The Ontario government on April 8 approved renewable energy projects—worth nearly $9 billion to U.S. and Canadian firms—to produce 2,500 MW. The 184 projects fall under the province’s feed-in tariff (FIT) program, which gives solar power developers a premium fixed price of up to 80 cents per kWh for 20 years.
Seventy-six of the projects are for ground-mounted solar photovoltaic technology, 47 involve onshore wind and 46 are smaller hydroelectric projects. The remaining projects involve biogas, biomass, landfill-gas, rooftop-solar and offshore wind applications. U.S. contract winners include Chicago-based Invenergy LLC, Recurrent Energy, San Francisco, and Nextera Energy, Juno Beach, Fla.
Ontario previously awarded 510 smaller contracts under its FIT program to provide 112 MW of power. In January, it also announced a $7-billion deal with Samsung C&T to own, build and operate facilities to produce 2,500 MW of wind and solar power by 2016. It expects to create at least 20,000 jobs through the program.
Construction and engineering contracts for the projects have not yet been awarded, says an Ontario government spokeswoman. Each project will have rules mandating that certain proportions of the services and manufactured products used must be procured lin Ontario, but provincial officials have not yet finalized specific percentages. Ontario has a goal to eliminate coal plants by 2014 and meet 20% of provincial power needs with wind energy by 2025.