Glossary

The Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program: The Aboriginal Energy Partnerships Program consists of three key initiatives to support Aboriginal communities considering renewable generation projects:

  • Aboriginal Renewable Energy Fund (AREF) assists with some of the initial project development costs associated with First Nation and Métis community renewable energy projects.
  • Aboriginal Renewable Energy Network (AREN) is a web-based source of information relating to conservation and renewable energy development that will continue to evolve based on the needs of and input from Ontario’s Aboriginal communities.
  • Aboriginal Community Energy Plans (ACEP) Program helps Aboriginal communities identify and act upon their local conservation and renewable energy development opportunities.

Community Energy Partnerships Program (CEPP): A grant program to support community groups developing renewable energy projects in Ontario.

Consumer Price Index (CPI): The CPI is an indicator of changes in consumer prices experienced by Canadians. It is obtained by comparing, over time, the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. Since the basket contains goods and services of unchanging or equivalent quantity and quality, the index reflects only pure price change. The CPI is also widely used as an indicator of the change in the general level of consumer prices or the rate of inflation.

Distribution: A distribution system carries electricity from the transmission system and delivers it to consumers. Typically, the network would include medium-voltage power lines, substations and polemounted transformers, low-voltage distribution wiring and electricity meters.

Electrical Safety Authority (ESA): The ESA is a not-for-profit corporation that operates as an Administrative Authority under the Electricity Act, 1998, and has an Administrative Agreement with the Ministry of Consumer Services. Its role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. It is also responsible for administering specific regulations related to electricity distribution system safety, electrical products safety, the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (OESC) and licensing Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians.

Feed-in Tariff (FIT): A guaranteed rate program that provides stable prices through long-term contracts for energy generated using renewable resources.

Green Energy Investment Agreement (GEIA): The agreement between the Ontario Government and the Korean Consortium to develop, construct and operate wind and solar projects in Ontario.

Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA): This act was created to expand renewable energy generation, encourage energy conservation and promote the creation of clean energy jobs. The GEA is sparking growth in clean and renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar, hydro and bioenergy.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG): Gases that contribute to the capture of heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is the most prominent GHG. In addition to natural sources, it is released into the Earth’s atmosphere as a result of the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. GHG is widely acknowledged as a contributor to climate change.

Kilowatt (kW): A standard quantity of power in a residential-size electricity system, equal to 1,000 watts (W). Ten 100-watt light bulbs operated together consume one kW of power.

Local Community Project: A co-op with a minimum equity participation of 15 per cent and a minimum participation level of 50 property owners in a municipality where the FIT Project is located.

Local Distribution Company (LDC): An entity that owns a distribution system for the local delivery of electricity to consumers.

Megawatt (MW): A unit of power equal to 1,000 kilowatts (kW) or one million watts (W).

Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP): A comprehensive plan released in 2010 that provides the framework for the future of Ontario’s electricity system, including a guide for expanding the province’s emerging clean energy economy.

Ontario Power Authority (OPA): The OPA is responsible for ensuring an adequate, long-term supply of electricity in Ontario. Together with its partners, the OPA works to ensure that Ontario’s electricity needs are met by planning and procuring electricity supply from diverse resources and facilitating the measures needed to achieve ambitious conservation targets.

Peak Demand: Peak demand, peak load or on-peak are terms describing a period in which electricity is expected to be provided for a sustained period at a significantly higher-than-average demand level.

Photovoltaic (PV): A technology for converting solar energy into electrical energy, typically by way of photovoltaic cells or panels consisting of a number of cells.

Project Size:

  • microFIT: Ontario residents are able to develop a very small or “micro” renewable electricity generation project (10 kilowatts or less in size) on their properties. Under the microFIT Program, participants are paid a guaranteed price for all the electricity they produce for at least 20 years.

    CAE: Capacity Allocation Exempt (CAE) Feed-in Tariff (FIT) projects are small projects connected directly to the distribution system. The FIT rules adopt the Distribution System Code definition of CAE projects as:

    • Projects with no more than 250 kW of rated generating capacity, where the facility is connected to a less than 15 kV line
    • Projects of 500 kW or less of rated generating capacity, where the facility is connected to a 15 kV or greater line.
  • CAR: Capacity Allocation Required (CAR) FIT projects are large projects connected to the distribution or transmission system that are:
    • Projects with more than 250 kW of rated generating capacity where the facility is connected to a less than 15 kV line
    • Projects of 500 kW or more of rated generating capacity where the facility is connected to a 15 kV or greater line.

Renewable Energy Approval (REA): A central component of the GEA initiative was the introduction of a Province-led approval process with transparent and consistent standards. As a result of the new approvals framework, most renewable energy projects are now subject to the Renewable Energy Approval (Ontario Regulation 359/09)). The REA regulations establish clear, consistent rules and standardized technical requirements across the province.

Renewable Generation: Energy derived from natural resources including solar PV, wind, waterpower, and bio-energy (biogas, landfill gas, and biomass). These resources are naturally replenished, so they are described as renewable.

Renewable Energy Facilitation Office (REFO ): REFO was established by the Province to assist in developing new renewable energy projects. It serves as a one-window access point where individuals, communities and municipalities with projects of all sizes can obtain information and connect with the appropriate government and agency resources.

Smart Grid: A smart grid is a modern electricity system. It uses sensors, monitoring, communications, automation and computers to improve the flexibility, security, reliability, efficiency, and safety of the electricity system.

Supply Mix: The different types of fuel that are used to produce electricity in a particular jurisdiction. Normally, the mix is expressed in terms of the proportion of each type within the overall amount of energy produced.

Transmission: The movement or transfer of electricity over an interconnected group of lines and associated equipment between points of supply and points at which it is transformed for delivery to consumers, or is delivered to other, separate electric transmission systems. Transmission of electricity is done at high voltages (50kV or higher in Ontario). The energy is transformed to lower voltages for distribution over local distribution systems.

Transmission Availability Test/ Distribution Availability Test (TAT/DAT): The transmission availability test is performed by the OPA to determine if there is sufficient transmission capacity available to connect a renewable energy project. The DAT applies only to distribution-connected projects. It is performed by the local distribution company if a project first passes the TAT. The DAT will determine if there is sufficient connection availability on the distribution system to connect your renewable energy project.