March 29, 2018
Opening Note from Patrick Bateman, CanSIA Director of Policy & Market Development
As the Federal Government's 2018/2019 fiscal year approaches, so too do several programs to support the realization of the goals of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth & Climate Change (reference materials to be circulated at a later date).  These programs create significant opportunities for the solar industry. Additional materials will be circulated to CanSIA Members at a later date.

Beyond the capacity building, demonstration and accelerated deployment that these programs will drive in the near-term, what pathway will the Federal Government chart for for long-term market transformation?

First, they have banned coal-fired electricity generation after 2030.  It is of critical importance that equivalency agreements with provinces do not allow these timelines to slip.

Secondly, they are introducing the Clean Fuel Standard which will create opportunities for solar energy to directly or in-directly (through flexible compliance mechanisms) reduce the emissions intensity of solid, liquid and gaseous fossil fuels.

Thirdly, they are introducing the Natural Gas Performance Standard that will regulate the combustion efficiency of new natural gas-fired electricity generators.  It is of critical importance that the stringency of this regulation ensures best case technology choices.

Fourthly and finally, they are introducing economy-wide carbon pricing rising to $50 per tonne by 2022.  At this level, combined cycle gas-fired generation would be paying $21/MWh (or $0.021/kWh) for the emissions they produce.  Once the balance has tipped toward solar's declining costs and away from polluters who are beginning to pay appropriately for their environmental externalities - there will be no turning back in the transition from emitting to non-emitting energy.  It is of critical importance that Carbon Pricing is applied as broadly in the economy as possible to send as clear a price signal as possible.

Each of these four policy and regulatory measures are currently under development and CanSIA is an active participant to ensure the voice of the solar industry is heard therein.
Please read on for further updates from the CanSIA Executive Team.

Policy & Market Development: Utilities & Regulatory Affairs:
CanSIA Announcement
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.
Policy & Market Development
Federal Government Launches $500 million Low Carbon Economy Challenge Fund federal
The details of the Federal Government's $500 million Low Carbon Economy Challenge Fund has now been announced! It will have two streams aimed at supporting projects that will reduce greenhouse gases:
  • Champions: Valued at over $450 million, the Champions stream is open to applicants of any size. Eligible applicants include all provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. This stream is open for applications now with a deadline of May 14, 2018.
  • Partnerships: Valued at $50 million, the Partnerships stream is limited to Indigenous communities and organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small municipalities. The Partnerships stream will help ensure a broad range of Canadians are able to participate in the Challenge. This stream will be open later in 2018.
The main consideration will be the project's ability to reduce emissions in a cost-effective manner, but will also factor in potential for energy savings and job creation. Final decisions on funding proposals will be made in late 2018/early 2019, and spending must be done by March 21, 2022. The project must be incremental to any existing or already planned projects; that is, applicants will need to demonstrate they had not already made a decision to implement the project and it cannot go forward without the funding. Eligible sectors include: building energy efficiency and fuel switching; industrial; and electricity and/or energy production.   Further details including information sessions taking place across Canada can be found online.

Ontario Launches $300 Million GreenON Challenge Fund GreenOn
Taking collective action on climate change has never been as critical as it is today. The Green Ontario Fund invites eligible participants to submit big ideas for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their buildings and the production of goods.

The GreenON Challenge will harness the creativity and expertise of businesses and organizations with the aim of achieving lasting change through the creation of a strong, innovative and competitive low-carbon economy.  The program is focused on projects that identify and propose a solution to a market barrier in deploying commercially available low-carbon technologies and/or improving processes in buildings or the production of goods.

The Green Ontario Fund could invest up to $300 million in the GreenON Challenge, beginning in 2018-19, pending the review of projects by potential applicants. Project funding will be considered on a case by case basis.  Applications are due in May, further details can be found online.

Alberta Announces new solar funding for Schools and Municipalities ABschool
The Alberta government is supporting municipalities by investing in new programs that will save communities money and help diversify local economies.  The Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) will use $54 million in funding from the Climate Leadership Plan to deliver multi-year programs for small-scale community generation, energy-efficiency upgrades for buildings, solar energy for schools and more.  The grant builds on MCCAC's current programs, which fund solar panel installations, energy-efficiency audits and retrofits, as well as climate change resilience workshops.  The new funding will help ensure that the buildings Albertans rely on, including community arenas, recreational centres and swimming pools, are more energy-efficient and sustainable for the long term.  Further details can be found online.

Saskatchewan's "Prairie Resilience" explores Climate Mitigation AND Adaptation Sask
CanSIA lauds the efforts undertaken by Saskatchewan to date to contribute to Canada's national climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts including SaskPower's commitment made in 2015 to double the percentage of electricity generation capacity from renewable energy sources by 2030 and signing the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change in 2016.

CanSIA's feedback on "Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy", Saskatchewan's climate strategy discussion paper, focused on enabling solar electricity generation to play an important role supporting people and businesses in rural communities to prosper while adapting to the impacts of climate change.   The full submission may be viewed online.

Alberta's 135,000 MWh Solar Procurement: Recommendations to Optimize Price Discovery Optimize
The key announcements for Alberta Infrastructure's 135,000 MWh solar electricity procurement were made at Solar West 2016 & 2017 and CanSIA welcomed the recent announcement that the procurement would be revised to result in a "bundled" power purchase agreement (PPA) and that an enhanced process would result in contract award by December 2018. Read more about the procurement in a slide deck recently prepared by CanSIA.
CanSIA Expecting Ontario Solar Incentive Program To be Announced Soon GreenAnnouncement
CanSIA continues to advocate strongly for an announcement and launch of a solar rebate program through the Green Ontario Fund.

Nova Scotia Department of Energy Hosts Solar Industry Consultation Nova
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The Province of Nova Scotia has plans to phase out coal fired generation and is looking to solar energy as a possible solution. As such, CanSIA has started developing a strong relationship with the Government of Nova Scotia and is seeking to become more active in Atlantic Canada as new opportunities arise and is looking forward to working collaboratively with the local industry to grow the solar market in Nova Scotia.

On March 6 and 7, 2018, the Nova Scotia Department of Energy hosted a solar industry stakeholder consultation which CanSIA was invited to participate in. The sessions focused on how the net metering process could be improved, residential solar program options, and how to support a growing solar industry in Nova Scotia, in addition to options for a community scale solar program and mechanisms for servicing institutional customers. To review the Nova Scotia "What We Heard" document, click here.

IESO Engaging Ontario FIT/RES contract holders regarding the Market Renewal Program IESO
The IESO is engaging Ontario FIT/RES type contract holders, who are also market participants in the IESO administered market, in a group session on April 3, 2018 to initiate discussions on the potential implications of the Market Renewal Program (MRP) to existing contracts. The draft agenda is attached. Please RSVP by e-mailing IESO Contract Management at mr.Contractmanagement@ieso.ca and let them know if someone from your organization will be able to participate either in person at IESO's Adelaide office or by phone.

Utilities & Regulatory Affairs
Québec opens Transportation Electrification & Energy Storage Center of Excellence Electrification
Hydro-Québec and the Gouvernement du Québec have announced the opening of the center of excellence in transportation electrification and energy storage, with the mission of maintaining and enhancing Québec's global leadership in the field of battery materials. The center of excellence will commercialize Hydro-Québec technologies, protected by 800 patents. It will also create new research partnerships and develop new technologies. With 70 employees, including 27 researchers, its 2018 operating budget is of $20 million, sourced entirely from outside revenue, generated chiefly by the sale of licenses to use its technologies.  For 40 years, Hydro-Québec's research institute (IREQ) has been recognized around the world for its technological expertise and its portfolio of intellectual property, especially in the area of lithium-ion, lithium-sulfur and lithium-air batteries. This is the portfolio that the center of excellence will commercialize and expand.
Capacity Market Design: Motivation & Challenges in Alberta's Electricity Market Capacity
According to David P. Brown, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, University of Alberta: "Alberta's electricity market is currently undergoing a period of substantial transition. The province should proceed with caution as it switches from an energy-only electricity market to a capacity market by 2021. Many other jurisdictions have already made the changeover and Alberta can learn from their experiences in order to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls that can arise with the deployment of a capacity market. There were growing concerns that the existing electricity market structure would not attract sufficient investment from conventional generation (e.g., natural gas) due to the increased penetration of zero marginal cost renewable generation. As a result, the Alberta government has chosen to transition to a capacity market. For consumers, a capacity market aims to ensure there is sufficient investment in new generation capacity to "keep the lights on" and reduce price swings in the wholesale market. The capacity market will also help the province meet its goals for attracting investors and transitioning away from its dependence on coal-fired electricity generation. However, a switchover is not as simple as it sounds". Read more in the full paper that is available online.
Utility-Scale Solar, Wildlife & Habitats in Alberta UtilityScale
What is the anatomy of a utility-scale solar facility?  What are the potential environmental impacts of solar electricity generation facilities? How can they be mitigated and/or how can they enhance bio-diversity? These were the guiding questions that Patrick Bateman, CanSIA's Director of Policy & Market Development addressed recently at the annual conference of the Alberta Chapter of the Wildlife Society in Lethbridge.  The potential environmental risk of solar facilities can be minimized through careful site-selection (i.e. favour sites with existing disturbances) and design (i.e. appropriate setbacks and mitigation measures) and solar facilities sited in homogenous arable lands (operated under best practices) have been shown to enhance species diversity & abundance. The presentation can be viewed online. On this topic, CanSIA is pleased to be partnering with the Miistakis Institute at Solar Canada 2018.

Ontario Renewable Distributed Generation Integration Fund Distributed
The 2017 Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) included, as part of encouraging an innovative sector, direction for the IESO to create a fund to support renewable distributed generation demonstration projects that would enhance their integration into Ontario's electricity system. To advance this goal, the IESO is facilitating a stakeholder engagement to share initial thoughts regarding a new Renewable Distributed Generation Integration Fund, collect insights and feedback that will inform the development of the fund, and introduce the fund's first investigation topic, which will be virtual net metering. The first IESO meeting will take place via webinar on Thursday, March 29 at 10 a.m. In order to participate in the webinar, please register with the IESO at engagement@ieso.ca

CanSIA and our members view virtual net metering as a key opportunity to growing the solar market in Ontario. To that end, CanSIA's Ontario Net Metering Forum will be reviewing IESO materials and initial thoughts and will be fully engaged in the IESO stakeholder engagement process, making formal submissions where applicable.

To get more involved, CanSIA Members can join CanSIA's Ontario Net Metering Forum here. Through this forum, members can provide input into CanSIA's submissions and be part of CanSIA's ongoing activities related to Ontario net metering.

IESO Non-Emitting Resource RFI now posted RFI
The IESO Non-Emitting Resource Request for Information (RFI) is now available on the dedicated RFI webpage. The documents include: the final RFI document, fillable versions of Appendix A and B of the RFI and a document summarizing the feedback received by stakeholders in response to the draft RFI. The RFI submission deadline is May 4, 2018 at 11:59pm.

CanSIA encourages all solar members to take part in the RFI. The information gathered here is expected to be used by the Province in creating the new Market Renewal Program. Furthermore, CanSIA will be reviewing the IESO Non-Emitting Resource RFI and determining if a CanSIA submission is warranted.

OEB Modernization Panel Announcement and Consultation Process OEB
Ontario's review of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) - the province's independent regulator - is moving forward with the appointment of the Ontario Energy Board Modernization Review Panel's final two members. Cara Clairman and Bruce Campbell will be joining the already-appointed Chair, Richard Dicerni, on the panel. Click here to learn more about the new members.

The panel will have a broad mandate including reviewing how the OEB can continue to protect consumers amidst a rapidly changing sector, support innovation and new technologies, and how the OEB should be structured and resourced to deliver on its changing role.

The Panel will seek feedback from the public starting in spring 2018, examine best practices from other jurisdictions and report back to government by the end of 2018. CanSIA intends to be engaged in these consultations and will reach out to members to get your feedback as part of a CanSIA submission.

Ontario Launching Achievable Potential Study study
The IESO is inviting all interested parties to participate in a webinar on Wednesday, March 28 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The purpose of the webinar is to introduce the 2019 Achievable Potential Study (APS) work that is being co-led by the IESO and Ontario Energy Board (OEB) and to review the project's scope of work.

The main purpose of the study is to identify and quantify energy savings (electricity and natural gas), GHG emission reductions and associated costs from demand side resources for the period from 2019-2038.  Throughout the course of the APS development, the IESO and the OEB plan to host regular public webinars to share information with the broader public.  To support the development of the APS, an Advisory Group has also been formed.  Advisory Group meeting materials and minutes will be shared on the main APS engagement page. To participate in the webinar, we ask all interested parties to register by email to engagement@ieso.ca.  For additional information on this initiative, please visit the APS Engagement Page here.