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  • OSEA: Solar
    photovoltaic effect Photovoltaic PV cells convert sunlight directly into electricity PV cells are usually made of a semiconducting material similar to that used in computer chips called silicon When sunlight hits the PV cell the photons knock electrons loose from their atoms creating a flow of electrons known as a current Cells have metal contacts on the top and bottom to draw off the current to be used as electricity Unfortunately solar cells are not very efficient since not all solar energies hitting the cell will knock electrons loose Much of the sunlight is either reflected or absorbed by the cell like heat Typically a cell has an efficiency of about 15 which is why multiple cells arranged into arrays or panels are needed to produce a usable amount of electricity Although an efficiency of 15 may seem low this is a vast improvement over the first PV cells built in the 1950s They had an efficiency of less than 4 What Can Solar Power Do Solar power has a wide variety of uses As mentioned above passive solar energy can be used for heating or cooling a building and also for light No other machinery is necessary just appropriate building and landscaping design Active solar systems can be used for many purposes including the heating of water Solar collectors can also be used in a variety of locations including your own home a cottage and other commercial and industrial locations For example within your home a solar hot water system can be used to provide hot water for your showers laundry and dishwasher as well as for applications such as heating your pool or providing radiant floor heating A system can be designed to provide up to all of your hot water needs but the average system will provide about 50 to 60 and act as an offset to a traditional water heater Your home may not have been designed to make the best use of passive solar energy and you probably don t have an active solar water heater yet but you likely already have a solar cell in your home The earliest PV cells were used for simple applications including the handy everyday calculator You may even have a set of solar powered garden lights in your back yard or have solar panels on your camping trailer Solar panels have also been used for decades to power the space station There are many other commercial applications as well including powering roadside signs and parking meters PV cells also have potential for rural and developing world electrification because the panels are relatively small and portable and can be used for all sorts of off grid applications Larger solar panels can be used to provide electricity to homes Homeowners with south facing roofs in full sun or similar sunny space on the ground can provide a significant portion of their domestic electricity use through solar panels If the solar system is connected to the grid homeowners can avoid the

    Original URL path: http://ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=901&SiteNodeID=201 (2016-02-18)
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  • OSEA: Small Hydro
    way to river power A dam is built across a river estuary to control the flow of water as the tides go in and out The water flows through tunnels in the dam and pushes a turbine One of the current challenges with tidal technology is that it only works while the tides are flowing about ten hours per day Another problem is that tidal estuaries are environmentally sensitive areas and the barrages or dams disrupt the balance They are therefore not widely used and like large scale dams they are not considered to be a truly sustainable renewable energy option Wave power is a little more challenging to harness than the power from rivers and tides The generator has to be able to take a beating from the crashing waves during rough seas and it is not very useful during calm spells The generator is usually attached to the shoreline like the Land Installed Marine Powered Energy Transformer Limpet generator in Scotland The inside of the installation is hollow and full of air When the wave arrives it forces the air out of the inner chamber through a hole A turbine is located within the hole and the air drives the turbine The turbine is attached to the generator in a similar way to the generators used in river and tidal installations What can Water Power Do Water like wind has been used for thousands of years to grind grains and power sawmills Mills were set up on riverbanks where the water would drive the mill wheel creating mechanical energy The first hydroelectric generator in Canada was installed near Ottawa in 1882 and Ottawa was the first city in North America to sign a contract to light its streets with electric power All of these early installations were small in scale and it wasn t until after World War II that advances in technology and larger installations began to leave these smaller installations behind Many sites were decommissioned because small scale units and their potential sites became progressively less economical to maintain and operate by public utilities Waterpower provided all of Ontario s electricity until just over 50 years ago and although waterpower no longer makes up the majority of the electricity generated in the province there are still over 200 installations in operation There is also some considerable potential for Community Power or First Nations development of sites in Ontario Furthermore as the environmental effects of large scale hydro dams become more understood and as the number of suitable large scale sites are exhausted there has been renewed interest in small scale hydro For more information on waterpower in Ontario and small scale applications see the Ontario Waterpower Association and the Canadian Renewable Energy Network CanREN A small scale hydroelectric facility uses existing structures or geological formations and requires only minor engineering works This both reduces the cost of development and the effect of the installation on the environment Small installations still require a sizable flow of water

    Original URL path: http://ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=902&SiteNodeID=201 (2016-02-18)
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  • OSEA: OSEA Archives
    Newsletters OSEA Member News Press Releases Related News Events OSEA Events Past Events Powering Prosperity Awards Publications Research Training Education Ontario Sustainability Services Webinars Resources Resource Library Community Power Community Power Publications Energy Policy Economics Guidebooks and Tools Renewable Energy articles publications Sustainable Energy OSEA Archives Green Energy Act Campaign Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program RESOP Search Home OSEA Archives Green Energy Act Campaign Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program RESOP

    Original URL path: http://ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=861&SiteNodeID=281&BL_ExpandID=140 (2016-02-18)
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  • OSEA: Passage of Green Energy Act praised by community power groups
    to form and invest in energy co ops and for municipalities to also become generators of green power For those who do produce renewable energy the legislation guarantees they will be able to connect to the electricity grid in order to sell their power which until now has posed a formidable obstacle to green energy But most importantly for farmers First Nations and non profit organizations as a result of the legislation the Ontario Power Authority is now developing a feed in tariff program that sets a higher price for community owned renewable power First Nations see opportunities The legislation s emphasis on encouraging the participation of First Nations is also reflected in the feed in tariff program which again establishes enhanced tariffs for renewable projects developed by Aboriginal communities William Big Bull is currently working as a consultant helping Walpole Island develop a 10 MW wind farm He is very optimistic now that the legislation has been passed This legislation gives First Nation opportunities under the law that didn t exist before between First Nations and the province he says He didn t expect the provisions to encourage First Nations to generate clean electricity to be so strongly stated in the legislation but is please they have been The enhanced tariff for First Nations means we can now form partnerships with industry and developers and still retain local control he says Paul Charbonneau who for 25 years has been working with school boards commercial companies and industries to develop renewable power is also very excited The Green Energy Act is a great societal leveler Now each and every one of us in Ontario can take part in the new energy economy The face of real estate has changed We can now produce energy from rooftops brown fields and on

    Original URL path: http://ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=924&ContentID=1739 (2016-02-18)
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  • OSEA: Pioneers of green energy deserve praise and higher prices
    including them in the new program The government has set up an invidious position in which I am made a fool for investing early and my neighbours who invest now out of economic interest are rewarded They will get double what I get It s intolerable says Dexter She sees the OPA s stance as unfair and the Green Energy Act Alliance agrees It is recommending that all RESOP contracts be grandfathered and moved into the feed in tariff program which is cornerstone of the Ontario government s new Green Energy Act The price of 42 cents paid for electricity from rooftop solar systems was never sufficient and is only half of what the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association had recommended in 2005 But because the only intent of the RESOP was to allow generation at a certain cost onto the system the prices were not based on the cost of generation In contrast the objective of the new program is to bring on more renewables as quickly as possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to stimulate the economy by doing so The new feed in tariffs as a result are based on the cost of generation and allow for a modest profit resulting in the 0 80 a kWh proposed tariff Incorporating the RESOP contractors into the new program would not be that expensive Only 100 MW of projects have been installed under the old program There are an additional 1 300 MW of renewable projects many of them ready to go but that are on hold because the tariffs were too low These could be brought on line very quickly if they were moved to the new program The Alliance is recommending that all RESOP contracts be moved to the new FIT program The cost of moving all

    Original URL path: http://ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=924&ContentID=1667 (2016-02-18)
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  • OSEA: OSEA makes recommendations for renewable energy approvals
    recommended that the renewable energy approval process proposed by the Ministry of the Environment be changed to permit project proponents who comply with the current noise guidelines to build within the proposed minimum setback of 550 metres The Alliance also recommends that no approval be required for rooftop solar systems OSEA has commented on a series of regulations policies and programs proposed subsequent to the passage of the Green Energy

    Original URL path: http://ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=924&ContentID=1936 (2016-02-18)
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  • OSEA: Presentation to Legislative Committee
    for proposals RFP process that effectively precluded community power groups from obtaining power purchase agreements due to prohibitive costs and systemic prejudices against Community Power It has been established through empirical research by groups such as the Fraunhofer Institute and Windustry that FITs are the most efficient and cost effective method to procure renewable energy The Bill as drafted enables but does not require a feed in tariff approach for the procurement of renewables OSEA recommends that Bill150 be amended such that a FIT program is the primary mechanism for procuring power from renewable sources We recommend that Schedule B section 7 adding 25 35 1 be changed to read shall rather than may and that the section apply to green energies which should be defined to include both renewables and high efficiency combined heat and power The Minister shall direct the OPA to develop FITs that are designed to ensure that they will be the primary mechanism for procuring green energies The Minister in directing the OPA to develop FITs may specify such circumstances and timelines as the Minister shall require Similarly in 25 35 2 b the Minister s issuance of directives to guide the FIT approach should be mandatory While OSEA is encouraged by a Community Wind tariff 14 4 kWh in the OPA s proposed rules for their FIT program we suggest that a better approach would be to amend Bill 150 section 25 35 3 defining feed in tariff program listing natural resource intensity as a permissible basis of differentiation In addition to energy source or fuel type generation capacity etc This will ensure that FITs do not overpay or underpay for projects and will allow a higher attainment of generating capacity per dollar spent by capturing a larger bucket of projects Interconnection Costs No entrepreneur or lender would invest in a business venture that had no access to a market to sell its product Likewise the absence of a guaranteed grid interconnection and the prohibitive cost of obtaining one have long stifled progress towards building Community Power projects Examples of Community Power projects that are awaiting access to the grid include The Lakewind joint venture between the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative TREC and Countryside coop that is stranded in the orange zone The BlueWater AgriWind farmer cooperative in Lambton County that wants to do a 57 MW wind project M Chiggeng First Nation s 4 MW wind project on Manitoulin Island The Klasei Farm s 500kw biogas project in Cobden We are very pleased to see that Bill 150 would guarantee renewable energy generators a connection to the electric grid OSEA recommends that the costs of connecting renewable energy generation to the grid apart from the shallow connection costs that are in the control of and should be borne by the project developer are being incurred for the benefit society as a whole Accordingly it is not appropriate to visit these costs on the particular generator or a particular distributor s customers Schedule D

    Original URL path: http://ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=924&ContentID=1665 (2016-02-18)
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  • OSEA: Premier McGuinty asked to give green energy time and space to grow
    Sustainable Energy OSEA Archives Green Energy Act Campaign Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program RESOP Search Home Premier McGuinty asked to give green energy time and space to grow OSEA along with 11 other organizations wrote to the Ontario Premier asking him to give green energy the time and space to grow The appellants argue that the provisions for nuclear power specified in the government s long term plans basically put a cap on renewable energy The Premier was asked to forgo or at least delay the decision to buy new nuclear reactors in the face of dwindling demand for electricity and to retire the Pickering nuclear station providing instead more space on the grid for green sources of energy In the summer of 2009 the government announced that it was postponing the procurement of new nuclear reactors In late June 2009 the Governement of Ontario announced that it had suspended the competitive request for proposals to procure two replacement nuclear reactors planned for the Darlington site because of the high cost and the uncertainty of the future of Atomic Energy Canada one of the companies that had submitted a bid Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure George Smitherman

    Original URL path: http://ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=924&ContentID=1797 (2016-02-18)
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