"For the solar energy industry, our most compelling attraction is the Ontario Power Authority’s feed-in tariff, or FIT Program, modeled after successful programs in Germany and France. It features North America’s first comprehensive, guaranteed pricing structure for renewable electricity production, offering stable prices under long-term contracts for solar photovoltaic, on-shore and off-shore wind power, biomass, biogas, landfill gas, and waterpower energy," said Blair Patacairk, Senior Consultant, Investment, OCRI, Ottawa’s leading economic development organization and an Ontario Technology Corridor partner.
The push for renewable energy alternatives in Ontario was given a major boost earlier this year after the Government of Ontario signed a $7 billion green energy investment agreement with a consortium created by Samsung C&T Corporation – Trading and Investment Group and the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). This renewable solar energy and wind energy project will be the largest of its kind in the world, and have a combined power-generating capacity of 2.5 GW by 2016, producing energy equivalent to four per cent of Ontario’s total electricity consumption.
This is the largest of 184 large-scale contracts for green-energy projects that will power 600,000 homes. Another 510 medium-sized feed-in tariff projects have already been announced, most of which are solar and will generate enough energy for 13,000 more homes. The total of 694 feed-in tariff contracts will create 20,000 direct and indirect green energy jobs and attract about $9 billion in private sector investment.
Ontario is currently a North American leader in the adoption of green energy policies with its passing of the Green Energy Act in May 2009. Other targeted programs available to the alternative energy and clean technology sector include: Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund, Ontario Innovation Demonstration Fund, Ontario Power Authority Technology Development Fund, SD Tech Fund, and SDTC’s NextGen Biofuels Fund.
Ontario is home to 110 head offices of clean technology companies that are predominantly engaged in the development and marketing and/or use of their own proprietary technology to deliver products or services that reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts. Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) projects that by 2015, these Ontario clean technology companies will generate revenues in excess of $1 billion. In addition there are over 2,800 environmental industry companies in Ontario, generating approximately $7 billion in revenue and employing 65,000 people.
Employing nearly 272,000 people among 6,700 companies, the Ontario Technology Corridor’s clean technology initiative includes the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa Region, City of Hamilton, Waterloo Region, City of London, Municipality of Chatham-Kent and the Niagara Region. The Corridor also welcomes in partnership the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade as well as the federal government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.
The Ontario Technology Corridor offers a highly educated workforce, excellent growth opportunities, a low-risk business environment, and generous R&D tax credits that are the envy of other countries. The Corridor is supported by the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA), OCRI (Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation), Canada’s Technology Triangle, the London Economic Development Corporation, the Niagara Economic Development Corporation, the Hamilton Economic Development Office and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.