November 30, 2018
Opening Message from President & CEO, John Gorman
Each month we preface our newsletter with commentary that paints a picture of the issues and other considerations that will lead to business opportunities for the solar industry in Canada.
My mantra is that policy development leads to project development. It's the reason that CanSIA has been so heavily involved in policy discussions in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia throughout 2018. The policy and program announcements over this past month-captured below-demonstrate that CanSIA's efforts are paying off.

These announcements point to a positive and broader trend for solar in key markets. In Ontario, the Ford government's decision to encourage private investments in clean technologies and green infrastructure by mirroring the federal changes to the Accelerated Capital Cost Allowance will make investments in solar more attractive.

This announcement is an encouraging first step in the broader discussions CanSIA is having with the Ford government to position solar as a solution/option that is aligned with the government's outlook.  To that end, we are in active discussions with government decision-makers on a comprehensive host of measures to make solar a clear choice for Ontarians to cut their electricity bills while creating quality jobs.

While yesterday's climate change plan announcements in Ontario signal that there can be a viable path forward for solar under the new government, the recent program and policy announcements in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia reaffirm the respective government's view that solar is playing an important role.
Please read on for further updates from the CanSIA Executive Team. 

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

Net-Metering & Virtual Net-Metering on the Agenda at Nova Scotia Solar Summit & Solar MixerNSSolarEvent

On December 4th, 2018, CanSIA and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy and Mines (DoEM) will be co-hosting a one-day solar industry event in Halifax for up to 200 participants. This event will bring together industry stakeholders to network and share experiences, provide feedback on solar policies and programs in Nova Scotia.

The Honourable Derek Mombourquette, Minister of Energy and Mines will deliver the opening keynote address and speakers will address topics including the SolarHomes program administered by Energy Efficiency Nova Scotia and the potential of virtual net-metering in the province. A solar mixer follows the Summit from 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM at Gahan House Harbourfront (1896 Upper Water Street, Halifax, B3J 1S9).  

It's not too late to register for the event. The event is coming hot on the heels of the new National Energy Board's "The Economics of Solar Power in Canada" that finds residential, commercial and community solar is lower cost than grid electricity throughout much of the province.

New Federal Tax Policy to Stimulate Investment in Renewable Energy & Energy ConservationFedTax

Last week's Federal Fall Economic Statement contains a new measure that will drive significant investment in Canada's clean technology sector(s). "Full Expensing for Clean Energy Equipment" enables renewable energy and energy conservation assets (such as solar energy, battery storage and electric vehicle charging infrastructure) to be depreciated in full in the year that they are brought in service. Accelerating depreciation in this way, defers taxable income to later years. As a result, the business case and access to finance is improved for investments in technologies that produce clean energy or that displace fossil fuels.  The Fall Economic Statement 2018 can be read online

A webinar for CanSIA Members will be held Wednesday, Dec 12 from 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM EST with Natural Resources Canada and Canada Revenue Agency to discuss the implications of this measure for solar energy. CanSIA Members may register for the webinar online (numbers are limited so register early) .

Ontario to Parallel Federal Depreciation & Introduce Carbon TrustOntParallel

"Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-in-Ontario
Environment Plan", the province's much anticipated climate change strategy was released yesterday. The province will "make technology investments in clean energy generation and energy conservation equipment more attractive" by paralleling the " recently announced federal changes to tax policy and depreciation for clean energy equipment". In addition, the government will also create The Carbon Trust, incenting private sector investment in solar energy, battery storage, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and other clean technology solutions. The strategy is posted for comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for a 60 day period

CanSIA will continue to engage and consult with Members and represent the solar industry throughout the policy development and implementation process.

Local Electricity Generation to Provide Community Benefits in AlbertaABCommunity

The Government of Alberta have announced a new $200 million Community Generation Program to support locally generated electricity that enables neighbours, community groups, municipalities, agricultural societies, rural and urban co-ops, universities, schools, Indigenous communities and other groups to partner on small-scale renewable energy projects such a wind, biomass, hydro or solar that provide community benefits. In partnership with Energy Efficiency Alberta and the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre, the province will undertake capacity-building efforts over the coming months to help communities prepare to participate in the program before it launches in fall 2019. This work will include:
  • Open houses in a dozen communities in early 2019.
  • An online resource hub featuring handbooks, community generation case studies, small-scale renewable energy fact sheets and more.
For further information,  read the press release   .  

Alberta's Newest Solar Program to help Schools cut Electricity Costs, Expand Environmental Knowledgeenviroknowledge

The Government of Alberta is investing $15 million from the Climate Leadership Plan in the Solar for Schools (SFS) program with rebates of up to $1.50 per watt. Interested participants are invited to submit an SFS Expression of Interest as a first non-commital step. The program will be administered by the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) and full details are available online.

Energy Efficiency Alberta Announced Increased Incentives and Eligibility to Drive More Uptake in its Residential and Commercial Solar ProgramEEA

Energy Efficiency Alberta made several enhancements to the Residential & Commercial Solar Program this month including: incentives for residential solar systems will be increased from $0.75 to $0.90 per watt and for non-profit and charitable organizations from $0.75 to $1.00 per watt andthe maximum payable incentive amount for businesses has increased from $500,000 to $1 million.
Utilities & Regulatory Affairs

CanSIA Webinar for CanSIA Members to cover Capacity Market & ISO Tariff ProceedingCanSIAwebinar

In 2019, the cumulative solar electricity generation capacity in the province will exceed 50 MW (and 150 MW in 2021), up from less than 10 MW in 2015. CanSIA is hosting a webinar on Monday December 17th at 1pm MT for CanSIA Members to share insights and perspectives on what is driving this growth and other key factors affecting future demand including: community participation in solar electricity generation; incentives for net-billing projects; utility-scale procurement; the design and implementation of the capacity market; rate and tariff design; and much more. Spaces are limited so register early to avoid disappointment.

Potential Rate Design Changes for ICI & Class A Customers in OntarioONratedesign

In the Ontario Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Ontario announced that they would be launching a review of current electricity pricing for industrial users. CanSIA is seeking to understand potential changes to the Industrial Conservation Initiative (ICI) and the impact on distributed energy resources such as solar, energy storage and demand response. CanSIA is currently working through the Nexus Strategic Project with consultants to understand the implications and opportunities and to prepare submissions.

Alberta introduces Small-Scale Regulation to better enable Distribution-Connected GenerationABsmallscalereg

A webinar to provide industry stakeholders with more information on the Small Scale Generation Regulation was held on November 29, 2018. The purpose of the webinar was to discuss aspects of the regulation, including eligibility criteria, market participation, and operational requirements. To request access to the meeting materials, please email: electricity@gov.ab.ca.

SaskPower enhances Net-Metering & Net-Metering Rebate Programsaskpower

This month, SaskPower made enhancements to the Net-Metering & Net-Metering Rebate Program including:
  • Up to 3 years (instead of 1) to use banked kWh credits.
  • 10 year contracts (instead of 2 years) with option for 10 year renewal.
  • Flat $0.61 per watt rate rebate (instead of 20%).
The Net Metering Program has been approved to Nov. 30, 2021, or until it reaches the 16 MW cap, whichever comes first.
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.