Reports on Ontario FIT Program Delays

Formed in 2009, Atlantic Wind & Solar Inc. is a Toronto based, publiclytraded Renewable Energy company, focused on deploying utility scale Wind and Solar energy parks across Ontario.


The company’s primary objective is to build, own and operate clean energyprojects for the purpose of selling the electricity generated into thelocal utility grid, under the terms and conditions of the provincesgreen energy initiative, Feed In Tariff (FIT) program, launched in Sept, 2009.


But like many other solar startups in the province, the company has yet toreport any substantial earnings as a result of what some stakeholdersare describing as “excessive delays in the Power Purchase Agreement(PPA) approval process created by the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).”


Although the delays of these government contracts have already caused severalsmaller energy developers to close shop and simultaneously sparking some uncertainty amongst the investment community, Atlantic’s Chairman Mr.Gilles Trahan remains optimistic in the FIT program, and the OPA’sability to deliver contracts.


In view of the upcoming Canadian federal election, Trahan believes thedelays in the contract release process may be part of a provincialgovernment strategy as opposed to a bottleneck or failure in the system.


To support this theory, Trahan reports that his company has alreadyreceived confirmation directly from the Ontario Power Authority,confirming that at least twenty six (26) of the Power PurchaseAgreements that his firm applied for last summer (all 500kw and smaller) have already been processed, and according to the OPA, are assured tobe released in the next round of contract approvals.


To further support Trahan’s optimism, the OPA issued a Press Release on February 24 stating; “In the coming weeks, the OPA expects to begin awarding phase threecontracts for capacity allocation exempt (CAE) projects (under 500kilowatts) that applied between June 5, 2010, and December 7, 2010.”


Trahan corroborates that all of Atlantic’s initially confirmed projects fallinto this NEXT to be released category, and indicates that it is likelythat many other solar developers have received similar notifications,giving hope that it will happen “any day.”


He also points out that the initial 26 confirmed contracts representapproximately 6 MW of rooftop solar projects, amounting to an estimated$200 mil in potential gross revenues for Atlantic and its stakeholders,allowing the company to include significant secured revenues, as itprepares to submit it’s S-1 registration statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), allowing the company to apply to up-listonto a senior stock exchange.


In addition, he reports that Atlantic has since added another 120 similarsized projects (250kW-500kW) to its pipeline, and is confident that they too will continue to be processed by the OPA, in order of submission.


The Atlantic executive forecasts that his and other well funded companiesmay get an even bigger boost during the next round of approvals, due towhat he describes as the creation of the secondary rooftop solar market. He anticipates an excess of Capacity Allocated Exempt (CAE) contractswill be made available for sale by less fortunate, under fundeddevelopers who had applied for the contracts last year, but who havesince been forced to close their doors due to not being able to endurethe prolonged waiting period.


Trahan points out that although the delays in the system might at first appear to be unfortunate for the sector, he believes the adjournment hasalready helped shake out many of the players who planned on flippingcontracts for quick returns, as well as has helped thin out many of theweaker developers who were over committed and under supported, resulting in an overall strengthening of the industry. – Perhaps exactly as theprogram may have been designed to do.

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