Utilities Commission was tasked by the provincial government with conducting a broad review into matters around distributed generation in Alberta. The review is intended to provide information to the government as it develops policies to support its goals around clean affordable electricity for Albertans. The government is interested in how distributed generation can help Alberta achieve its goal of 30 per cent of the province's electricity coming from renewable sources by 2030. The government set out its request for the review through Order-in-council 120/2017 and announced it in a news release on March 31, 2017.

CanSIA has made submissions to the AUC on Status and Outlook, Community Solar, Retail and Rate Design and Wires and Wires Owners and will be participating in an oral proceeding in early July.

REMINDER: Ontario's New Net Metering Regulations come into Force July 1, 2017 REMINDER
As a reminder, on July 1, 2017, the Ontario phase one net metering regulation ( O.Reg. 541/05) changes will come into force including the following changes:
  • Maintaining credit settlement for exported generation based on the same basis that the customer is charged for electricity consumption. This continues to be tiered rates. The potential to move to Time of Use (TOU) rates remains a future possibility.
  • Extending the credit carry-over period from 11 months to 12 months.
  • Removing the 500 kW project capacity size limit.
  • Enabling the use of energy storage in conjunction with renewable energy generation.
  • Allowing current net metered customers who have a net metering agreement to enter into a new agreement based on the new regulation.

Also, CanSIA has been invited to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) Net Metering Consultation Working Group. The OEB is initiating a policy consultation to explore the Distribution System Code (DSC) requirements for the amended net metering regulation to better understand these implementation matters and to determine best next steps including whether further modifications to its codes or policies would be appropriate.

Further to the updated net metering regulation changes, CanSIA continues to advocate for additional phase 2 changes, including Third Party Ownership (TPO), virtual net metering (VNM), and the use of Time of Use (TOU) rates. Members can read CanSIA's submission on the Ministry's phase 2 changes here and here.

Ontario Reducing Electricity Prices Again on July 1OntReducElec
On June 22, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announced that electricity prices will reduce on July 1, 2017. These reductions flow from the government's Fair Hydro Plan, and apply to different customers in different ways depending on how they buy their electricity.

For residential and small business customers that buy their electricity from their utility, the OEB has set new lower Regulated Price Plan (RPP) electricity prices that build on the reduction in RPP prices that came into effect on May 1. With the new RPP prices that will start to apply on July 1, the total bill for the proxy customer described under the Fair Hydro Act, 2017 will be about $121. That is about $41 or 25% lower than it would have been without the following mitigation:
  • the planned refinancing of a portion of the costs of the Global Adjustment (GA), as reflected in the new RPP prices;
  • the 8% rebate, equivalent to the provincial portion of the HST, that has been in place since January 1, 2017;
  • the impact of removing most of the cost of the Rural and Remote Rate Protection program from electricity bills, which will now be paid for from provincial revenues; and
  • the impact of removing the cost of the Ontario Electricity Support Program (OESP) from electricity bills. The OESP will continue to be available to help eligible low-income customers reduce their electricity bills, and will also be paid for from provincial revenues.
Solar companies that are active in the net metering market should use this updated information to ensure financial analyses of net metering systems take account of the reduced rates.

Time of use rates are now:
  • On-Peak: 13.2 ¢/kWh
  • Mid-Peak: 9.5 ¢/kWh
  • Off-Peak: 6.5 ¢/kWh
Tiered rates are now:
  • Up to 600 kWh/month: 7.7 ¢/kWh
  • Everything over 600 kWh/month: 9.0 ¢/kWh
Visit the OEB website for more information.

Ontario Conservation Framework: Register for Mid-Term Review Webinarwebinar
The IESO is inviting all interested parties to participate in the second public webinar of the Conservation Framework: Mid-Term Review engagement initiative to be held on July 6 at 1:00 pm. This webinar will seek input from all attendees on the definition of conservation and demand management (CDM) used in the Conservation First Framework and Industrial Accelerator Program. Participants will be invited to provide their input on what technologies and services should be eligible under the definition of CDM in the second half of the framework to support the policy objectives set out by the Ontario Government for CDM. An update on progress against the Mid-term Review project plan will also be provided. The review will focus on energy savings targets, budgets, progress, lessons learned, and alignment with Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan. Click here to register for the July 6 webinar. Please visit the Mid-Term Review engagement webpage for more information.

Of interest to CanSIA members, the current CDM definition, which was established in the 2013 LTEP and in subsequent ministerial directives, does include solar electricity from Behind the Meter Generation (BTM), however it does not include grid tied or net metered solar due to the inclusion of solar PV within the microFIT and FIT programs. Should a broader definition of solar be included within the CDM definition there may be opportunities for Ontario LDC's to promote solar PV and solar thermal technologies in meeting their CDM and regional planning targets. CanSIA sits as an observer on the Conservation First Framework Midterm Review Working Group. As the FIT program phases out, CanSIA continues to advocate for a broader CDM definition that will include grid tied, net metered and BMG solar within the Conservation First Framework.

IESO Reaching out to CanSIA Regarding Market Renewal Program and Capacity MarketsIESO
The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has invited CanSIA to a take part in a one on one meeting to discuss the Ontario Market Renewal Program and to provide the Association with a more direct avenue to provide comments to the IESO.

Last month, CanSIA launched the Ontario Market Renewal Forum. As mentioned, IESO and other stakeholders have identified the need to evolve Ontario's electricity market to address known market inefficiencies and to develop a more dynamic marketplace in the future. Through the Market Renewal Program (MRP), a significant set of initiatives will amount to a fundamental redesign of Ontario electricity markets and prepare the province for future structural and technology changes. To learn more about the MRP visit the IESO website or contact to request updates and to learn about upcoming meetings and consultations.

It is not clear how the Market Renewal Program and the development and implementation of a Capacity Market in Ontario will impact the solar industry. To address this matter, CanSIA launched the Ontario Market Renewal Forum which will undertake the following:
  • Monitor the IESO Market Renewal Program (MRP)
  • Inform members of the impacts and opportunities for solar technologies within the MRP.
  • If applicable, advocate solar industry positions related to the MRP design.
CanSIA Members can sign-up for the 'Ontario Market Renewal Forum' online.

Ontario's Second Cap and Trade Auction is Another Resounding SuccessCapAndTrade
On June 6, 2017, Ontario held its second Cap and Trade auction for emission allowances. Ontario businesses yet again showed confidence in Ontario's system, purchasing 100% percent of permits available. In total, the auction raised over $504 million - on top of the $472 million raised in April. That's nearly $1 billion that the province will put toward programs to reduce emissions and provides the government of Ontario's Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corporation a larger operating budget with which to fund GHG emissions reducing activities and programs. CanSIA continues to advocate for the establishment of a capital cost incentive for both solar PV and solar thermal technologies within these programs.

CanSIA's Last Call
Early Bird Discount on CanSIA Membership - ends this Friday!
Not yet a member of CanSIA? New members can learn more about joining CanSIA on our website here. Your company can join or renew membership now at 10% off the annual fee, but this early bird discount is only available until June 30th.

To learn more about the benefits of a CanSIA Membership, do not hesitate to contact Lisa Hatina, Business Development and Member Relations Manager, at

Solar Canada 150 Sale - ends this Saturday!
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