This past Thursday, the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) awarded feed-in tariff (FIT) contracts to another 184 projects, with a total capacity of 2,500 megawatts (MW). The majority of the projects were ground-mounted solar, on-shore wind and mini-hydro, but also included 7 biogas projects. 4 of these were small scale (less then 500 kW) on-farm biogas projects, bringing the total number of small on-farm biogas projects with FIT contracts to 15, for a total of over 4 MW.
Four of the latest projects to receive contracts also received the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) feasibility study grant, and three of those also received $400,000 from OMAFRA to help with construction costs. Both of these programs are closed now, but this just shows its usefulness – I believe all of the projects that received the $400,000 construction grant have now been given FIT contracts. Some of them are operating and selling power to the grid already too.
In addition, one interesting project included a 1 MW plant, owned by Grimsby Power Inc., a fully owned subsidiary of the Town of Grimsby, in the Niagara region of Ontario. The town’s motivation for going ahead with the project – to support its agricultural community. The chairman of Grimsby Power was pretty excited about the project, talking about how it essentially takes Grimsby off the grid, as the plant will produce more power than the town uses.
This is a great example of a successful community-owned biogas project, where the municipality is the primary investor and the community will be the primary beneficiary. As more towns recognize the value of this opportunity for them and their farmers – more community owned biogas projects like this one should pop up.
If you’re interested in finding out about how your community could benefit from community-owned biogas projects, talk to me. ReGenerate is here to help you grow local value – by creating jobs and producing renewable energy, with biogas.
photo credit: WVPA G&T