expected to be released in the summer of 2017. Ontario was also the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a FIT program, which has resulted in contracts being executed for approximately 4,710 MW of electricity generating capacity as of March 31, 2017.
In April and July of 2012, the Ontario Ministry of Energy implemented version 2.0 of the FIT program, which, among other things, reduced contract prices for new solar generation facilities, limited the acceptance of applications to specific application windows, and prioritized projects based upon project type (community participation, Aboriginal participation, public infrastructure participation), municipal and Aboriginal support, project readiness and electricity system benefit. The revisions to the FIT program did not affect FIT contracts issued prior to October 31, 2011. Prices under the FIT program were reviewed annually, with prices established in November to take effect January 1 of the following year. Such price changes did not affect previously issued FIT contracts but, rather, only FIT contracts entered into subsequent to the price change. The revisions had the potential, however, to make renewable energy facility economics less attractive (because of the PPA price reduction) and by granting priority points or status to certain types of renewable energy facilities, to make it more difficult to obtain PPAs.
The FIT program was further renewed by the Ontario Ministry of Energy for FIT 3 (123.5 MW) awarded in the summer of 2014, FIT 3 Extension (100 MW) awarded in December 2014 and FIT 4 (241.4 MW) awarded in the summer of 2016. On April 5, 2016, the Ontario Ministry of Energy directed the IESO to commence a further renewal (FIT 5). The application period for the FIT 5 (150 MW) program closed on November 28, 2016, and FIT 5 contracts are expected to be offered in the third quarter of 2017. On December 16, 2016, the Ontario Ministry of Energy directed that the 2016 application period (FIT 5) shall be the final application period for the FIT program and directed the IESO to cease accepting applications under the FIT program by December 31, 2016. From 2014 through 2016, the FIT program was available for renewable energy facilities from 10 kW to 500 kW.
There is also a “microFIT” program for renewable energy facilities under 10 kW. On April 5, 2016, the Ontario Ministry of Energy directed the IESO to cease accepting applications under the microFIT program by December 31, 2017. The microFIT program is being transitioned to a net-metering program and on July 1, 2017, amendments to Ontario's net-metering regulation came into effect.
On June 12, 2013, December 16, 2013, March 31, 2014, and November 7, 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Energy directed the Ontario Power Authority (now the IESO) to develop a new competitive process for the procurement of renewable energy facilities larger than 500 kW. On March 10, 2015 (as amended on June 12, 2015 and July 31, 2015), IESO issued a Request for Proposals for Procurement of up to 565 MW of New Large Renewable Energy Projects, or “LRP I RFP”. The LRP I RFP process concluded in April 2016, with the execution of approximately 455 MW of new wind, solar and water power contracts. On July 29, 2016, the IESO issued a Request for Qualifications for further Large Renewable Procurement ("LRP II RFQ"). The LRP II RFQ process was cancelled by the IESO on September 27, 2016, as directed by the Ontario Ministry of Energy.
Other Provinces. Provincial support for renewable energy in other provinces includes the following objectives:
Alberta: To generate 30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The Government of Alberta announced on March 24, 2017 that the first competition under Alberta's Renewable Electricity Program would open on March 31, 2017, seeing companies bidding to provide up to 400 MW of renewable energy. The Request for Proposal (RFP) stage of this first competition is expected to open on September 15, 2017.
British Columbia: To achieve energy self-sufficiency by 2016 with at least 93% of net electricity generation from clean or renewable sources.
New Brunswick: To meet 40% of provincial electricity demand with renewable sources by 2020.
Nova Scotia: To generate 25% and 40% of net electricity generation from new (post-2001) sources of renewable energy by 2015 and 2020, respectively.
Saskatchewan: To achieve 50% renewables-sourced electricity generation by Crown utility company, SaskPower, by 2030. As part of this objective, SaskPower is moving forward with its competitive process for the selection of energy producers for utility-scale solar (10 MW) and wind (200 MW) projects.
Chile currently has two major electricity grids, the Central Interconnected System (“SIC”) and the Greater Northern Interconnected System (“SING”). A project to inter-connect and unite the SIC and the SING, thus creating a single major electricity grid in the country, called the National Energy System (the "Sistema Eléctrico Nacional", or "SEN"), is currently under construction. According to recent reports, the interconnection is expected to be operational by 2018.