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  • OSEA: Renewable Energy at Your Fingertips
    and Tools Renewable Energy articles publications Sustainable Energy OSEA Archives Green Energy Act Campaign Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program RESOP Search Home News Updates News Updates Renewable Energy at Your Fingertips via Wind Works org The Energy Transition is becoming a fashion item Kirsten Hasberg announced the launch of her crowd sourced venture EnergyDemocracy TV at the Pathways to 100 Renewable Energy conference in San Francisco April 16 2013 In

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  • OSEA: The Story of MERE – 7 Years to Hallelujah
    onto grid connection opportunities to renounce those opportunities in favour of getting a FIT contract This in theory creates an opening in the grid connection log jam in favour of aboriginal and community power projects No regulations with respect to the environmental assessment process are available MFN proposes to raise 1 million in equity from federal sponsors and put 2 million of its own money into the project as a repayable loan The rest must be borrowed February 2010 at a conference of Ontario municipalities Ministry of Environment staff are queried by the MERE project team as to when the REA guidelines will be published and as to whether there will be exemptions for First Nations in regards to the REA process The answer is we recognize that situation but we have no comment March 2010 meetings with INAC and FedNor in regards to federal grant money support for the project Agreement for 1 million seems possible April 2010 FIT Contract award Happy faces for MFN they got a 4 MW contract Three years to build it Two years to meet the 25 domestic content regulations after which the wind industry must comply with 50 domestic content which will be impossible So the deadline for completion is set at April 2012 May 2010 MFN formally requests exemption from the EA processes on the grounds that the EA was already completed under the old rules and the project is entirely on Band land The reply from the Ministry of Environment is that the prior EA process is not a valid reason for exemption because the completion was not ratified by the Minister And the Ministry was not sure that it can agree to exemption on the grounds that the laws of Ontario do not apply to aboriginal projects on federal crown lands Catch 22 May 2010 A term loan requirement in the amount of 8 5 million is identified MFN submits an application for a loan guarantee to the OFA This is the first such application The OFA still has no boiler plate documentation to outline the loan guarantee approval and loan closing process The OFA s program describes a developer partnership model in which a FN raises 75 of the equity needed to be in a partnership through an equity loan supported by the loan guarantee MFN puts forward the proposition that the loan guarantee should support 75 of the project total costs since there is no developer partnership and the project will be 100 owned by the First Nation OFA staff feel this can work even though it is outside the parameters that they were originally contemplating June July 2010 3G organizes a competitive process to select a lender BMO RBC and TD Bank are the lead candidates TD Bank is chosen on the strength of their knack for making challenging loan technicalities understandable for the MFN staff Summer and Fall 2010 long hours in discussion with Ministry of Environment staff regarding the REA exemption as well as the Renewable Energy Facilitation Office and Ministry of Energy staff Briefing documents sent to the Premier ministers and many MPP s There seems to be an understanding that Ontario will make a decision in favour of the project but nobody knows when and no bureaucrat will sign anything This is a show stopper issue that holds up the OFA s ability to make a loan guarantee proposal OFA won t put anything on paper until something happens to bust the log jam Timetable for project commencement calls for construction in Spring 2011 This is looking tight since nobody knows how long the OFA will take to approve the loan guarantee And the turbine commitment specifies that the order must be received in early 2011 to reserve the turbines in the Enercon production queue Meanwhile the federal EA is reactivated after slumbering since 2009 with INAC as the Responsible Authority Work is done over the summer on soliciting comments from affected authorities September 2010 the surveyors are deployed to survey the 100 acre land parcel that the project will reside on and the municipal right of way that the 1 2 km collector line will follow along No loan commitment from TD Bank since there is no loan guarantee commitment yet but draft documents are being prepared MFN submits Notice to Proceed request to the OPA Missing from this are the term loan commitment and the loan guarantee commitment The OPA will not issue NTP without these INAC requests clarification on the draft EA report A gap analysis is written to explain the minor differences between the project as imagined in 2008 2009 and the current project The essence is that the project has diminished from 6 turbines to 2 turbines on a smaller land parcel at the same location The draft final EA screening report is issued and circulated TD Bank submits a draft term sheet for the proposed 8 5 million term loan The deal is contingent on the OFA s loan guarantee OFA is unable to issue a draft commitment letter but they explain that the loan process will involve a ProjectCo corporate entity as the borrower This crystallizes the issue of getting a Section 28 2 land permit from the Band to allow the ProjectCo to lease the parcel for 20 years INAC and Ministry of Justice are mobilized in creating this permission ProjectCo will be 100 owned by MFN so the Section 28 2 permit in effect allows the Band to rent the land to itself for 20 years A property appraiser is mobilized to assess the proposed compensation terms in the ProjectCo lease October 2010 MFN signs a purchase agreement with Enercon for two E 82 wind turbines Ministry of Environment writes a letter explaining the delay in the REA exemption decision as follows The Ministry of the Environment is currently seeking the opinion of the Constitutional Law Branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General to confirm the applicability of the Renewable Energy Approval Regulation requirements to projects located entirely on federally regulated lands such as an Indian reserve We are specifically seeking advice in respect of the M Chigeeng proposal We hope to be in receipt of this advice in about a month OFA is still not able to issue its initial draft term sheet letter but they explain that work is progressing well on these documents and they should be available soon November 2010 The federal environmental screening report is approved and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry publishes notice of the decision on November 24 2010 Ministry of Environment authorises the exemption from REA on the basis that the project will reside on Band land and that the federal EA will be authorized by INAC as the Responsible Authority under the Canadian Environmental Act The bureaucrats are finally making progress and Ontario is off the hook for the EA work But wait the collector line is on a municipal right of way not Band land MoE offers no exemption for the collector line even though under the old EA rules this collector line was not deemed to be a stand alone approval issue In addition the fact that the municipal right of way is scheduled for merger into the Band s land as a result of treaty agreements in process at the federal level this is not enough to allow the Ministry to drop its insistence that the REA be performed on the collector line Back to the drawing board Meanwhile the funding grant agreement is achieved with INAC and FedNor for 1 million with coverage retroactive to costs since May 2010 FedNor agrees to fund hard construction expenses on the road and pole line on the basis that this will create local jobs which is true A significant amount of the road construction contract will be geared toward local MFN contractors who can fulfill the requirements with Band manpower and equipment OFA issues the initial draft of the Guarantee Agreement It contains more procedural matters than anticipated including extensive third party validation and reporting on existing expenditures and planned expenditures Lots of lender control over the borrower Initial meetings with the AREF fund administrators indicate that the AREF Fund will not cover much of the preparatory and development expenditures due regulations against funding expenditure prior to the date of the formal application submission By contrast the federal funders are not so tightly rule bound and they normally agree to fund expenditure from the point in time of the initial meetings to discuss the grants The federal grant application process is more customized to the project circumstance compared to the AREF s bulky and rule bound application process December 2010 A team meeting is held to resolve the collector line dilemma The plan for the collector line is altered Success is achieved by moving the line 50 feet west off the municipal ROW and into two properties held by MFN Band members under Certificates of Possession While not on Band owned property the CP status denotes federal jurisdiction which was sufficient for Ontario s Ministry of Environment A sleight of hand wins Engineering work is commenced A road design is the first priority because forestry and road construction work are scheduled for April 2011 Mid December The Minister of Finance issues a letter detailing the basic terms of the loan guarantee Loan amount is 8 5 million and MFN equity shall be 3 million plus another 500k in security to cover cost over runs The key pace setting item is the Section 28 2 Permit The initial geotechnical drill test is done before the winter snow arrives This location is not exactly at the proposed turbine sites since there is no road to the turbine sites as yet January 2011 the surveyors go back to reposition the collector line This survey is now a pace setting item within INAC and the Dept of Justice in regards to their approval of the Section 28 2 permit Two months to go before construction is to start and there is no finalized loan guarantee documentation no finalized term loan and no land permit and money is being spent on final engineering and project planning Enercon is asking for the initial deposit but there is no money available for this commitment yet Expected cost is 12 5 13 million February 2011 the surveyors submitted the revised drawings to INAC and the Department of Justice INAC officials are not available to process it due to vacation and training schedules and Justice officials are well known for taking months to process these documents We learn that a new registry process has been established for aboriginal land transactions and this might cause delays MFN issues a tender for the logging work at the road site and then withdraws it due to procedural issues A new tender is issued Billings Township the local municipality objects to the proposed use of roads by the construction forces saying that that township roads are fragile and forcing MFN to sign an acceptance of liability and pledge a 50k security There is suspicion that this is politically motivated because the mayor is publically against the project and he ran as an unsuccessful Conservative party candidate in that riding for the election in 2011 Funding request is submitted to INAC and FedNor for partial release of the pledged grant funds March 2011 Fine tuning work is ongoing on the OFA loan guarantee documentation INAC approves two year land permits for the project site and the CP lands which were initiated in October 2011 as a stop gap measure and these are intended to be replaced by 25 year land permits once the Dept of Justice is satisfied with those agreement documents The project team learns that the two year term is not sufficient land control for the Ontario Finance Authority and the OFA will not proceed to loan closing with only these permits The permanent Section 28 2 permits continue to be delayed Notice to Proceed is executed by the OPA now that the REA exemption is available Forest clearing work is underway on the roads MFN wires 1 2 million to Enercon in Germany to finalize the turbine purchase contract and get the order locked into the factory queue April 2011 The project legal team continues to draft the loan agreement documentation Waiting continues for the Section 28 2 Permit The surveyor issues the final version of the new survey which can now get registered as part of the land permits Road construction starts but frost restrictions impair the ability of the contractor to deploy his forces Billings is watching the work and forces trucks off the road despite being only half full Road work is delayed a few weeks Pole line work is started The electrical engineering design for the grid connection is completed and submitted to Hydro One for approval This design includes a switching station with multiple switch gear as per Hydro One specifications and the design concept was developed with input from Hydro One The project team presumes it is acceptable however a surprise awaits the project team May 2011 geotechnical drilling is done at the two turbine sites achieved as soon as the road construction allows access and the weather dries up This work allows the foundation design to proceed Road construction continues Section 28 2 Permit work is almost completed Delays in finalizing the permanent land permits ensue because legal counsel for one of the CP holders has gone AWOL for weeks and a trusted alternative cannot be found These inputs are critical to INAC signing off on the documentation June 2011 Big news from INAC that the amended survey has been registered under the new aboriginal land title registry and the long term Section 28 2 permits can proceed Independent legal advice has been rendered to the CP land holders and all the documentation is ready The OFA decides the time has come to approve the loan guarantee formally and the Minister of Finance issues a letter confirming the deal June 23 is set as the loan closing date But there are many conditions which must yet be fulfilled prior to allowing the money to flow One notable condition is that a further 500 000 of cost overrun equity must be available meaning that MFN needs to inject this extra as cash MFN complies The structural design for the foundation is finished but there is controversy as the Enercon designer stipulates a buoyancy design that would normally be used in a marshy soil not the shale rock that the foundations are to be sitting on Enercon stipulates that lacking 12 months of ground water level monitoring data they must presume buoyancy conditions notwithstanding that the two geotechnical drilling events spanning 6 months indicate no ground water presumably because the soil is fractured shale on a high ridge After further challenging the appropriateness of this design choice the project team then learns that Enercon has no buoyant foundation design certified for Canada so the process of Enercon s designing work based on the May 2012 geotechnical study has achieved nothing other than an off the shelf result that may be over design Serious concerns that Enercon is charging for structural design services but is not actually doing any design work Enercon issues a tender using a list of constructors given to them by the project team Enercon fails to realize that this list is not intended to be the exclusive list and so they omit from the invitation several qualified contractors from south western Ontario who previously built Enercon foundations Road construction is finished and the project team decides to move the foundation process forward by excavating a hole for each of the foundations The hole goes down 3 meters in dry shale rock and the contractor uses explosives to break the rock There is irony in this fact given that the buoyant foundation design presumes a soft undersurface July 2011 the OFA requires a fixed price for the foundation work and the pole line contract The pole line contract was tendered in February 2011 and work is well underway but the foundation remains an unknown cost Enercon finishes the tendering process early in the month and the project team receives a huge surprise Foundation cost are indicated at almost 500k each double what was expected The culprits are the facts that none of the invited constructors has ever built an Enercon foundation before and the extra concrete involved in meeting the buoyancy design specification The project team huddles and considers taking over from Enercon the responsibility of the foundation construction but this would lead to warranty issues Enercon offers to include two constructors with prior experience and the tender is extended About 3 weeks of delay ensue and the result is a lower price for the foundation at 380k each but this is still 100k higher than budgeted The OFA is satisfied but still requires confirmation that all agreed upon MFN equity has been injected into the project An outside engineer is mobilized to review all payment transactions for validity Meanwhile equipment tenders for the switching station have been concluded and purchase orders are written for the supply of switch gear to be delivered in October 2011 August 2011 foundation work progresses well and the schedule is not affected by the tendering delays No loan disbursement by the OFA pending final details of costs and budgeting September 2011 Foundations are completed on time but there are cost issues Apparently the tendered contract prices were based on estimated rock fill quantities and those estimates were low The tender specified unit prices for crushed rock that are far higher than actual costs and MFN knows this as a result of arranging for the material to be supplied by a band member The result is a cost item worth 35k is charged to the project at 120k and Enercon defends the foundation sub contractor s right to this based on the

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  • OSEA: Small FIT Call to Action: Contact your MPP
    OSEA Members Friends and Supporters This morning I had the opportunity to meet briefly with Minister Chiarelli s staff to express concerns about the recent notification letters regarding your applications for the Small FIT I have requested that the Ministry direct the OPA to provide more information regarding specifics about the reasons for rejections and a cure period for minor errors omissions or mistakes to be addressed I have also requested that the OPA release better data on FIT applications akin to their old reporting format and that they include the number of community and aboriginal set aside projects that have been applied and are rejected progressing SO WHAT CAN YOU DO 1 Please pick up your phone and call your MPP and request a 5 day cure period for the Small FIT and the reinstatement of the Community and FIT Advisory Groups at the OPA 2 Send us your examples to include to support our recommendation Email us the following at info ontario sea org Project Name Contact Location Size Community of applications submitted rejected Reason documented for rejection Issues with the rejection you have identified 3 If you are not already a member join OSEA s growing network

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  • OSEA: Open letter to Ontario MPPs: World Bank and CIDA sanction CANDU Nuclear
    important decision made recently by The World Bank regarding SNC Lavalin Inc 1 The World Bank has suspended SNC Lavalin s right to bid on and be awarded World Bank Group financed projects for 10 years CANDU Energy Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of SNC Lavalin There are very close ties between Ontario Power Generation OPG Nuclear Projects team and SNC Lavalin OSEA believes it is in the best interest of all Ontarians for the Legislature to investigate OPG awarding a 600 Million contract to SNC Lavalin for planning the Darlington Refurbishment 2 We respectfully ask that your party follow the lead of The World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency CIDA and endorse sanctions on both CANDU Energy and related SNC Lavalin Inc affiliates 3 The Darlington contract should not be awarded prior to the Province s completion of the Long Term Energy Plan review The revised Long Term Energy Plan will set out Ontario s future generation mix and is expected to provide an evaluation of alternative options including but not limited to nuclear refurbishment If the revised Long Term Energy Plan determines the Darlington Refurbishment is required then the contract for this work should be awarded through an open and transparent bidding process with firm prices available for public review and comment In view of the costs for the Oakville and Mississauga Gas Plant relocations it is crucial that the Province has a fair and transparent procurement mechanism for electricity in Ontario If the Long Term Energy Plan finds the Darlington Refurbishment is not required the Province will once again be faced with cancelling an energy contract Ontario is uniquely positioned to replace nuclear generation with a combination of conservation combined heat and power Quebec hydro imports and renewable generation Powering Ontario without Darlington and

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  • OSEA: Happy birthday to the Green Energy and Green Economy Act
    Updates News Updates Happy birthday to the Green Energy and Green Economy Act via Toronto Star Published on Tue May 28 2013 By Gillian McEachern Kris Stevens Ontario s Green Energy and Green Economy Act turns four this month And there s a lot to celebrate Just 10 years ago the province got one quarter of its electricity from coal the dirtiest of energy sources Today that number is approaching zero and by 2014 Ontario will be the first jurisdiction in the world to have completely eliminated coal fired electricity An impressive 4 500 megawatts MW of wind solar hydro and bioenergy has come online or is being built thanks to the act More than 55 000 small solar MicroFIT projects have been applied for or built for farms schools churches hockey arenas houses and small business More than 31 000 jobs have been created many of them in the manufacturing sector A whole new industry exists in Ontario that wasn t here four years ago spurring new programs in colleges and universities to train a new generation of problem solvers who can help transition Ontario to a greener smarter economy Not bad for a fourth birthday The Green Energy

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  • OSEA: OSEA recommendations to Minister of Energy on Small FIT process
    following That in addition to the OPA s upcoming Small FIT webinar reviewing common reasons for rejections that applicants receive a detailed breakdown of the reasons for their rejection That the unfilled capacity in the previous 200MW application window after the TAT DAT test be allocated to the Fall 2013 application window That applications maintain their timestamp priority point for resubmitted applications during the fall window That the FIT process be revamped see full details in the letter That a MicroFIT FIT Advisory and Community Power Advisory be re established see full details in the letter This letter to the Minister is the beginning of what promises to be a busy summer of sector and government engagement efforts We need to prepare for a healthy and well informed dialogue in the months ahead What can you do Share the recommendations above with your MPP your colleagues and others from the sector Become a member and get engaged in the OSEA Policy Advisory group and our upcoming webinars JOIN NOW Start thinking about the topics below and how we can address the issues facing us in the coming months There are several issues we will be tackling via our OSEA Long Term Energy Plan Webinar Series and through consultation with our members and partners over the summer They include The WTO s ruling on domestic content and recommendations on what process should replace it to ensure the further growth and development of our manufacturing base and the expansion of our exports Input into the revamping of the FIT process support mechanisms and its scale limits to rebuild sector confidence and address shortfalls from the last round if you have further suggestions let us know Input into the proposed larger procurement mechanism with regards to guiding principles and requirements Input into how

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  • OSEA: Introducing OSEA's new Director of Strategy and Member Services, Michel Fortin
    multi national companies and institutions He is respected for conceptual insights leadership and growth strategies through marketing public relations policy product development consumer advertising and trade communications Recently in response to the recent threat to Ontario s Green Energy and Economy Act GEEA Michel created as a strategic maneuver and co founded the Ontario Citizen s Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy A team was formed to develop a non partisan education campaign aimed at educating the electorate and politicians Michel skills were developed working with multi nationals such as Shoppers Drug Mart Ford Motor Company of Canada s and Imperial Oil s ESSO With growing B2B opportunities he also co founded Elliott Sinclair Inc as a virtual consultancy company It provided strategic serviced to companies interested in domestic and foreign markets Clients included External Affairs and International Trade Canada and Fujifilm s division in Canada USA and Japan Michel served as elected School Board Trustee for three terms Educated at the University of Ottawa Western Toronto and York University studying science arts economics and environmental sciences leading to business marketing management Michel toped up his e Business Social Media and Web Marketing interest with studies in eMarketing and eBusiness studies

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  • OSEA: Why renewable energy co-operatives should join OSEA
    to bring together over 80 participants with renewable energy co operative interests They were brought together to participate in an interactive practical Community Power Workshop for Co operatives Representatives from the Financial Services Commission of Ontario provided a disciplined and human face to the offering statement process while the Ontario Power Authority provided the latest information on the CEPP and getting ready for your FIT contract award On that same day the Co operators Insurance Company a co operative themselves announced a comprehensive insurance programme negotiated by OSEA to help renewable co operatives economically participate in the insurance market The Co operators Insurance Company also announced an annual fund to support emerging co operatives to join OSEA See membership details by following this link This announcement was complemented by a presentation by Mark Ventry Executive Director of the Ontario Co operative Association OSEA is a member of On Coop It is called a 2nd tier organization and as such is a voting member at On Coop Annual General Meeting as a Federation of renewable energy co operatives Federations are organizations that have a large membership or MOMO base and or a large number of locations They may be federations large or regionally focussed co operatives or stakeholder organizations They influence and support their sector or community and have the ability to affect the Ontario co operative movement On Co op works closely with the member organization and it is expected that the majority of On Co op s programs and activities would also be utilized by the organizations memberships As such members of OSEA are members of On Coop and are called MOMO s On Coop membership benefits including member rate discounts and access to the Co op Discount Plan are available to MOMOs Follow this link to see the

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