by BETTER FARMING STAFF
Dave Fadden got some good news from Hydro One on Friday followed by more good news from the Ontario Ministry of Energy.
Hydro One called to say they are sending him a package that includes an offer to connect. An Energy Ministry spokesperson later told him he would be allowed to hook up even though he has only 40 per cent Ontario content in his solar system, which was the 2010 requirement. The 2011 requirement is for 60 per cent.
Fadden built a house on a farm property near Melbourne in 2010 and added a $50,000, 10 kilowatt solar array to his roof believing he would be able to start earning right away via the Ontario Government's 80.2 cent per kilowatt hour microFIT (micro feed-in tariff) program.
Fadden, like many others who have come forward recently, later learned the Ontario Power Authority approval for the system was meaningless without an offer to connect from Hydro One. Because he didn't get that offer in 2010, he wasn't able to hook up by Dec. 31, the deadline for projects with 40 per cent Ontario content.
Now, however, with an offer to connect in the mail and the content issue cleared up, Fadden should be ready to go after he fills out the Hydro One paperwork and pays for the connection.
Mark Hogans, distribution generation coordinator for Hydro One Networks Inc., said Fadden is getting an offer to connect because Hydro One has found capacity on Fadden's line.
"Since this thing started," Hogans said, "we've been going through our records trying to find capacity." He said capacity is found when projects for which capacity was being held are not built or their permits expire. That capacity, which was being held, then becomes available for new projects.
Fadden's reaction to all the good news: "I just hope others can be so lucky," he said. BF