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October 31, 2017
Opening Note from CanSIA President & CEO, John Gorman
While most people measure time in hours, minutes and seconds - many people in the Canadian solar industry measure time in "Solar Canada", the number of our national annual conferences in which they have participated. This year for me, that number will be six. For those who have the same or more under their belt, there is a great sense of pride and astonishment in just how much progress can be made year over year.

The number of "Solar Canada" before we can say that solar energy is a mainstream and widespread energy source across Canada can now be counted on one hand. If there is doubt about my optimism today, as Solar Canada 2017 nears completion in five weeks, I'm confident there won't be a sceptic left in the house.

Don't take it only from me. Here are nine speakers who I am personally very excited to hear from on their views on the future role of solar energy in Canada's supply-mix and how we as an industry and as a society will be making solar happen:
  • The Honourable James Carr, Federal Minister of Natural Resources
  • Monica Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Efficiency Alberta
  • Rob Dizy, Managing Director, Advanced Energy Centre, MaRS
  • Sergio Marchi, President & CEO, Canadian Electricity Association
  • Mark Porter, Manager, Business Renewables Centre, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Parminder Sandhu, Chair, Ontario Climate Change Solutions Deployment Corp.
  • Teresa Sarkesian, President & CEO, Electricity Distributors Association
  • Vinay Sharma, CEO, London Hydro Inc
  • The Honourable Glenn Thibeault, Ontario Minister of Energy
Pre-registration pricing is in effect until December 3rd. Your presence and engagement will also demonstrate to the policy-makers, regulators and industry partners who will be in the room and who will shape our solar future, that solar technologies, investments and jobs are ready, willing and able to deliver solutions to the challenges we face.

I look forward to seeing you at Solar Canada 2017 on December 4th and 5th in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Please read on for further updates from the CanSIA Executive Team.
Policy & Market Development
Ontario's LTEP directs province from procurement to adoption, accelerates modernizationLTEP
On October 26, 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Energy announced the 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan, which will set the course for Ontario's energy sector up to 2035.  " With the Long-Term Energy Plan, the Ontario Government continues to demonstrate leadership in moving towards decarbonization and ensuring a clean and reliable supply of electricity to drive Ontario's economy," said John Gorman, CanSIA President and CEO, "solar energy is an innovative technology that is well positioned to help Ontario execute on its climate, energy and economic plans."

Members of CanSIA, please stay tuned for further information and analysis of Ontario's Long-Term Energy Plan and how it will impact the future of the solar industry in Ontario.  Attendees of Solar Canada 2017 will also hear from the Minister of Energy and the Independent Electric System Operator (IESO).  For now, please see three important excerpts:
  • "... propose legislative and regulatory amendments that would enable the deployment of demonstration projects for virtual net metering.  The government will work with the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) to develop a program to support a select number of innovative renewable distributed generation demonstration projects, as well as virtual net-metering demonstration projects."
  • "... steps to enhance net metering by removing the limit on the size of eligible generation systems and allowing them to be paired with energy storage technologies. The government will expand and enhance net metering by proposing legislative and regulatory amendments that would allow third-party providers to own and operate net-metered renewable generation systems while ensuring appropriate consumer protection measures are in place."
  • "The government will engage with First Nations and M├ętis to explore options for supporting energy education and capacity building, the integration of small-scale renewable energy projects, net metering and other innovative solutions that address local or regional energy needs and interests."

Government of Prime Minister Trudeau nears Half-Way Point, Climate Plan must turn to Actionhalfway
The federal government fares poorly when it comes to meeting commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preparing Canada to adapt to climate change, Julie Gelfand the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development has reported.  The federal government had consistently fallen short of targets set to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and much work is required to implement policies needed to meet current promises.  "The impacts of climate change are happening all across Canada. Extreme weather events and aggressive wildfires are likely to continue," said Ms. Gelfand, who works in the Office of the Auditor General.  "Canada has committed to reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases and to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Overall, we have found the government has come up short... It is time to move from planning to action."

In continuation of CanSIA's advocacy efforts to ensure solar energy plays a leading role in support of Canada's Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, CanSIA partnered once again for a series of advocacy days across Ottawa with elected and non-elected officials across multiple ministries and departments.  CanSIA can report that clean growth and climate action plans will soon turn to action. Expect policy and program announcements in Q4 2017 and Q1 2018.

CanSIA Submits Solar Electricity Rebate Program Design Recommendations to IESOIESORecommendations
The Ontario Government and the IESO are expected to soon launch an incentive program for solar electricity generation. The IESO is responsible for the design and implementation of the Green Ontario Fund Solar Rebate Program (GOF-SRP). Due to the urgency and importance of this program to the Ontario solar industry, CanSIA, through collaboration with the CanSIA GOF Solar Program Member Forum, has developed and submitted our Solar PV Rebate Program Design Recommendations to the IESO. This is a tremendous opportunity for the solar industry to shape the upcoming program and to ensure the sustainable growth of the Ontario solar market. Thanks to all members for your valuable feedback.

Going forward, a top priority for CanSIA is to continue our advocacy efforts with the IESO and the Ontario government in an aim to get a program up and running as quickly as possible. From what we understand, the IESO is targeting to launch the program before the end of 2017, however we will continue to follow up to see if they remain on track for this timeline.

CanSIA will update the Forum with new information and updates as they become available. To participate in this forum please sign up here.

"Generation Energy Forum" convenes diverse stakeholders, Discusses Canada's Energy FutureGenEnergy
The Honourable James Carr, Federal Minister of Natural Resources' mandate letter reads "in particular, I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to deliver on your top priorities: work closely with provinces and territories to: develop a Canadian Energy Strategy to protect Canada's energy security; encourage energy conservation; and bring cleaner, renewable energy onto a smarter electricity grid".  In response to this priority, Minister Carr has launched "Generation Energy" a consultation and stakeholder engagement that is exploring what Canada's energy future will look like in 2050.  As part of CanSIA's on-going participation in this process, CanSIA attending the Generation Energy Forum which attracted more than 700 in-person attendees in Winnipeg in October. CanSIA President, John Gorman participated in a panel on renewable energy.  This article submitted to the Energy Council of Canada by the Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (CanSIA, CanWEA, CHA and MRC) provides a good overview of part of the vision that CanSIA is advocating for Generation Energy.

CanSIA submits final recommendations to Alberta's Community Generation ConsultationABCommunity
The Alberta-Energy led consultation on Community Generation in Alberta is drawing to a close with Department officials expecting to submit their recommendations to Cabinet in December. CanSIA has submitted some final recommendations to summarise past content and to highlight the key issues under consideration. This submission will soon be available from CanSIA's policy brief and submissions webpage.

Alberta and Nova Scotia are the Initial Priorities for Federal 100% Renewables CommitmentInitialPriorities

In November 2016, the Federal Government announced that by 2025, the electricity to power their operations would be 100% renewable.  Alberta & Nova Scotia represent 16% (350,000 MWh) of the Federal Government's annual electricity demand but 73% of their electricity-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  This places these two provinces as the jurisdictions where priority action must happen.  Stay tuned for announcements in 2018 how solar energy will support the Federal Government in meeting this commitment.

Utilities & Regulatory Affairs
NB Power contemplates On-Bill Solar Leasing ProgramNBPower
A study commissioned by NB Power suggests consumers are willing to pay a premium for solar energy and the utility could profit if it provides a leasing option for customers soon and gets a head start on establishing itself as New Brunswick's dominant solar provider.  "Over the next eight years NB Power's solar lease (program) would double the expected solar uptake...giving NB Power a 50 per cent market share," says the study by Montreal's Dunsky Energy Consulting.  It is the second study in the last three years looking at whether NB Power should launch a solar power program for homeowners and businesses although the utility is still undecided on whether to proceed.  "We are currently studying this option," said NB Power spokesman Marc Belliveau.  NB Power has released the latest study, which looks at the feasibility of financing solar panel installations and then renting or leasing them back to building owners, as part of its current application for a rate increase with the Energy and Utilities Board.  Read NB Power should get head start on solar power for further information.

SaskPower Revamping Small Power Producers Program, New Rules Expected Q1 2018Saskpowerrevamp
SaskPower has pledged to get half its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, but it stopped taking applications from small power producers last month after it hit a self-imposed cap of 7.5 MW generated through the program over all. Brian Ketcheson, vice-president of distribution and customer services with SaskPower, said the program has been put on pause while the company reviews it. He said in recent years, there has been a growing demand by small power producers to participate in power generation as the cost of inputs goes down and the cost of electricity goes up. "Customers wanting to participate is certainly going to be a bigger and bigger portion of the generation that we have on our system, so we need the programs that kind of match up that demand," Ketcheson said. Ketcheson said SaskPower expects to unveil its new rules for small power producers early in the new year.

IESO launches Non-Emitting Resources Market Renewal Sub-Committee, Hosts Existing Contracts WebinarIESO
The IESO is developing a new stakeholder committee for non-emitting resources (e.g. solar and storage). The Non-Emitting Resource Subcommittee of the Market Renewal Working Group will examine barriers and opportunities for non-emitting resources in Market Renewal including: future integration and barriers to participation for non-emitting resources in the proposed Market Renewal design scope; market impacts associated with higher levels of non-emitting resources with very low to zero marginal costs; and whether additional incentive mechanisms (beyond the cap and trade framework) are required to effectively integrate non-emitting and net zero carbon resources into the re-design of Ontario's wholesale electricity market.

The subcommittee will discuss and analyze these issues and contribute to a report of findings to be submitted to the Market Renewal Working Group in early 2018. Participation in the Non-Emitting Resource Sub-Committee is open to all stakeholders. Interested stakeholders should contact engagement@ieso.ca as soon as possible. Please also inform CanSIA ( wjohnston@cansia.ca) if you have expressed interest to the IESO to join this subcommittee.
The first meeting will take place November 2, 2017. Further details will be communicated closer to the meeting. The IESO is requesting that no more than two representatives from the same company register for the session in-person. Stakeholders who wish to join the sub-committee should also be prepared to participate in all or as many meetings as possible for continuity and in support of the deliverables for the subcommittee. 

The IESO has also scheduled an information webinar for October 31, 2017 from 10 am to 12 pm on the Market Renewal Program aimed at Electricity Supply Contract holders, who are also Market Participants. During this webinar, the IESO will provide an overview of the Market Renewal Program and discuss at a high-level the potential implications to existing contracts. The IESO will also provide a framework and timing for future discussions related to contracts. Stakeholders interested in participating in this webinar can contact engagement@ieso.ca to register and for further details. If you have previously registered for that webinar, you will receive an updated invitation. If you did not register previously but wish to participate, please register at: http://www.meetview.com/ieso20171031/ to receive your webinar invitation.

OEB continues Rate Design Proceedings, initiates Regional Planning and Cost Allocation ReviewOEB
In 2015, the OEB launch the Rate Design for Commercial and Industrial Customers. As background, the nature of electricity distribution has been changing for the past decade and will continue to change. Distribution companies have acted as a delivery route for power from the grid to consumers. In the future they will act more as a service platform offering services such as balancing, power quality, storage, and redistributing power from users connected to their systems. The rate design adopted by the OEB for distributors should position the companies for this future by linking the rate design to the cost drivers and making sure that customers value and pay their fair share for service. A previous CanSIA submission to this proceeding may be viewed online.

In 2016, the OEB released a staff discussion paper on rate design options for commercial and industrial electricity customers. The OEB recently re-engaged stakeholders to discussion the OEB staff discussion paper and to move forward with additional consultations. CanSIA will continue to monitor OEB Rate Design for Commercial and Industrial Customers proceedings and share information with members to provide opportunities for input and feedback. More information is available on this proceeding on the Ontario Energy Board website.

The OEB is also holding a policy consultation aimed at ensuring the cost responsibility provisions for load customers in the OEB's Transmission System Code (TSC) and Distribution System Code (DSC) are aligned and facilitate regional planning and the implementation of regional infrastructure plans. The consultation will consider the need for amendments to the TSC and the DSC to implement any policy changes related to cost responsibility. It is expected this consultation will build on changes to the TSC cost responsibility rules that were finalized in August 2013 to implement the OEB's Renewed Regulatory Framework for Electricity (RRFE) policies related to regional infrastructure planning ( further information). CanSIA has applied for intervenor status and cost awards. Should CanSIA be successful, CanSIA will participate in these proceedings and share information with members to provide opportunities for input and feedback.

Electric Vehicles support the Grid-Integration of Variable Renewable Electricity GenerationEV
The global stock of electric vehicles (EVs) reached 1 million in 2015 and exceeded 2 million by the end of 2016. Yet faster growth is needed for EVs to fulfil their role in the global energy transition, both through lowering vehicle emissions and boosting renewable energy use.

A new "Electric vehicles: Technology brief" from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) outlines the technological and policy advances still needed for EVs to help drive the transition to a sustainable global energy future. Increasing reliance on EV batteries and charging stations would support higher shares of solar and wind power, the key variable renewable energy (VRE) sources expected to be prominent in future power grids. Transport accounts for about 30% of global energy use. EVs, therefore, form a crucial part of REmap - the global roadmap from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to double renewables in the energy mix by 2030. Global growth to 160 million EVs could support VRE-based power generation on a large scale, the analysis finds. EV deployment depends on four concurrent strategies to ensure maximum benefits: electrification of vehicles; provision of sufficient charging equipment; decarbonisation of power generation; and EV integration with the grid.