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November 24, 2017
Opening Note from Wes Johnston, Vice-President, CanSIA
If we have said it once, we'll say it again - this year's Solar Canada 2017 (in just over a week) comes at a pivotal time for the advancement of the solar energy industry in Canada and is set to be the best to date!

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth & Climate Change is rallying all levels of government, industry and civil society toward 90% non-emitting electricity and 30% greenhouse gas emissions reductions by 2030.  A new chapter in the story of clean, green and smart energy technologies and solutions in Canada has begun.

As a conference attendee, you will gain unrivalled insights and perspectives on the evolving policy and regulatory frameworks that will dictate the scale, pace and nature of solar energy business opportunities that lie ahead. This year, we are honoured to welcome keynote speakers including the Honourable James Carr, Federal Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre and the Honourable Glenn Thibeault, Ontario Minister of Energy and Member of Provincial Parliament for Sudbury.  

As this year nears its end, I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge CanSIA's Members and Event Sponsors whose financial support enables CanSIA to strive toward important policy, market development and regulatory affairs outcomes on behalf of the industry. I look forward to sharing tales of life on the "solar-coaster" with you at SolarPalooza (Monday, December 4th from 7pm) and be sure not to miss both the Game Changer Awards Brunch from 09:00am (see the nominees here) and CanSIA's Annual General Meeting from 11:00am on Tuesday December 5th.

Please read on for further updates from the CanSIA Executive Team.
CanSIA Member Webinar
Solar Year-In-Review & Outlook For 2018
Join the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA)'s: Patrick Bateman (Policy & Market Development); Lisa Hatina (Business Development & Member Relations); Wes Johnston (Vice-President); and Erin Seegmiller (Communications) on Wednesday December 13th at 12pm MT / 2pm ET / 1pm AT for a webinar that will explore the key events that affected the Canadian solar industry throughout 2017 (including global, national and provincial-level energy and climate change policy leadership, investment and regulation and local-level project successes and good news stories) to identify key trends, drivers and business opportunities that the solar industry should plan for in 2018 and beyond.  Please register in advance online.

Policy & Market Development
Solar Canada 2017 Welcomes Federal Minister of Natural Resources & Ontario Minister of EnergySolcan2017
The way Canada delivers and consumes energy will evolve as the world works to address climate change and funds the next generation of clean energy. Generation Energy and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Action and Clean Growth are two landmark initiatives of the Federal Government, that in partnership with the provinces, territories and indigenous peoples, are placing Canada firmly on a path to a low-carbon energy future.

The Solar Canada 2017 opening keynote address from the Honourable James Carr, Federal Minister of Natural Resources will explore the planning and actions underway throughout Canada to articulate a new national vision for our energy future and accelerating the progress we are making forward. Minister Carr, a dedicated business and community leader in Winnipeg for more than 30 years, was elected to the House of Commons as the Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre in 2015 and was appointed Minister of Natural Resources shortly thereafter. He entered public life in 1988, when he was elected to represent Fort Rouge in the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and served as deputy leader of his party. He later went on to become the founding CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba, working alongside business leaders to address issues critical to Manitobans and Canadians.

The keynote luncheon will feature an address from the Honourable Glenn Thibeault, Ontario Minister of Energy. Minister Thibeault was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2015 as the MPP for Sudbury and was appointed Minister for Energy in June 2016. In this role, he is focused on ensuring all Ontarians have access to an affordable supply of clean, reliable energy. Between the Fall of 2016 and 2017, he led the consultations across the province on Ontario's renewed Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP). Prior to serving as Minister of Energy, Minister Thibeault served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, focusing on bringing forward the province's Climate Change Action Plan. Prior to entering provincial politics, Thibeault was the Member of Parliament for Sudbury and the Executive Director of the Sudbury United Way.

Clean Growth Program (CGP) to provide $155 million for Cleantech RD&D in Natural Resources SectorsCGP

Further to CanSIA's appearance before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources in March 2017 for their "Clean Technology in Canada's Natural Resource Sectors" study, according to Natural Resources Canada, "clean growth is good for our planet and our pocketbooks" and that is why they "introduced the Clean Growth Program (CGP), which provides $155 million for clean technology research and development (R&D) and demonstration projects in Canada's energy, mining and forestry sectors".  The program covers five areas focused on pressing environmental challenges and economic opportunities facing Canada's natural resource operations:  i) reducing greenhouse gas and air-polluting emissions; ii) minimizing landscape disturbances and improving waste management; iii) the production and use of advanced materials and bioproducts; iv) efficient energy use and productivity; and v) reducing water use and impacts on aquatic ecosystems.  A project is eligible if it advances a pre-commercial clean technology, between technology readiness levels 3 to 9, in Canada's Energy, Mining, or Forest sectors. All projects will be required to secure provincial and/or territorial support (financially and/or in-kind) by the full project proposal phase in order to be eligible for funding under this program. Next steps you ask? Register for the information webinar on November 30th. Letters of interest will be due early in the new year ( further information is available online).

Study Demonstrates Competitive Challenges that Indexed-REC poses for Solar in Alberta's REPABRep
In the first round of Alberta's REP, proponents of renewable electricity generation facilities propose a "strike-price" ($/MWh) that represents the payment they would receive for all electricity produced by their facility.  Facilities with the lowest strike-price are contracted by the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO).  Using an "Indexed-REC" mechanism, when the power pool price is less than the strike-price, the generator is paid the balance (i.e. difference between the strike-price and the power pool price) from the Carbon Levy pool of funds. When the power pool price is higher than the strike-price, the difference is returned to the Carbon Levy. Analysis was undertaken to examine the cost of electricity to the Carbon Levy through the "Indexed-REC" for various renewable electricity options using historic hourly power pool and generation data for years 2013 to 2016.  

Analysis commissioned by CanSIA found that: i) a solar facility with a strike-price of $50/MWh results in a payment to the Carbon Levy averaging $10 million annually; and ii) solar power with a $90/MWh strike price results in the same total cost to government as wind power with a $50/MWh strike price due to the former's generation profile weighted towards higher valued hours of the year.   These results demonstrate that facilities with the same strike-price can have widely different cost implications for the Carbon Levy. Low cost is certainly a desirable attribute for an electricity system. However, low-cost resources may individually provide little marginal system value. The most efficient approach would be to seek the highest net benefit, recognizing both value and cost, not simply ranking by cost alone.  Read the full report on CanSIA's website. 

Department of National Defence Releases Energy and Environment StrategyDepNatDefence
In November 2016, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Honourable Catherine McKenna committed the Federal Government to 100% renewable power by 2025.  This includes the Department of National Defence (DND) who is the most energy-intensive department.  (As an aside, the United States Department of Defence is the world's single largest energy consumer and will be 25% renewable powered by 2025.  DND recently released their Energy and Environment Strategy that states their intention to "leverage contracts that allow federal departments to participate in a bulk renewable electricity purchase" and "re-purposing under-used DND land for solar and wind farms... [examining] opportunities to leverage private capital".  Contracting directly with DND for renewable electricity supply creates the largest opportunity for non-utility procurement in Canada to date. Leading by example will chart a path for others to follow! Attend Solar Canada 2017 for a breakout session and workshop on the subject of non-utility renewable electricity procurement.

Important Timelines for the Conclusion of Ontario's MicroFIT ProgramFIT
As of November 10, 2017, the IESO reported that there are 7.5 MW remaining in the 2017 Annual Procurement Target. Furthermore, The IESO will only accept applications under the microFIT Program until 11:59 p.m. EPT on December 28, 2017, or until the final 50 MW Annual Procurement Target is reached, whichever is earlier.  Should the Annual Procurement Target be reached before December 28, 2017, the IESO will immediately stop accepting applications. Applications submitted to the IESO prior to or on the date on which the IESO stops accepting applications will only be reviewed if capacity becomes available in the Annual Procurement Target by December 29, 2017. Applications will continue to be reviewed in the order that they are received.  Importantly to note, any application that is not allocated to the Annual Procurement Target (i.e., any application that has not been set to Pending LDC Offer to Connect status) by December 29, 2017, will be terminated. Applications that have achieved Pending LDC Offer to Connect status will continue to be processed.  More information is available online from the IESO's website.
 
Solar's Potential in Nova Scotia's Near- & Long-Term Non-Emitting Electricity GoalsNSSolar
Nova Scotia met their target of 25% renewable electricity by 2015 and is on track for 40% by 2020. Solar electricity currently plays a minimal role in the province's supply-mix, but with the federally mandated phase-out of un-abated coal-fired electricity generation by 2030, the province is now considering what future role solar, storage and distributed energy resources will play to meet this future supply-gap.  The results of the province's Solar for Community Buildings Program that enables eligible community groups and organizations to generate solar electricity on their roofs or properties and sell it to their utility under a 20-year contract have just been released and the Department of Energy are exploring the lessons learned to explore how they can be applied to future rounds in 2018 & 2019.  Attend the Solar Canada 2017 session with Peter Craig, Team Lead, Solar, Department of Energy, Government of Nova Scotia to gain a better understanding of Nova Scotia's electricity system and market, energy and environmental policies and the status, progress and policy and regulatory framework for solar energy in the province including: Enhanced Net-Metering; the Community Solar Buildings Pilot Program; Renewables to Retail; and the newly legislated Cap and Trade regime.

Utilities & Regulatory Affairs
What implications do Consumer, Grid & Utility 2.0 hold for the Canadian Solar Industry?Consumer
Electricity consumers and the entities that meet their needs and expectations are experiencing fundamental transformation. Rising electricity generation and delivery costs, consumer demand for smart and clean technology and the necessity to decarbonize our electricity supply is disrupting the electricity sector. Once rigid divisions between conservation, consumption and generation and between regulated and de-regulated activities are being blurred. Attend this session at Solar Canada 2017 moderated by Ron Dizy, Managing Director, Advanced Energy Centre, MaRS to explore the: new opportunities being rolled-out for electricity consumers to adopt behind-the-meter solar, storage and energy management systems; the broader changes that these activities represent as they relate to the role of electricity consumers in the future of energy supply and demand; how this change is affecting the traditional roles and responsibilities that were formally entrenched in the electricity sector; and how the solar industry can be best positioned for success as the transformation and disruption of the electricity sector continues to unfold. Expert panelists include:
  • Monica Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Efficiency Alberta (EEA)
  • Dave Rogers, President & CEO, Amp
  • Parminder Sandhu, Chair, Ontario Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corp.
  • Teresa Sarkesian, President & CEO, Electricity Distributors Association (EDA)
Utility Administration & Operation of Virtually Net-Metered GenerationUtilityAdmin
Ontario's renewed Long-Term Energy Plan announced the province's intent to pilot Virtual Net-Metering (VNM). In simple terms, VNM is a billing mechanism for electricity customers, who in addition to consuming electricity from the distribution-system, also consume and are billed for electricity from a specific renewable generation facility that is not sited on or proximal to their load. This mechanism enables electricity customers to overcome the capital, siting or sizing restrictions that can be experienced as a result of traditional net-metering approaches. It presents the potential for heightened customer engagement and retention and new revenue streams for electricity utilities and retailers and massive market share growth opportunities for solar electricity. Attend this Solar Canada 2017 session moderated by Gurmit Bhathal, Renewable Energy Business Developer, ENGIE Canada Inc. with presenters Kaili Sermat-Harding, Assistant Deputy Minister, Conservation and Renewable Energy Division, Ontario Minister of Energy and Vinay Sharma, CEO, London Hydro Inc. who will explore the utility administration & operation of virtually net-metered generation by discussing topics including the: current details on the province's pilot program; opportunities and challenges of virtual net-metering for electricity customers, utilities and regulators; metering, settlement and billing processes of generation and demand for virtually net-metered customers; and the approaches to delivery cost recovery across multiple time-based and classes of rates.

IESO Smart Metering Engagement Launched and Market Renewal Existing Contracts WebinarIESOSmart
The IESO launched a new engagement to seek input into the Smart Metering Entity's Third Party Access Implementation Plan. This engagement initiative supports the Ontario Energy Board orders to the IESO's SME to enable third party access to Ontario's smart meter data in a manner compliant with privacy requirements and that ensures the fair an ethical use of such data.

A webinar was hosted on Tuesday, November 7. To review the meeting presentation and audio recording, please click here. Furthermore, here is a link to more information about this initiative and how to register for upcoming webinars.  

Click here to find the presentation and recording from the IESO's latest Market Renewal Contracts webinar. As background, the Market Renewal Program webinar was aimed at Electricity Supply Contract holders, who are also Market Participants. Stakeholders interested in participating in future webinars can contact engagement@ieso.ca to register.

Canada, Britain to tout coal phase-out as U.S. champions fossil fuelscoal
Federal Minister of Environment & Climate Change, the Honourable Catherine McKenna and her British counterpart, Claire Perry, launched an international alliance to phase out coal-fired electricity at the Bonn climate summit, signalling a sharp contrast to U.S. President Donald Trump's promotion of coal as an important global energy source.  Ms. McKenna took to the stage at the annual United Nations climate summit to showcase Canada's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including a national carbon pricing plan and federal-provincial moves to shut down traditional coal-fired power by 2030.

The Canadian Electrical Code: Requirements for Solar, Storage & Electric Vehicle ChargingElectricalCode
Section 64 ("Renewable Energy Systems") of the Canadian Electrical Code provides direction and requirements for safely grid-integrating solar photovoltaics, inverters and batteries. Attend the Solar Canada 2017 session with Ted Olechna, Director Codes and Standards Support, Chief Engineer, Electrical Safety Authority to gain a better understanding of the: current requirements for solar, solar-plus-storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure today; and how these requirements may change in future as the scale and pace of deployment increases and as innovative technologies and applications evolve.