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OPG wants 30% rate hike for nuclear generation; would add $5.36 to monthly bills

TORONTO – Already increasing electricity bills will soar even higher if Ontario Power Generation gets approval for a 30 per cent increase in the rate it is paid for electricity generated by nuclear power, the New Democrats warned Tuesday.

“You’re seeing rates go up faster than they should,” said NDP energy critic Peter Tabuns. “As long as the Liberals see a blank cheque as a parachute to get out of any tough spots, our bills are going to go up.”

OPG said the rate increase, if approved by the Ontario Energy Board, would add about $5.36 each month to the bill for typical residential customers.

The reasons for the requested hike “include ensuring obligations for used nuclear fuel management and decommissioning costs are met,” the government-owned utility said in a statement.

“As well, we will make investments in the plants over the next couple of years to set up the long-term operation of Darlington for 30 more years following refurbishment.”

However, the government pointed out there’s no guarantee the Energy Board will approve the rate hike for OPG, which has not had an increase in its rates since 2008.

OPG is currently paid 5.7 cents per kilowatt hour for nuclear generated electricity, while privately run Bruce Power is paid between 5.2 and 7.1 cents.

In 2011, the Energy Board not only rejected an OPG application to hike its base rate by 6.2 per cent, it actually lowered the rate by 0.8 per cent.

There will be public hearings on OPG’s new application as it comes under review by the OEB before any decision is made. OPG wants to increase the rate Jan. 1, 2014.

Opponents of nuclear power say Ontario should shut down its aging reactors and abandon plans to refurbish nuclear generating stations.

A report by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance said that every nuclear project in the province’s history has gone massively over budget, on average by 2.5 times.

If the OPG rate increase is approved, it will cost electricity consumers in the province $755 million a year, said Alliance spokesman Jack Gibbons.

“Cancelling the Darlington rebuild would save consumers more than $1.2 billion a year between 2020 and 2050,” he said.

Ontario’s Liberal government recently decided against building two new nuclear reactors, saying there was no need to spend more than $10 billion when the province doesn’t need the electricity.

The NDP complained that decision also added to hydro bills because millions were spent in prepatory work on the new reactors that won’t be built.

“They were irresponsible with the $1.1 billion spent to cancel gas plants in Oakville and Mississauga. They spent $180 million on a nuclear plant people knew wasn’t going to go forward, and they’ve committed $1 billion to refurbishment when they don’t even know the full costs of doing that work,” said Tabuns. “They are not thinking about and caring about public money.”

Ontario gets about 50 per cent of its electricity from nuclear generation. Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli said nuclear will likely fall to about the 47 per cent mark of the energy mix when the province’s long-term energy plan is released later this year, but building new reactors won’t be part of the strategy.


Budget 2014: Incentives for clean energy generation

OTTAWA—The federal Tories instituted in the 2014 document a Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) system that provides accelerated amortization deductions for certain clean energy generation and energy conservation equipment acquired before 2020.

The budget expands eligibility for accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment to include water-current energy equipment and a broader range of equipment used to gasify eligible waste.

The budget item includes a variety of stationary equipment that generates energy by using renewable energy sources or fuels from waste, or conserves energy by using fuel more efficiently. It allows the cost of eligible assets to be deducted for tax purposes at a rate of 50 per cent per year on a declining-balance basis—faster than would be implied by the expected useful life of the assets.

The feds estimate these measures will reduce federal revenues by a small amount in 2014–15 and by $1 million in 2015–16.

The CCA applies to equipment acquired after February 10, 2014, that had not previously been used or acquired for use.


Solar Logix recognized by the Consumer Choice Awards

Solar Logix is proud to announce that we have been selected as the 2012 Consumer Choice Award winner in the category of Solar Energy Systems for the greater city of Hamilton. The award recognizes Solar Logix as the top-ranked provider of solar panel systems as selected by consumers and businesses.

Solar Logix would like to thank the city of Hamilton for choosing us for the award!

Solar Logix first free solar install is a success!

It didn’t take long for the free solar program to take off. Although the campaign launched only a few weeks ago, Solar Logix has already received a great deal of interest throughout Ontario from people looking to take advantage of free solar.

On April 16th, 2012, Solar Logix put the finishing touches on it’s very first free solar installation in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. It’s the first of many to be installed over the next few months. The proud owners of the rooftop solar array could not be more thrilled with their installation. Solar Logix hopes the 9.468 kW rooftop solar array will further province-wide interest in solar energy and encourage new customers to participate in the program.

With the slogan “Free Solar…we pay you!”, the program offers any homeowner in Ontario a chance to have a fully functional rooftop solar array installed on their home at no cost to them. Solar Logix will pay a $500 sign up bonus and an annual fee for 20 years to homeowners who sign up and have the installation completed. At the end of the 20 year term, the solar array belongs to the homeowner.

To participate in Solar Logix free solar program, fill out the brief application form. If you’re interested in the program but would like to learn more, please click here for a full free solar program outline.

Solar Logix has six locations throughout Ontario: Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Oakville, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Hamilton. Please contact a solar consultant in your region to learn more about the benefits of having a rooftop solar array installed on your home.

Solar Logix raises the bar with free solar campaign

Over the past two years, Solar Logix has grown exponentially. The company has expanded from its one location in Thunder Bay to six locations across Ontario: Thunder Bay, Ottawa, Oakville, Hamilton, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. With the intention to be Ontario’s leading provider of OPA microFIT approved solar arrays in tact, Solar Logix has continually made every effort to keep raising the bar. This time is no different.

For the very first time, Solar Logix is offering free solar arrays to qualifying rooftops in Ontario — completely installed and fully functional. This unique program affords every homeowner in Ontario the opportunity to harness solar energy without having to pay to have it installed. To begin, Solar Logix will pay the qualifying applicant a $500 sign-up bonus once their rooftop is approved and the installation is underway. Once the rooftop solar array is installed, the applicant has the potential to earn between $500 and $1200 annually for 20 years. After the 20 year term, the applicant becomes the owner of a free solar array which can be converted to off-grid use or can be renewed with the OPA if it is available.

If you would like to take advantage of this incredible offer, please click here and fill out the form on the right. If you would like more information about the program, do not hesitate to call a consultant at any of our six locations across Ontario. Our solar consultants are more than happy to help you take advantage of free solar.

Ontario solar leads the way

Ontario continues to be a leading market for solar energy in North America with its comprehensive renewable energy incentive.

In October 2009, the first ever FIT (feed-in-tariff) and microFIT (FIT installations that are under 10kW in size) solar energy programs were launched in Ontario. The program offered customers a unique way to develop clean sources of renewable energy while earning a profit in the process. The feed-in-tariff is a policy to increase the investment in renewable energy technologies by offering long-term (generally 20 year) contracts to producers of solar energy. Typically, any home or property owner in Ontario has the opportunity to benefit from solar energy and take part in the FIT and microFIT programs pending approval from the Ontario Power Authority.

The Feed-in-Tariff program has allowed Canada to build two solar farms, and has set a standard for the future of renewable energy. The solar farm in Sarnia, Ontario is one of the largest of its type in the world. The photovoltaic power plant is bigger than 80 megawatts in size and can power more than 12,000 homes. Not even a year later, the Sault Ste. Marie Solar Park became the second largest photovoltaic plant in Canada at 68 mW.

As of May, 2012, Solar Logix has been proud to have completed over 200 OPA microFIT approved solar array installations across the province of Ontario. A vast majority of these installs have been rooftop solar arrays seen on rooftops all over the province, but Solar Logix has also installed a handful of trackers and ground mount solar arrays for customers with large areas of available land.

Solar Logix has been a positive example of the growth of the solar industry. In just two years, the company has expanded from one office in Thunder Bay, Ontario to six across the province – Ottawa, Oakville, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Hamilton (Stoney Creek).

Solar Logix installations featured in Thunder Bay’s “Walleye” magazine

The April 2012 issue of Thunder Bay’s “The Walleye” magazine saw a sharp focus on solar energy, and featured several of the Solar Logix installs that were completed in Thunder Bay. The article “On the Grid: Why go solar?” featured “The Homeowner”, “The Business” and “The Church”. Solar Logix are proud to have been the solar installers for the McLean family (The Homeowners) and St. Stephen Martyr Anglican Church (The Church).

Feature #1: The McLean Family
The McLean Family were among the first participants in Thunder Bay to take advantage of Ontario’s microFIT solar program to earn a determined rate per kilowatt hour of solar energy they feed into the province’s power grid. Their Thunder Bay home has been a great revenue earner since they chose to hire Solar Logix to design and install their very own rooftop solar array.

Feature #2: St. Stephen The Martyr Anglican Church
The St. Stephen The Martyr Anglican Church in Thunder Bay was the first church building in Current River, and now is the first in its community to generate solar energy. Click here to view their daily and monthly stats and real time graphs, as well as information on the environmental benefits from the church’s wise choice.

The Walleye is an alternative arts and culture magazine in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

OPA releases their proposed rules for new microFIT program

The Ontario Power Authority has released their proposed rules for the new MicroFIT program. The new rules contain some drastic changes that will affect all applications going forward and all applications that were submited to the OPA as of September 1st, 2011. The OPA is expected to release a concrete set of rules on May 7th, 2012.

Below is an outline of some of the important changes made to the program:

1. If more than one person owns the title to the property on which the project is to be located, the OPA microFIT application MUST go into ALL names of the legal property owners. For example, it can no longer be in just a wife’s name because she may be the lower income holder. In addition, this means that the wife could not be on the application if she is not a legal property owner.

2. Individuals and farmers, as defined in the Eligible Participant Schedule, may only have one microFIT Project and may not have multiple applications active at one time. This is regardless of whether or not the project or application is in respect to separate properties.

3. The OPA will review the microFIT program annually with a cut off date of December 31st of that year. All applications will be subject to new microFIT rules and price as of January 1st of the next year.

4. The OPA is setting up an Annual Procurement Limit which means that applications that exceed this limit will not be able to move forward with their installation that year. At the end of each year (December 31st) all applications that fall outside the Annual Procurement Limit will be terminated and the application will have to be reapplied for.

Click here to read the full OPA microFIT rules booklet.

Solar Logix will be at Geraldton Trade Show

Solar Logix representatives will be at the 23rd Annual Geraldton Trade Show on April 20th and April 21st. Several of our solar professionals can be found at Booth #20 at the follow times:

Friday, April 20th – 5:00 pm to 9 pm
Saturday, April 21st – 10 am – 3 pm

In addition, Solar Logix will be doing two presentations at the following times:

Friday, April 20th – 7:00pm.
Saturday, April 21st – 10:30am

Please come and say hello and talk about the benefits of solar energy with one of the fine Solar Logix representatives!

Solar Logix helps Community housing get $3.7M solar upgrade in Ottawa

Solar Logix will assist Ottawa Community Housing to add rooftop solar panels to one-fifth of its housing portfolio.

A $3.7 million renewable energy infrastructure grant will allow Ottawa Community Housing to add rooftop solar panels to twenty percent of its housing portfolio. Each of the 33 microFIT installations will cost around $75,000. The Ontario Power Authority’s microFIT program will allow the group to earn 80.2 cents per kilowatt hour.

With the assumption that each microFIT application has the potential to save up to $7,000 in heating per year, it is projected that these series of installations will generate nearly a quarter of a million dollars in savings annually.

Solar Logix is one of the companies involved to aid in the design and installations of the 33 microFIT applications.

The group is the largest community housing provider in Ottawa and the second-largest in the province of Ontario.

If you are a home owner you know would like to take part in the OPA microFIT program, please do not hesitate to contact the Solar Logix office in Ottawa at 613-747-8888. You can earn $500 just referring a friend into the program!

Source: Ottawa Business Journal

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