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Renewable Energy World - Ontario Will Pay Farmers 14.5 cents per kWh for Their Wind Generation

By: Paul Gipe

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has confirmed that it will pay Ontario farmers $0.145 CAD/kWh for their wind generation under the province's new feed-in tariff program launched October 1, 2009.

The Canadian dollar is near parity with the U.S. dollar.

The confirmation was made by the OPA's Jonathan Cheszes in a presentation at the Community Power Conference November 15 in Toronto.

In his presentation, Cheszes summarized the criteria necessary to qualify for OPA's community and aboriginal adders. To qualify for the $0.01 CAD/kWh community adder, the first criterion is simply "one or more individuals resident in Ontario". When asked whether this definition included farmers, Cheszes responded in the affirmative.

Thus, if a farmer owns more than 50 percent of the controlling interest in a wind turbine or a wind farm of multiple turbines, they will qualify for the full community wind adder.

As of mid July, 2009, OPA had yet to define how to qualify for the community adder. Community power proponents, notably the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, had focused primarily on the definition of cooperatives and joint ventures and the degrees of ownership qualifying for the adder.

Ontario's community wind adder is the most significant program targeted specifically at farmers and rural residents in North America since Minnesota's community wind bonus. Previously, Minnesota had provided an equivalent community wind bonus for turbines up to 2 MW in the late 1990s.

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