January 31, 2019
Opening Message from Director of Policy & Market Development, Patrick Bateman
Happy new year!
 
2019 is going to be another exciting year for the solar industry in Canada.
 
Provincial and federal elections will set the course for de-carbonization, electrification and innovation for the next four years.
 
The Alberta Infrastructure price discovery will provide a new reference point for the cost of solar electricity vis a vis other generation options.
 
Winners of the Federal Low Carbon Economy Challenge Fund, Emerging Renewables, Smart-Grid and Off-Diesel programs will be announced - and we have high hopes for solar and storage.
 
Provincial markets continue to ebb and flow. Regulators continue to erect and remove barriers to Distributed Energy Resources (DERs).
 
Solar Canada 2019 will again take place in Calgary on May 8 & 9 and will be unmissable for those keeping up-to-speed on the scale and pace of change in the industry.
Please read on for further updates from the CanSIA Executive Team. 

Policy & Market Development:
Utilities & Regulatory Affairs:
Policy & Market Development

#OnTheRoadWithSohisohi

Just before the holidays, CanSIA's Director of Policy & Market Development went for a spin around Ottawa with Federal Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi (MP for Edmonton Mill Woods) to discuss the role and potential of solar energy in Canada's natural resources sector. The ensuing video clip can be viewed online.

Bidders Await Results of Alberta Infrastructure Anxiouslybidders

The bidders in Alberta Infrastructure's competitive procurement for 135,000 MWh/year of solar electricity are anxiously awaiting the results. With bids slated to be selected on December 29 (2018), the successful winner or winners should be notified any day now. Speculation abounds whether an announcement will be made by Alberta's Minister of Infrastructure, the Honourable Sandra Jansen (MLA for Calgary-North West) during a keynote address at the Alberta & Saskatchewan Renewable Energy Finance Summit in Calgary on February 4 in Calgary.

Communities Across Alberta Getting Engaged in "Community-Generation"communitygen

Communities that want to develop their own renewable energy projects will get a financial leg-up under a new program announced by the Government of Alberta in November. The Community Generation Program will see $200 million from the carbon levy over the next 20 years to support the installation of locally generated electricity projects. The idea is that community groups, municipalities, agricultural societies, co-ops, universities, schools, Indigenous communities and other groups can partner on small-scale projects such as wind, biomass, hydro or solar. Throughout January and February, Climate Change Office and their partners on this program travelled the province to raise awareness and garner interest in the program. Program design will take place in the coming months and a launch is slated for Q3, 2019.

CanSIA Advocates for a Greater Role for Solar in AESO's REP4REP4

The Renewable Electricity Program (REP), administered by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO), is slated to procure 5,000 MW of renewable electricity by 2030 in support of the province's renewable electricity goals. Rounds 1-3 have resulted in the procurement of 1,363 MW of wind energy at an average weighted strike-price of less than $40/MWh. The AESO has been directed to consult on considerations for Round 4 including "bid selection criteria and payment mechanisms-that recognize the varied system benefits of different renewable projects". CanSIA's submission explains how the procurement design can evolve to accommodate solar electricity and reduce the costs to the AESO.

SaskPower Launches RFQ for next 10 or 20 MW of Solarsaskpower

Following the completion of Saskatchewan's first competitive utility-scale solar procurement in 2018, SaskPower is accepting applications to qualify prospective respondents for a subsequent request for proposal for the development and operation of a 10 MW installed capacity photovoltaic solar facility. Winners would enter into a Power Purchase Agreement to sell power to SaskPower for a fixed term of twenty (20) years. SaskPower intends to issue a draft RFP that includes a draft Power Purchase Agreement as an addendum to this RFQ before the end of January. This opportunity is available for download online, and all amendments, addenda, clarifications, and further instructions will also be posted on Merx.

Federal Emerging Renewables Programs Supports Suffield Solar Projectsuffield

Federal Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi has announced that the 23 MWac Suffield Solar Project in South Eastern Alberta will receive funding from the Emerging Renewable Power Program. "Alberta is Canada's energy capital for oil and gas," said John Gorman, President and CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association in CanSIA's recent statement. "Now solar energy is becoming a new source of jobs and investment for the province." Read the government news release or articles in the CBC and PV Magazine   for further information.

CanSIA Webinar for Members Explores Residential, Commercial Solar in Nova ScotiaNSwebinar

On January 24, CanSIA hosted a webinar for Members to provide updates on policy and programs in Nova Scotia. The first part included a Nova Scotia demographic/economic profile, current electricity model, emissions profile and solar potential. The second part highlighted key provincial policies, programs and regulations including the Environmental Goals & Sustainable Prosperity Act, Net-Metering Cap, SolarHomes Program, Solar for Community Buildings Program, and Halifax Solar City. The final section discussed CanSIA's initiatives in Nova Scotia including the Nova Scotia Solar Summit, Residential Outlook, Labour Force & Supply Chain Study, and Solar Soft Costs. Speakers included representatives from the Department of Energy & Mines, Efficiency Nova Scotia and Halifax Regional Municipality. A recording of the webinar is available for CanSIA Members online.

Yukon introduces Independent Power Producers PolicyYukon

After years of discussion, the policy to guide the purchase of electricity from independent power producers was released in Yukon
. This policy will help displace 190,000 litres of diesel fuel in Old Crow by providing the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation with the ability to sell renewable solar generated energy back to ATCO. While several parties have expressed an interest in the Independent Power Production Policy (IPP), there are three out in front: Old Crow's solar farm; the Kluane First Nation's wind farm and the Haeckel Hill wind project proposed by a private company in partnership with the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.

Online Platform for Residential Solar Customers in Nova Scotia LaunchedNSplatform

Nova Scotia recently launched SolarAssist - a web portal designed to help Nova Scotia home owners who are considering solar. It outlines the process for going solar, how to find a qualified installer, and provides information on rebate programs and financing options. Solar Assist is supported by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines and Clean Foundation, with assistance from Solar Nova Scotia, R&G Strategic, and the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Utilities & Regulatory Affairs

Industrial Rate Consultation Announced by Ontario GovernmentIndustrialrate

On November 15, 2019, the Ontario Government delivered their Fall Economic Statement (FES) and pledged a public review of the industrial electricity rate, welcoming input from stakeholders on the needs of industrial consumers. The consultation is expected to include a review of the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) program.

This area of the electricity market is exceptionally complicated. The consultation may result in potentially positive or negative outcomes for our industry. Either way, there will be significant impacts for distributed energy resources (DERs), like solar and storage, and the Ontario energy market. In the short-term, this announcement adds more uncertainty to an already uncertain energy market.

CanSIA, through our NEXUS strategic project - which is focused on advancing the growth of solar plus energy storage markets in Ontario and across Canada - is currently in the process of researching and analyzing the implications of various changes to both rates and the ICI program, and will be submitting its recommendations to the government regarding the design of future industrial rates in the province.

Over the medium to long term, this consultation serves as an important window of opportunity to showcase the benefits of solar and storage technologies, how they can be leveraged to provide industrial consumers with cost savings and energy choice, while enabling the growth of an innovative and vibrant DER sector in Ontario.

Stay tuned for CanSIA's Industrial Rate Design Recommendations Submission.
IESO Releases Energy Storage Recommendations Report and 2018 Electricity DataIESO
On December 19, 2019, the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) released their report " Removing Obstacles for Storage Sources in Ontario" based on consultation with its Energy Storage Advisory Group (ESAG), of which CanSIA is a participant. Click here for the report. The report focuses on identified obstacles and recommendations pertaining to mitigating strategies with the aim to help ensure fair competition of energy storage resources in the Ontario electricity market. The recommendations are directed to the IESO as well as other stakeholders including the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines (MENDE).

On January 24, 2019, the IESO released 2018 electricity data for Ontario. It reveals that Ontario's demand for electricity over the course of the 2018 year returned to the flat trend observed over the last 10 years. Looking ahead, the electricity system has sufficient resources to maintain reliability in Ontario through 2019, but there is a potential need for new electricity supply in the coming years. A new, long-term forecast released by the IESO at the Technical Planning Conference in fall 2018 showed that Ontario is emerging from a capacity surplus and there is a potential need for additional supply as early as 2023. More information can be found on the 2018 Electricity Data webpage.

OEB Launches Innovation SandboxOEBlaunch

On January 16, 2019, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) launched its Innovation Sandbox. According to the OEB, the Innovation Sandbox will be a place where utilities and other companies in the energy sector can get regulatory advice or seek relief for new ideas, products, services and business models that demonstrate the potential to provide benefit for consumers.

Proponents - whether they're a regulated utility or an unregulated private business - can come forward to the OEB at any time with questions, an idea or a proposal. Those with specific proposals that meet the eligibility criteria of the OEB Innovation Sandbox may receive guidance from OEB staff and, if needed and within the OEB's authority, temporary relief from a regulatory requirement. At this stage, dedicated funding is not available for initiatives that come through the OEB Innovation Sandbox.

The OEB's goal is to reduce uncertainty associated with regulatory requirements and provide more specific supports to help innovative projects move forward. With the OEB Innovation Sandbox, proponents will have an opportunity to work with OEB staff to determine whether particular regulatory requirements are an obstacle to innovation and find ways of proceeding with projects on a trial basis.

For more information visit the OEB Innovation Sandbox

Smart Grid Atlantic to Improve Sustainability & Efficiency of the East Coast Gridsmartgridatlantic

A new $92.7-million project aims to improve the sustainability and efficiency of grid technology on the East Coast. The project, dubbed Smart Grid Atlantic, is a partnership between Siemens Canada Ltd., New Brunswick Power and Nova Scotia Power.   The Federal Government is contributing $35.66 million towards the pilot project. Siemens says the partners will research and test in real-time how the grid can optimize the integration of renewables, ensure stability and manage decentralized distribution. NB Power president and CEO Ga ëtan Thomas says the goal is to gradually reducing carbon emissions through innovative technologies.

CanSIA Asserting Value of Distributed Generation Before the Alberta Utilities CommissionCansiabeingassertive

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EPCOR's E.L. Smith Solar Facility To Incorporate Battery StorageEPCOR

Epcor's proposed solar farm for southwest Edmonton got a $12.6-million boost Friday in federal and provincial funding. The project will receive $10.7 million from Natural Resources Canada and $1.9 million from Alberta Innovates to add a complete smart grid system - including a battery energy storage component and intelligent controls and monitoring - to the solar farm.
2018-2019 Strategic Projects
CanSIA's Strategic Projects for the 2018-19 membership year
CanSIA knows that many of its members want to play an active role in shaping the business environment for solar in Canada. To that end, CanSIA's Strategic Projects are designed to align with and leverage the strategic objectives of our member companies.

CanSIA has identified the following three strategic projects for the upcoming membership year which will help drive sustainable demand for solar energy across Canada.

Advancing Solar Technology Regulations in Ontario (ASTRO):
The Ontario solar electricity industry is now operating within a more market-driven and regulation-based context. The aim of the Advancing Solar Technology Regulations in Ontario (ASTRO) project is to work collaboratively with Ontario government departments and energy agencies to strategically position and implement existing and forthcoming electricity sector regulations to a) grow the Ontario solar electricity market, and; b) improve solar electricity economics. To learn more about ASTRO's targeted outcomes click here.

Alberta Solar Market Development (ASMD):
The aim of the Alberta Solar Market Development (ASMD) Strategic Project is to capture increasing near-term and long-term market opportunity for solar energy in Alberta's electricity supply-mix and to support the development of the policy and regulatory framework that can enable project development.   This 1-year project will build upon CanSIA's past market development initiatives in the province of Alberta to work toward existing policy commitments, giving rise to near-term solar market opportunities and a path to a sustainable long-term role for solar in the provinces' future electricity needs. To learn more about ASMD's targeted outcomes click here.

Building Public Support for Solar (BPSS):
Leveraging last year's Building Public Support for Solar (BPSS) efforts, this initiative will focus on growth of market opportunities for solar energy through increased public demand. BPSS aims to educate the public on the benefits of solar energy and demonstrate how they can get involved with the solar programs in their region with a trusted CanSIA Member organization. Increased public awareness and demand will be channeled into multi-partisan support for solar energy - informing political leaders and decision makers of the importance of solar energy. To learn more about the BPSS's targeted outcomes click here.
Getting Involved

Members at the Corporate 1, Corporate 2, and Supporter 1 levels are eligible to become Influencers by funding and participating in Strategic Projects. Influencers receive a number of exclusive benefits that are not available through traditional membership and, above all else, access information that can be applied to strategic business planning.

Contact Lisa Hatina , Business Development and Member Relations Manager, to learn more about how your company can participate in the 2018-19 Strategic Projects.