TREC’s Proposed Toronto Hydro Solar Initiative

By Paul Gipe

November 28, 2008

In 2007 the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative proposed to senior executives at Toronto Hydro, Canada’s largest municipal utility, the Toronto Solar Initiative. The objective was to build on the existing Ontario Standard Offer Contract program’s tariff for solar PV with a city of Toronto specific tariff. The combined tariffs were intended to be sufficient for profitable development of rooftop solar within the city.

Ontario’s solar PV tariff was one-half that necessary for profitable rooftop developmment. There were no and are no federal subsidies, unlike in the United States.

TREC’s proposal was modest, only 50 MW. Nevertheless, no action by Toronto Hydro was taken. A similar proposal was made to Powerstream, a municipal utility in the northern suburbs of Toronto. No action was taken by Powerstream as well.