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  • 03 Dec 2015 5:36 AM | Anonymous

    This article was written as a response to the editor of the Globe and Mail about their article on the Auditor General's report written on December 2, 2015.

    The Auditor-General's report poses many important questions and re-opens the debate on how the province should plan our electricity system. First of all, we should be planning for our energy needs, not just our electricity requirements.

    With climate change affecting ever more aspects of our lives, we have an obligation to develop our energy system in a way that mitigates climate change and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, with proper consideration of all technical, financial and social implications. The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) agrees with the Auditor-General's report. We do need a transparent process for energy planning, in particular around decisions that will affect the price consumers pay, not only now, but also in the future.

    Only yesterday, TransCanada announced details about a government deal with Bruce Power regarding the refurbishment of its aging nuclear reactors, extending their lifespan to 2064. What is troublesome about this is what we have to pay for the power from these reactors. In 2016, Bruce Power will receive a uniform price for all units of $65.73 per MWhr. Over time, that price will be subject to a series of adjustments that most of us will never be able to understand or even know. Juxtapose this uncertainty to Feed-in Tariffs (FIT). The rates paid for renewable energy projects, such as wind, solar, hydro and bio-energy, are fixed for 20 years.

    Generators will be given no additional adjustments - the price is the price - very transparent and very predictable. FIT rates have decreased with significant reductions for solar PV, as technologies and project development costs decrease - a trend forecast to continue. The only thing we know about the price of nuclear power is that it keeps going up and that in Canada and around the world projects always costs more than estimated. If a private FIT project developer goes over his budget, there is no bailout from the province.

    What the Green Energy Act and the Feed-in Tariff enabled Ontario to do, and the Auditor-General's report fails to notice, is that it jump-started an entire industry, creating jobs, manufacturing and opportunities for communities, municipalities, farmers and First Nations to develop and benefit from their own energy projects.

    Energy is a complex issue, but virtually all other industries are changing with the introduction of new and smarter technologies. Rosemarie Leclair, chair and CEO of the Ontario Energy Board (OEB), aptly pointed out, in her speech at the APPrO conference, that we can already foresee great changes in the way in which energy will be generated and consumed in the future. According to her this is similar to what has happened in other industries, for example, the taxi or television industries, with the introduction of Uber and Netflix.

    Another point that the Auditor-General's report failed to note is that left to its whims; the former OPA would have continued with the status quo and gone ahead with not only nuclear refurbishments but also new nuclear plants. What we do know is that at only 28% efficiency, every kilowatt hour generated at a nuclear plant creates heat that is wasted forcing us to use fossil fuels to heat our homes and buildings, resulting in more greenhouse gas emissions. It is a vicious circle and, therefore, a myth that nuclear plants add no greenhouse gas emissions.

    Building new large-scale power plants and building out high-voltage transmission lines no longer makes sense in this new technological era of interconnected and highly flexible micro solutions. OSEA and many others believe that building a smarter, decentralized and more nimble system based on renewable energy, cogeneration, improved efficiency, and conservation is the prudent path for consumers as well as the environment. One of the biggest issues in our current system is that much of the heat generated during the production of electricity is wasted. In countries like Denmark, no power plant will get a permit unless the heat is captured and used. Even government directives have not been effective in getting the former OPA to pursue even a fraction of the opportunities for combined heat and power in Ontario.

    Ontario has to find a better way. OSEA is initiating a study that is intended to help Ontario do just that.

    Written by Nicole Risse, Interim Executive Director, Ontario Sustainable Energy Association

  • 23 Mar 2015 4:07 PM | Anonymous

    BRANTFORD, ONTARIO - March 23, 2015

    Solarize Energy, an end-to-end solar project development and management company in Ontario, announces that it has put in place a financing vehicle that provides non-recourse long-term debt for small and medium sized portfolios. Given the specific challenges of raising appropriate debt financing for smaller rooftop portfolios, this financing vehicle has been set up to accommodate portfolios as small as single projects.

    "Our long-term vision is to be a significant player in a robust and dynamic solar industry in Ontario", said Carlos Leite, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Solarize Energy. "With this financing facility, we can now deliver a turnkey solution that is truly end-to-end". Craig Walker, Sales Manager at Solarize Energy, emphasized that "Solarize Energy is now able to bring construction-stage and long-term debt financing as part of its aggregation facility specifically designed to meet all the requirements of the FIT2 and FIT3 contracts." Paul Leikermoser, Business Development Director at Solarize Energy, added that "This financing facility represents an invaluable option for developers, landlords as well as EPC companies who want to ensure that their projects reach commercial operation."

    These projects are possible under the government of Ontario's FIT Program with its focus on the development of distributed clean power. By replacing fossil fuels, the clean energy generated by these solar photovoltaic systems will also contribute significantly to efforts to fight climate change. The Solarize value proposition for project developers and owners includes design and engineering, construction and commissioning, project and contract management, as well as operations and maintenance once the projects reach commercial operation.

    To learn more about how interested FIT contract holders and EPC companies can take advantage of Solarize's development expertise and financing facility, contact our Sales

    Department at 519-304-7012 (office) or 416-575-7012 (cell) for a free, no-obligation consultation, or visit Solarize Energy online at www.solarizeenergy.ca.

    About Solarize Energy L.P.

    Solarize Energy L.P., based in Brantford, has been established to develop, construct, finance and manage distributed solar energy assets. The management group has a long history in the solar sector and in project management. The in-house team provides expert design and engineering, procurement and construction, as well as commissioning and operations management of solar energy projects. To date, Solarize has constructed over 12 MW of rooftop projects in Ontario, of which we manage and operate just under 10 MW. Currently, we are developing more than 10MW of FIT3 projects. Strategic alliances with leading equipment suppliers and ready access to project financing allows Solarize to offer a "one-stop" shop for those wishing to finance, design, construct and monitor solar systems under the FIT Program.

    More information is available at www.solarizeenergy.ca.

    MEDIA CONTACT:

    Carlos Leite
    519.304.7011
    cleite@solarizeenergy.ca

    SALES CONTACT:

    Paul Leikermoser
    519.304.7012
    Sales@solarizenergy.ca

  • 20 Mar 2015 4:05 PM | Anonymous

    Kristopher Stevens, one of the principle Officers of OSEA, has announced that he will be stepping down to start his own consulting business.  "The past eight years at OSEA have been incredible and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to serve the OSEA membership." Kristopher explains, "I am looking forward to this new chapter in my career and continuing as an active OSEA member in the years ahead."

    Joe Mulhall on behalf of the Board of Directors stated "The Board made the decision more than a year ago to create the new position of Director of Operations and Finance and to divide the responsibilities for the management of OSEA into two separate positions reporting directly to the Board.  The Board was pleased that Nicole Risse agreed to take on that new role and her performance in the last year has proven that she was a good choice. We are confident in her ability to manage the business of OSEA.  Kristopher leaving will not affect the day to day operations at OSEA."   

    Nicole Risse has been a core member of OSEA for more than six years, having served as Business Development and Outreach Manager and currently as Director of Finance and Operations.  She is a specialist in sustainable energy, stakeholder engagement and grassroots logistics having managed campaigns in Europe, Asia and North America.  Nicole was instrumental in coordinating the successful Green Energy Act campaign, the now national Green Energy Doors Open sustainable energy showcase, the association's Powering Prosperity Awards, the monthly Energy Drinks networking event, the OSEA 20/20 Roadmap webinar series and numerous past international sustainable energy conferences.

    Joe Mulhall stated further.  "Nicole's strong commitment to OSEA's vision and to the members, combined with her understanding of key issues facing the sector, her organizational skills and proven management capability, will keep OSEA moving forward in a positive direction." 

    For further information please visit www.ontario-sea.org or contact Nicole Risse, Director of Operations and Finance at 416-977-4441 ext. 3 or via email at Nicole@ontario-sea.org.

    xxx

    The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) is championing a prosperous Ontario with a thriving sustainable energy sector, good jobs, resilient communities and healthy environments powered, heated, cooled and moved by portfolios of sustainable energy by raising public awareness, advising decision makers and establishing forums for new market opportunities and collaboration. 

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