by BETTER FARMING STAFF
Dave Fadden just got some good news from Hydro One on Friday. They are sending him a package that includes an offer to connect.
Fadden built a house on a farm property near Melbourne in 2010 and added a $50,000, 10kw 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 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. That offer is now in the mail and, after he fills out the paperwork and pays for the connection, he should be ready to go, almost.
Because he didn’t get hooked up by Dec. 31, 2010, he is now required to have 60 per cent of the content of his solar system produced in Ontario. When he built, the requirement was 40 per cent, which he met. He has a complaint before the Ontario Energy Board saying that Hydro One failed in its obligation under the Distribution System Code to either give an offer to connect or give reasons why you cannot connect within 15 days of receiving an application. That failure, he says, is the reason he is in noncompliance now.
He also complains that he did not receive a notice sent out Nov. 8 allowing an extension if certain conditions were met by Dec. 1, 2010. “The OPA sent out a posting as they call it on Nov. 8,” Fadden said, “which I didn’t receive, saying if you had an Electrical Safety Authority authorization to connect prior to Dec. 1, then you would be given an extension until May 31, 2011 (for content). When I found out about it, it was too late.” Fadden is hoping his local MPP (Maria Van Bommel, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex) will be able to help him square that one with the OPA.
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. BF