Do you have government, regulatory or utility contacts who would value these solar industry updates?  Forward this email and ask them to subscribe to our newsletter. CanSIA Members can access archived versions online. 
May 25, 2017
Opening Note from CanSIA Business Development & Member Relations Manager, Lisa Hatina
The month of May played host to (amongst many other things) two important events for CanSIA Members: Solar West 2017 in Edmonton; and federal advocacy days in Ottawa.

Solar West 2017, CanSIA's Western regional conference, returned to Edmonton for the second consecutive year. There were more than 400 attendees making it the largest to date. Tangible progress and milestone achievements on policy and market development made the dialogue the most advanced to date.

Federal advocacy days saw participants in CanSIA's National Solar Electricity Strategy (NSES) strategic project partner with Members of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) Federal Caucus to represent the two renewable energy sectors. Meetings with elected and non-elected representatives of Environment & Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Finance, Treasury Branch and each of the three major national political parties took place over two days.

Events like these are an important litmus test for CanSIA. We know that we are working hard.  But are we making progress and delivering results?  We are pleased to report the answer is yes. While we'll let you be your own judge based on the updates in this newsletter and our ongoing monthly newsletters. It is clear to CanSIA that action on the priorities laid out by the CanSIA Board of Directors and our Members is yielding results.

Read on for further policy, market development and regulatory updates from the CanSIA executive team:
CanSIA Events
CanSIA Summer Solstice
Join CanSIA for our 9th Annual Summer Solstice on June 21, 2017 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto, Ontario!

Don't miss this great opportunity to network with over 200 solar energy executives, professionals, practitioners and stakeholders. CanSIA's annual Summer Solstice is the perfect way to build your network of solar colleagues and friends and to stay-up-to-date on timely and important industry issues.

Register here while tickets still last.
Thank you to our Diamond Sponsor! 

Contact Erin Seegmiller today to find out about our incredible Summer Solstice Sponsorship opportunities. Simply email today!

Policy & Market Development
Alberta's Residential & Small Commercial Solar Integrators on Starter's OrdersABRes
When Alberta's Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel released the initial details of Alberta's first four energy efficiency programs that will be implemented by Energy Efficiency Alberta (EEA), the solar industry were pleased to learn of the $36 million Residential & Small Commercial Solar program.  Since then, they have been lining-up customers in preparation for the proverbial "starter's pistol". At Solar West 2017, the Honourable Shannon Phillips placed the industry under starter's orders by announcing that the details would be announced the following week and David Dodge, Chair of the EEA Board and Philippe Dunsky of Dunsky Consulting, who contributed to the design of the program, discussed the program with the solar industry for the first time.  David's presentation and Philippe's presentation may be viewed online.

The program eligibility details are now available online including a program launch date in June 2017 and systems with interconnection approval from the Wire Service Provider (WSP) signed on or after April 15, 2017 able to participate.

CanSIA's 2017-18 Strategic Projects UnveiledStrategicProjects
Each membership year, CanSIA's Strategic Projects tackle market and policy barriers across the country, allowing the Association to position the solar energy industry for market growth and success in the near and distant future. CanSIA launched 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.

Click here or contact Lisa Hatina at to learn more about these Strategic Projects and to learn how your company can participate.

Renewable Energy, Climate Action and Clean Growth at the Federal Levelrenewclimatefederal
The global shift toward clean, non-emitting electricity generation is accelerating.  Annual investment in renewable generation has consistently been twice that of fossil fuels.   In 2015, 90% of new global electricity generation capacity was from renewable sources.  Solar and wind energy are now approaching 7% of global electricity supply.   The cost of solar and wind electricity has declined by 85 and 66% respectively and will soon be lower than that for new generation from natural gas, coal or nuclear across North America.  

Solar and wind electricity generation capacity exceeds 15,000 MW (20% solar, 80% wind) in Canada today.  The sectors made capital investments >$25 billion between 2010 and 2016 and both have well-established supply chains including component manufacturing in several provinces. In the coming decade, solar and wind energy will be the most cost competitive options for new electricity supply.  However, barriers remain that work against wide-scale deployment of renewables in Canada, despite this cost advantage.

During the CanSIA and CanWEA's federal advocacy days, we delivered the message that the Federal Government has a strong role to play in facilitating our national transition to a low-carbon energy system and has made significant commitments in this regard. Our key messages included that:
  • We are not on track for our 90% non-emitting electricity target by 2030 and for this reason the initial and on-going stringency of the Natural Gas Performance Standard that is currently under development will be a key determinant for our ability to meet our goals in 2030 and beyond;
  • The definition and approach to achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2025 will have major implications for emissions displacement, investment and job creation and that there is a need for regulatory modernization in most provinces for major power consumers to go 100% Renewable; and that
  • The solar and wind energy sectors are well positioned to deliver the results that the Federal Government is seeking from their investments outlined in Budget 2017 for climate action and clean growth.
Many details are still being defined and decisions being made.  CanSIA will continue to represent the solar industry in the considerable number of on-going consultation processes.  We expect that there will begin to be good news for the solar industry during the second half of 2017 with new opportunities being realized during 2018 and 2019 as a result.

NRFP for 135,000 MWh of Solar Electricity per year Announced at Solar West 2017NRFP
Following the Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) for potential solar electricity providers to deliver 135,000 MWh of solar electricity to power more than 50% of the Government of Alberta's operations announced at Solar West 2016, the Honourable Shannon Phillips, Alberta's Minister of Environment & Parks and Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office announced the Negotiable Request for Proposals (NRFP) process that Alberta Infrastructure will follow to procure said solar electricity.  Interested parties can access the procurement on Alberta Purchasing Connection.  CanSIA has submitted recommendations to improve the conditions of success of the procurement, process enhancements and questions of clarification.

Meeting Saskatchewan's 50% Renewable and 40% Emissions Targets by 2030sask
Saskatchewan's principal electric utility, SaskPower, is targeting a greenhouse gas emissions reduction of 40% below 2005 levels and renewable electricity generation capacity of up to 50% in the province by 2030. The province is currently procuring its first utility-scale solar facility (10MW) and is engaging with the public and stakeholders on customer- and community-based self-generation programs.  Raman Mall, Senior Engineer, Supply Planning and Integration, provided attendees of Solar West 2017 with an understanding of the province's current supply plan, solar electricity procurements and policy developments related to customer self-generation.

What is the outlook for solar electricity market share in Alberta?SOLAS
"What is the outlook for solar electricity market share in Alberta?"  This was the question that CanSIA tasked Paula McGarrigle of Solar Energy Consulting.  Paula's conclusions were that:
  • 6% of electricity from solar PV by 2030 is reasonable;
  • Policy and regulatory design will have major impacts on growth;
  • The residential sector is important for the Solar PV industry;
  • Utility scale solar PV will be the key factor for growth;
  • Three market segments are directly tied to microgeneration regulations;
  • Structural limitations may affect the commercial/industrial market segment; and
  • Community based solar has a large potential (connecting at distribution level voltage).
Paula's presentation of the results at Solar West 2017 is available online as is an article where Paula discussed Alberta's bright solar future with the St Albert Gazette.

Ontario's Long Term Energy Plan Release Delayed Until Later 2017LTEP
The Ontario Ministry of Energy (MOE) continues to develop the next iteration of the Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP). Development of the LTEP has further stalled and is now not expected until after July and perhaps as late as September 2017. Originally, the LTEP was expected to be released in May of this year. CanSIA continues to monitor the progress of the LTEP and will provide further updates to members as they become available. CanSIA Members can access the presentation and video recording for the Network Webinar outlining CanSIA's recommendations to the MOE.

Ball rolling for Utility-Scale, Residential and Commercial Solar - Community's Next?Ball
Dr. Andrew Leach's Climate Leadership Panel recommended the feasibility of Community Solar be investigated for Alberta.  Dr. David Wheeler's Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel placed some more definition on the benefits, and changes required, to make Community Solar a reality in Alberta.  Next, Alberta Energy are expected to take that direction and initiate a formal consultation on the subject in the coming months with a kick-off call before the end of May. CanSIA has been active in these past consultations and are gearing up for the next. We will be engaging and consulting with Members through our Alberta Community Solar Forum as and when details of the consultation emerge - Members can subscribe to the Forum online.

Utilities & Regulatory Affairs
Federal Government Releases Technical Paper on Carbon Pricing Backstopcarbonpricing
In December 2016, the Government of Canada, along with most provinces and territories agreed to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to meet our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target and grow the economy. Pricing carbon pollution is central to the Framework.

Putting a price on carbon pollution is the most efficient way to reduce GHG emissions. Pricing pollution will drive innovative solutions to provide low-carbon choices for consumers and businesses. British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec, representing more than 80 per cent of the population, have already introduced carbon pricing systems. Most other provinces are working to do the same. The federal option will apply in provinces without a provincial carbon pollution pricing system in place in 2018.

The Government of Canada is proposing a federal carbon pricing option that will only apply in provinces that do not have a system of their own that meets the above criteria.  The mechanism referred to as the "Federal Carbon Pricing Backstop" is currently undergoing consultation. The Technical Paper, Backgrounders and News Release are available online. CanSIA will be discussing our response to this consultation with our colleagues in the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity.

Customer-Sited and Behind-the-Fence Solar plus Storage for Wires Costs ManagementCustomerSited
The cost paid by consumers for delivery of electricity to their site is a considerable portion of their overall bill. On-site solar plus storage presents potential now and in the coming years for consumers to offset much or all of their delivery charges.  This topic was the subject of conversation at Solar West 2017 and was one of the most informative and detailed session of them all. Presentations are available online from Blair Miller, Executive Director, Rates, Alberta Utilities Commission; Richard Penn, Senior Regulatory and Policy Analyst, Industrial Power Consumers Association of Alberta (IPCAA); and David Gray, CEO, Gray Energy Economics where the key business-case and regulatory issues surrounding the adoption of solar plus storage for wires cost management in Alberta today were discussed.

CanSIA Launches 'Ontario Market Renewal Forum'NewForum
The Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (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. This market overhaul is expected to result in net benefits of over $3 billion (based on a 10 year-study period). To learn more about the MRP visit the IESO website or contact to request updates and to learn about upcoming meetings and consultations.  

Of note, according to the IESO, existing power generation contracts may require amending due to the MRP; however, the IESO currently believes only transmission connected renewable generation projects will be impacted. Therefore, the IESO believes microFIT and FIT contracts may not be impacted. If generation contract holders have questions, the IESO encourages you to reach out via email to to begin a dialogue regarding any concerns you may have.

Furthermore, CanSIA is launching the Ontario Market Renewal Members 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; and,
  • If applicable, advocate solar industry positions related to the MRP design.
CanSIA Members can sign-up for the 'Ontario Market Renewal Forum' here.

Control, Visibility and the Safe Operation of the Distribution Networksafeoperation
The penetration of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) on the distribution networks of Western Canada will soon rapidly increase as the shift to the cleaner, smarter and more distributed future electricity systems accelerate.  In follow-up to CanSIA's submission to the Alberta Electric System Operator on the development of ISO Rules for facilities greater than 5 MW, Solar West 2017 played host to an important discussion on the topic.  Presentations are available online from John Kehler, Senior Technical Advisor, Transmission Performance and Planning, Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) and Mark Presti, President, NLS Engineering.  By attending this session, participants gained an understanding of the implications that increased levels of DER have for the distribution network, the changes that will need to be enacted by integrators, distribution facility operators and transmission system operators and the corresponding processes and timelines for enacting these changes to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of distribution networks.

Alberta's Wildlife & Habitats Directive for Solar Energy Projects Under Consultationwild
Following an information exchange on the draft Wildlife Directive for Alberta Solar Energy Projects in Edmonton, CanSIA now has the opportunity to review and provide written feedback on the Draft Wildlife Directive for Alberta Solar Energy Projects. CanSIA Members wishing to participation in this engagement and consultation can subscribe to participate in the CanSIA Wildlife & Habitats Forum online.

IREC releases Shared Renewables Scorecard for United Statesirec
IREC's first-of-its-kind National Shared Renewables Scorecard evaluates state shared renewables programs using objective criteria based on best practices for program design. It provides a valuable tool for policymakers, regulators and other stakeholders to compare the 14 active state programs (distributed across 11 states and the District of Columbia) using a common metric, a simple scholastic grading system (A+ through D-) that reflects a program's strengths and weaknesses.  These renewable energy programs, particularly shared solar, aka community solar, enable multiple customers to share the economic benefits of one renewable energy system via their individual utility bills.  The scorecard evaluates programs according to defined criteria in five categories: general program details, customers and subscriptions, generation systems, bill credits, and renewable energy credits.  Further information is available online.

Stories We Are Following