Letter - OFA demands minister restore original rate

The Regional

July 28, 2010

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) in a letter to Hon. Brad Duguid, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, calls on the province to restore credibility to its Green Energy initiatives by honouring the terms already agreed to for production of solar energy.

Minister Duguid announced July 2, without consultation, that the rate paid for the production of energy from solar installations mounted on the ground would be cut from 80.2 cents per Kilowatt-hour to 58.8 cents.

"The economic devastation of the price change will go far beyond the unacceptable loss to farmers," OFA's letter states.

"A mid-project price switch means serious financial loss for many farmers...the manufacturers and distributors of solar equipment are already reporting order cancellations, project stoppages and significant financial hardship," the letter warns Minister Duguid.

"Minister, the abrupt and unsubstantiated price change is completely contrary to the green energy and green economy intentions of the McGuinty Government," OFA President Bette Jean Crews stated in her letter to the minister.

"It is critical that you honour the original promised price of 80.2 cents for ground-mounted micro-FIT solar projects...

"Any price changes will need to be developed in consultation with industry experts in a very public way to ensure the price is capable of providing a suitable return on investment while encouraging green energy projects."