Well the big news since the last post is that the government conceded a bit on the ground mounted solar. Any application that was received before noon on July 2, 2010 will receive the standard 80.2 cents/kWh rate…. good news for at least some of the farmers.

The program is coming up on a year old and should soon be ready to decrease rates for rooftop projects as well. In Germany, rates of their FIT program decrease between 8-11% per year. This ‘degression’ is controlled by the growth of the solar market, which is targeted at about 15% per year. In Ontario growth has been pegged at over 250% in 2010 from 2009 (see here) so people in Ontario can likely expect a significant rate cut in the next 6 months.

The other big news is the trade complaint launched by Japan against Ontario for its FIT program. This issue here is not the subsidy for solar electricity, but the domestic content requirement for eligible solar projects. Right now, that requirement is at 40% but is set to move to 60% in January 2011. The big deal is that Japan makes solar panels. At the 60% content requirement, projects are basically forced to but panels made in Ontario… and Japan does not like this. This issue was brought up in Ontario back in June but with little attention. You can read Japan’s WTO complaint against Ontario’s feed-in-tariff program here. UPDATE: On October 1, 2010, we got word that both the U.S. and Europe have joined battle. This is shaping up to be a pretty big deal, and maybe not the greatest news for solar manufacturers in Ontario.

So if you’re thinking of getting in while the rates are high, now is the time, particularly with rooftop solar PV. First step, talk to Graystone Environmental. Knowing the technical and legal sides, you’ll get the best advice to point you in the right decision for you and your project. Graystone Environmental does not sell or install projects – you’ll get sound technical and legal advice, honest and unbiased. Services range from initial project scoping to professionally project management from conception to final contract. If you’d like to know more about the FIT program and how Graystone Environmental can help get your project ‘off the ground’, read a quick primer here.

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