June 28, 2018
Opening note from CanSIA President, John Gorman
You know the phrase "it never rains, it pours"? For CanSIA, last week was one of those weeks. Both great news and terrible news in abundance, lashing down at once.
 
Solar Canada 2018, CanSIA's annual national conference and trade show took place in Calgary (outside Ontario for the first time in CanSIA's history). The event was extremely well-attended and the positivity and excitement for what's in store for the solar industry was almost tangible. Several announcements were made and numerous updates were provided (some details follow below) - all of which point toward a sunny future for the solar industry nationally.
 
However, dark clouds are looming over the Ontario market. Premier-designate Rob Ford announced that his first move as Premier would be to scrap the province's Cap and Trade carbon pricing program. This means energy efficiency and solar energy programs, including the GreenON Solar Rebate Program, will not continue. Also, CanSIA has learned that the IESO has started issuing NTP Deferral Notices to FIT contract holders as the IESO awaits further direction from the new Ontario government. This puts at risk numerous solar PV projects that have not yet reached NTP or KDM and perhaps also puts at risk FIT and LRP projects that have not reached COD. Fully constructed and operating projects are less likely to be at risk. As I told the press: " all of the investment that really was flowing into Ontario, if it pauses too long it's going to continue to flow out west and into other global markets".
 
As CanSIA approaches our new 2018/2019 Membership Year beginning on July 1 st , we have strong direction on what needs to happen to capitalize on new opportunities for the industry, push other opportunities to the finish-line and begin to work to understand how the solar industry can continue to contribute to a clean, affordable energy-supply and good jobs where the path forward has become less clear. Thank you for your continuing support of CanSIA. The industry needs it now more than ever before.
Please read on for further updates from the CanSIA Executive Team. 
Policy & Market Development

Generation Energy Report Explores Pathways to a Low-Carbon Energy Future in Canada GenerationEnergy

The Honourable James Carr, Federal Minister of Natural Resources has released the final report of the Generation Energy Council, part of an extensive consultation process that engaged with Canadian individuals, businesses and civil society to create a long-term vision for Canada's clean energy transition.

The Report presents four pathways toward our low-carbon energy future: i) wasting less energy; ii) switching to clean power; iii) using more renewable fuels; and iv) producing cleaner oil and gas.
 
Two decisive steps are discussed to navigate the second of these four pathways "Switching to Clean Power": i) "Clean our grids, by bringing more non-emitting electricity sources on board while ensuring grid stability and affordability aren't compromised, and by working with neighbouring jurisdictions to improve transmission networks"; and ii) "use more clean power, by giving consumers, institutions and businesses more opportunities to choose clean electricity for transportation and heating. This second step means we'll certainly need more electricity than ever a generation from now, which means Canada's electricity grids will have to get more connected, more local, more efficient and much smarter even as we cut our emissions".
 
The main strategies for continuing to navigate the "Switching to Clean Power" pathway in the years to come include: i) Clean the Supply (incl. "planned transitions brought in on time frames that allow us to control the costs to ratepayers and businesses"); ii) Improve the Infrastructure (incl. "smart grid technology, distributed generation by small-scale producers, and locally and regionally controlled microgrids, as well as developing grid interties"); iii) Shape the Demand (incl. "electrifying both new energy demand and energy use currently reliant on fossil fuels"); and iv) Build New Partnerships (incl. "partnership with Indigenous communities", "switching from natural gas to electricity for heating, using electric vehicles, and converting industrial processes... to electricity").
 
Want to take a minute to express your support for Canada's transition to a clean energy future? Why not like and re-tweet our thread on twitter.
All GreenON Programs Discontinued Including the Solar Rebate Program GreenONGoodbye
The new Ford Government has scraped the Ontario Cap and Trade Program , and in doing so, has also discontinued all GreenON program including the Solar Rebate Program. CanSIA intends to bring this matter up with the new Ontario Government and the Federal Government and explore if there are alternatives approaches to bring back a similar program that will help Ontarians save money on their electricity bills.

"Time to Double-Down on Solar Energy" says Alberta Infrastructure MinisterJansen

When introducing the Honourable Sandra Jansen, Alberta Minister of Infrastructure and MLA for Calgary- North West as a keynote speaker at Solar Canada 2018, CanSIA President John Gorman opined that the evolution of Alberta Infrastructure's procurement process for 135,000 MWH from EOI to NRFP and now to RFP is a vote of confidence in solar energy demonstrative of the Government of Alberta now being certain that powering more than half of their operations with solar energy makes both economic and environmental sense. John expressed to Minister Jansen that "the solar industry is ready, willing and able" and that "we fully expect the outcome of this procurement will be one that will lead the province to wonder why you didn't do it sooner".

Highlights from Minister Jansen's remarks related to the procurement design and implementation are as follows:
  • Formal procurement process to launch by the end of August and Department directed to wrap-up that process by December.
  • Procurement will result in long-term contract-for-differences for solar electricity and environmental attributes.
  • Expert advice is being secured from procurement process design to contract drafting. Borden Ladner Gervais has been retained to provide legal consulting services and advice from Alberta Energy, the Alberta Climate Change Office, Indigenous Relations and the Alberta Electric System Operator is informing this process.
  • The Minister has heard from stakeholders about the importance of key attributes relating to bundling, contract duration, project size and aggregation.
  • The Department is committed to working with stakeholders over the coming months to help shape a process that sets Alberta up well for success.

Federal Government Boosts Funding for Alberta Indigenous Solar ProgramIndigenousSolar

Due to the high level of interest by Indigenous communities in participating in the Government of Alberta's Indigenous climate leadership programs, funding has increased from $35 million to nearly $50 million. This will mean more Indigenous communities and organizations will be able to participate. Seven programs have been designed to help Indigenous communities and organizations invest in local renewable projects, energy-efficiency audits and training for jobs in a low-carbon economy. Last year, the project proposals received exceeded the programs' budget.

The federal government provided $7 million to the province for these initiatives. The province is using the federal money this year and next to boost funding for its Alberta Indigenous Solar Program and Alberta Indigenous Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Program. Further information is available in the Government of Alberta's news release.

Nova Scotia's New "SolarHomes Program" to Open Mid-AugustSolarHomes

Following the teaser delivered by the Honourable Iain Rankin, Nova Scotia's Minister of Environment at Solar Canada 2018, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia have jointly launched a new residential solar program funded by the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund.

Through the 'SolarHomes' program, which will be overseen by Efficiency Nova Scotia, homeowners willing to install a rooftop PV installation will receive a CA$1 rebate per W installed, with the average rebate being around $7,000 (the maximum rebate is estimated to be $10,000). Rebates are expected to cover roughly 30% of the costs of buying and installing a PV system. The program will be supported chiefly by a government scheme offering $14 million a year for four years during its development. Alongside this, the province of Nova Scotia is investing $3 million a year, while Nova Scotians will be paying an additional over $15 million a year into the project through residential electricity rates for programs, which will increase renewable energy usage and will look to ensure that homes equipped with solar systems are made more energy efficient. Read more about the program online.

City of Edmonton Introduces "Change Homes for Climate Solar Program"Edmonton

In partnership with Energy Efficiency Alberta (EEA), the City of Edmonton is offering a new incentive of $0.15/Watt which can be stacked with the $0.75/Watt offered by EEA's Residential and Commercial Solar Program. Further information may be viewed on the City's website.
Utilities & Regulatory Affairs
IESO NTP Deferral NoticesIESONTP
CanSIA has learned that the IESO has started issuing NTP Deferral Notices to FIT contract holders as the IESO awaits further direction from the new Ontario government. This puts at risk numerous solar PV projects that have not yet reached NTP or KDM and perhaps also puts at risk FIT and LRP projects that have not reached COD. Fully constructed and operating projects are less likely to be at risk. It's important that the industry strongly communicates to the new Ontario government that the canceling of FIT and LRP contracts will have a devastating impact on the emerging Ontario solar industry. CanSIA will advocate this message to the new Ontario Government, along with showcasing the benefits that solar enables like creating local jobs and helping homeowners save money on their electricity bills. To address this urgent and important matter, CanSIA held a member meeting on Friday, June 29.
Ontario's VNM Pilot Program on Pause, Net-Metering Regulation to ProceedVNMPilot
The IESO is now awaiting further direction from the new Ontario Government regarding the next steps for the Renewable Distributed Generation Integration (RDGI) Fund and the subsequent Virtual Net Metering Pilot Program . Ontario's new Net Metering Regulation, which includes the enabling of Third-Party Ownership and was posted on April 20, 2018, is still expected to be put into force as of October 1, 2018.

SaskPower Awards Contract For Province's First 10 MW Solar FarmSaskPower

In 2019, just east of Swift Current, Saskatchewan's first utility-scale solar plant will be operational . The 80-acre-project in the RM of Coulee is the first 10 megawatt (MW) plant of 60 MW that SaskPower plans to have operational before 2021.

"Adding this first utility scale solar project will allow us to get an understanding of how it operates on our grid. Certainly as you look towards the future the prices of solar and wind are coming down so I can see us adding lots more solar and wind in the future," Doug Opseth said.
 
A new competitive procurement for another 10 MW facility will commence in early 2019. SaskPower's existing customer generation programs are also being revised to better meet customer expectations and to align with business and environmental objectives for SaskPower and the province. Timelines for these revisions are not yet known.
2018-2019 Strategic Projects
CanSIA launching new 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.