Proposed New Regulation to be made under the Electricity Act, 1998
Regulation - LGIC
Bill or Act:
Electricity Act, 1998
Summary of Decision:
A new regulation was made to ensure the appropriate siting of renewable energy generation facilities.
November 28, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
The province currently addresses renewable energy generation facility siting through the Renewable Energy Approval (REA), the Environmental Sector Activity Registry (EASR), and through the program rules governing the Feed-In Tariff (FIT) and microFIT programs. The FIT and microFIT program rules included siting restrictions for Non-Rooftop Solar PV Facilities and Wind Facilities in relation to residential areas and the protection of prime agricultural land. These restrictions were additional to the siting restrictions included in the REA and EASR.
As the FIT and microFIT programs will no longer be accepting applications by the end of 2017, this proposed regulation would be required to ensure the appropriate siting of renewable energy generation facilities in relation to residential areas and prime agricultural land.
Enhancements to Ontario's Net Metering Framework
The Province's 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) commits to enhance Ontario's net metering framework to give customers new ways to participate in clean, renewable electricity generation. In accordance with this commitment, the Ministry of Energy intends to expand net metering eligibility to include new ownership models and to ensure appropriate consumer protection provisions and siting restrictions are in place.
Legislative amendments to the Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, required to expand the scope of eligible net metering ownership models, were tabled on November 14, 2017 through Bill 177, Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017. Pending the passing of the proposed legislative amendments, the Ministry of Energy intends to propose regulatory changes to enable these new ownership models, as well as other regulatory measures in support of an expanded and enhanced net metering framework, as follows:
• Enable third-party ownership of net-metered generation facilities and virtual net metering demonstration projects;
• Adapt and enhance the existing energy consumer protection framework to support the introduction of third-party ownership arrangements; and
• Ensure that prescribed types of renewable energy generation facilities are sited appropriately.
The Ministry of Energy invites input on this regulatory proposal and corresponding regulatory proposals (posted separately and linked in the Additional Information section of this posting) to inform changes to Ontario's net metering framework.
A plain language description of the proposed regulation follows:
Ensuring Appropriate Siting of Renewable Generation Facilities
The Ministry of Energy is proposing a new regulation to be made under the Electricity Act, 1998, to ensure that prescribed types of renewable energy generation facilities are sited appropriately.
The proposed regulation, to be made under the Electricity Act, 1998 (EA) would specify siting restrictions for Non-Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Facilities and Wind Facilities. A facility that is captured by these regulatory restrictions would not be permitted to be connected to the distribution system or the transmission system.
May 8, 2018