TORONTO, March 18 /CNW/ - St. Catharines Hydro Generation Inc (SCHGI) has signed a 20-year contract with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) that will see it paid 6.9 cents per kilowatt-hour to provide the province's ratepayers with a secured source of clean, renewable energy, the OPA announced today.
SCHGI, based in St. Catharines Ontario, produces 5.75 megawatts (MW) of electricity from hydro power utilizing two DBS Escher Wyss turbines, within the 12 Mile Creek. SCHGI will now receive a base rate of 6.9 cents per kilowatt-hour. For ratepayers, the price is highly competitive for clean, renewable power generation.
"This contract is good for St. Catharines Hydro Generation Inc., it's good for the local community, and it's good for Ontario electricity ratepayers," says Ontario Power Authority Chief Executive Officer Colin Andersen. "Through this and other similar contracts, we're gaining generating flexibility and creating a set of complementary options for economically producing the electricity Ontarians need. Securing these hydro-electric sources also supports Ontario's goal of eliminating coal-fired generation by the end of 2014 - the single biggest climate change initiative in Canada."
"Hydroelectric power has served Ontarians for over a century," said Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Brad Duguid. "Securing contracts like this at a competitive price supports the province's objective of enhancing renewable energy generation and helps to secure energy supply from cleaner sources for years to come."
"There is probably no other community in Ontario that better understands and appreciates the legacy hydroelectric power generation offers, than the Niagara Region," says General Manager of St. Catharines Hydro Generation Inc., Frank Perri. "This contract will provide a predictable revenue stream for our plant and ensure its long term viability, whilst assisting in the Province's initiative to eliminate 'coal-fired generation' utilizing renewable waterpower."
The contract with St. Catharines Hydro Generation Inc. flows from a directive issued by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure in May 2009, which called for the Power Authority to negotiate new contracts with existing hydro-electric generation facilities. In all, about 125 facilities ranging in size from 40 kW to 239 MW for a total potential of 1,200 to 1,300 MW can participate as their contracts comes due.
The contract with SCHGI is one of 11 small generating facilities that have been brought under the new compensation terms thus far (contract terms were reached through separate negotiations with two major producers late last year). Hydro-electric facilities must be connected to the electricity grid managed by Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and not considered under a previous renewable energy program to be eligible for these enhanced contracts. Facilities owned by Ontario Power Generation are exempt as they're covered by separate arrangements.
In all, Ontario has 7,700 MW of waterpower-sourced electricity online. In addition to securing contracts with existing waterpower generating facilities, the Power Authority is also stimulating the development of new waterpower projects (and other forms of renewable energy) through Ontario's Feed-in tariff program (FIT for facilities generating more than 10 kW and microFIT for those generating 10 kW or less).
The Ontario Power Authority is responsible for ensuring a reliable, sustainable supply of electricity for Ontario. Its four key areas of focus are: planning the power system for the long term, leading and co-ordinating conservation initiatives across the province, ensuring development of needed generation resources, and supporting the continued evolution of the electricity sector.
More information about the Ontario Power Authority, the hydro-electric contracts initiative and the FIT and microFIT programs is available from the OPA website: www.powerauthority.on.ca/.
SOURCE Ontario Power Authority
For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Tim Butters, Ontario Power Authority, (416) 969-6307/Toll Free: 1-800-797-9604