Ethosolar

Ethosolar

December 22, 2010 14:25 ET

Ethosolar: New Domestic Content Rule has People Going 'Local' for Solar

Farmers Running Out of Time to Fulfill Ontario Content Requirements

BARRIE, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 22, 2010) - Ontario manufactures of PV solar panels are informing customers to prepare for potential price increases on their Micro Fit and Fit Solar projects as of the New Year. Brought on by the Ontario Power Authority's (OPA) requirement that will have people comply with the 60% domestic content rule laid out in the Green Energy Act, this will mean people could be paying for more expensive solar panels produced here in Ontario.

Ken Rounds of Ethosolar, a family-run company who began building solar projects on farms in late 2009, is on an awareness campaign to inform his customers as well as the public about the potential effects of the content change and what to expect.

"The accountability for meeting the content requirements is on the owner, therefore, it's paramount that people be discerning buyers in the months ahead," said Rounds, a farmer of more than 16 years.

Anyone who applied for a solar project prior to July 2, 2010 must have their project installed and integrated into the grid prior to May 31, 2011 if they wish to stay within the current 40% domestic content level. Those who applied later will be subject to a 60% content level as of January 1, 2011*.

Rounds lays out a few things that people should be aware of to lessen the effects of the change:

  1. Be wary of big price discounts on solar projects!

"As a result of having a huge amount of foreign inventory floating around, some distributors of solar equipment are slashing prices in order to get rid of it before the deadline," said Rounds. "This is misleading for two reasons: One - the warranty and future replacement of these parts could be an issue and two - this is misleading the public to believe that prices will continue to fall at this rate in the New Year. They won't."

  1. Lock in your project today.

The cost to produce solar modules and inverters in Ontario is simply more expensive. "We've surveyed most of the manufacturers here in Ontario and the majority will be increasing the price of solar panels by 10%-20% in the first quarter of 2011," said Rounds. "If people want their projects on time and with no surprises, we urge them to lock in their price today."

Ethosolar, a preferred partner to Canadian Solar - soon to be Ontario's largest manufacturer of solar panels, has committed to holding their 2010 prices during the content rule change.

  1. Choose a trusted supplier with installation capability

"Everyone who applies for a MicroFit project makes a declaration with the OPA to meet the domestic content guidelines or risk losing the contract, therefore choosing a supplier who is capable of getting your project installed in a timely manner ahead of the deadlines is critical," he said.

Earlier this year, the OPA reduced its promised payment of 80.2 cents per Kilowatt hour (kWh) to 64.2 cents per kWh for all micro-FIT ground-mounted solar projects of 10 kW or less.*

"There has been so much confusion and change surrounding solar projects this year. We would like to help those with conditional offers from the OPA make the best choice possible when sifting through the different offers that they may be hearing," said Rounds.

*For all details, please visit the Ethosolar website (http://ethosolar.com/news/domestic-content-deadline/) or the OPA link here (http://fit.powerauthority.on.ca/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=10605&SiteNodeID=1104&BL_ExpandID=260).

Ethosolar is a family run-operation, committed to assisting farmers with the solar process from registration through installation. With installation capability of 15-20 systems per week and with over 230 installed since the beginning of the program, they service customers across Ontario from Windsor to Gravenhurst to Ottawa. The EthoSolar team have built their success on being an ethical, knowledgeable and experienced solar company. Visit www.ethosolar.com.

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