November 10, 2011 06:13 ET

Solart: Ontario's Feed-in Tariff Program Forges Ahead With Changes in Forecast

Residential solar PV projects continue to be good investment

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 10, 2011) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this Press Release.

With the re-election of the McGuinty government Oct. 6, 2011, the future of Ontario's FIT program has become assured.

Solart Group President Marc-André Lemieux shared his views on the future of the solar industry: "The decision made by the Ontario people to vote for a government with concrete leadership in green energy is one that will reflect on and influence the other provinces of Canada, and even the Northern States of the U.S. By creating and maintaining jobs in solar energy, Ontario will stay a leader and will force investments from major players at a moment when the global economy is not necessarily at its best."

Also on a positive note, costs for residential and commercial solar systems have decreased significantly over a short period of time in the two years that the FIT program has existed in Ontario.

However, this past Monday, Oct. 31st, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced that the first biennial review of the FIT and microFIT programs was underway, with several possible changes on the horizon, including a reduction in the tariffs offered by the OPA.

The Solart Group immediately studied the implications this would have on the projects of both its current and potential clients.

Among possible changes, the OPA has cited a possible price reduction in the microFIT tariff. Up until the OPA's current review, the tariff paid to a homeowner for a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) project under 10 kW has been $0.802 per kWh. The tariff for ground-based projects has been $0.642 per kWh since being reduced in July 2010. Other issues to be considered may include examining the long-term sustainability of the program, the state of the renewable energy industry in Ontario, new technologies and fuel sources, as well as public consultations and the renewable energy approval (REA) process.

As of right now, anyone with a conditional offer for a microFIT contract or those who have submitted their application by August 31st, 2011, will be guaranteed current pricing. Anyone who submitted his or her application as of September 1st, 2011, will be subject to the new rules and new pricing.

In response to this, Mr. Lemieux believes that the growth of Ontario's solar industry will discourage a large reduction in the tariffs: "It is more a question of supply and demand in terms of the feed-in tariff review. The creation of many new manufacturing plants and material providers in Ontario will probably be one of the determining factors in the establishment of new tariffs," Mr. Lemieux commented. He also noted that, "Those who will get the new tariff will definitely benefit from a significant decrease in the pricing of the material. The return on investment should therefore stay very close to the actual one. Tariffs in Europe have decreased over time in the last ten years within similar programs."

In the meantime, in order to help potential microFIT clients maintain a sense of security in this solar investment, Solart will be offering all new clients a guaranteed minimum tariff, which will translate into a generous ROI for any microFIT project. If the OPA's new microFIT tariff goes below this minimum rate, Solart clients may choose to cancel their contract and have their deposit refunded with no penalty whatsoever.

New prices and rules are expected after public consultation period ends December 14, 2011. Until this date, Ontarians can provide feedback by answering an online survey or making a written submission at

Solart encourages people to sign up now and to send in their OPA applications as soon as possible, despite possible tariff reductions. Given public and industry feedback after the consultation period, the OPA may adjust the cut-off date of application submission for new proposed tariff reductions to include those who have applied later than August 31st.

About Solart Group

Solart Group ( is one of the leading solar Engineering & Installation firms in Canada. Solart assists its residential and commercial clients in developing their solar projects by providing them with a 3D rendition of their project, as well as detailed financial analysis including a projection of future revenues, and customer service both during and after project completion.

Solart Group is focused on offering ongoing lucrative financial opportunities to investors and affordable solar technologies at all procurement touch-points. With proven experience in photovoltaic installations, Solart experts are ready to assist their clients in engineering, project management, and customer support with their green ventures.

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