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Feed-In-Tariff Distributed Generation Connection 

This overview provides a comprehensive set of references that are intended to familiarize
the customer about the overall process, requirements, and approvals that may apply to connections of Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Distributed Generation (DG) facilities to the Toronto Hydro distribution system.

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has created rules within the Distribution System Code (DSC) that require Local Distribution Companies (LDC’s) to facilitate to connect DG facilities to the respective LDC’s distribution system accordingly.

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Programs under FIT to connect

Customers interested in connecting an embedded generator to the Toronto Hydro distribution system will follow the process established by the OEB for one of the four Generator classifications.  

 Program

Rating

 MicroFIT 10 kW, for customer’s own use, mostly residential and small commercial
 FIT Capacity Allocation Exempt a) > 10 kW but  ≤ 250 kW, connected on distribution system voltage < 15 kV

b) > 10 kW but  ≤ 250 kW, connected on distribution system voltage  ≥ 15 kV

 FIT Capacity Allocation All the other sizes not listed above, having maximum limits as follows: Solar – 10 MW, Water – 50 MW and Other – Unlimited.


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    Connection of DG Facilities

    Building a generation facility and connecting it to the Toronto Hydro distribution system requires attention to safety, adherence to technical standards, all in compliance with regulatory requirements. Connection of a DG facility involves several steps and both parties have distinct responsibilities.

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      What is Toronto Hydro responsible for?

      • The safety, reliability, and efficiency of its distribution system, and ensuring that the new generation connection does not adversely affect the distribution system
        or existing customers;
      • Ensuring that the Distribution System Code and applicable standards are followed.

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      What is the Generator responsible for?

      • The safety, design, construction, operation, metering, protection and control,
        and maintenance of the generating facility;
      • Contacting the various agencies involved well before finalizing plans;
      • Ensuring all necessary submissions and agreements are completed and required payments made;
      • Considering using a consultant to assist with the connection requirements, process, and approvals.

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      What are the reference documents that specify process and requirements internal to Toronto Hydro?

      • The Toronto Hydro Conditions of Service Complete Document (i.e. including
        the reference documents) contains among other things information for the connection of distributed generation facilities.  More specifically, you may select the relevant bookmark;
      • Distributed Generation Requirements”, one of the reference documents attached to the Conditions of Service outlines the classifications and general terms and conditions for the connection of distributed generation facility to the distribution system.
                • Note: Toronto Hydro has updated its real time monitoring and control requirements for Distributed Generation facilities. Read more.
      • Toronto Hydro Parallel Generation Requirements”, an attachment to the “Distributed Generation Requirements” document provides technical requirements for interconnecting parallel generation greater than 10 kW. 
      • Toronto Hydro Requirements for the Design & Construction of Customer-Owned High Voltage Substations”, section 6, Reference #4 in the Conditions
        of Service provides guidance for the design and construction of 13.8 kV and
        27.6 kV customer owned substations, including substation switchgear and primary cable.

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        What external approvals are part of the Toronto Hydro connection process?

        Depending on the size, type, fuel, and location of generation facilities, the connection of your generation facilities to our distribution system may require approvals from various regulators that govern the electricity industry in Ontario.  Below are some of the relevant organizations you may need to engage for the connection of an embedded generation facility.

        a)   Ontario Power Authority (OPA)

        In the case the customer wants to participate in the Ontario Power Authority Feed-in Tariff Program of renewable energy sources, the customer will need to sign a Feed-in Tariff contract with the OPA.

        b)   Ontario Energy Board (OEB)

        The Distribution System Code (DSC) issued by the OEB sets out the minimum conditions that distributors must meet in carrying out their obligations to distribute electricity in Ontario, under their licence. The interconnection process and requirements for embedded generation are governed by the “Distribution System Code” including Appendix F.

        The Ontario Energy Board regulates the electricity and gas industry in Ontario.  The Ontario Energy Board Act, 1998, Section 57, requires that electricity market participants be licensed in order to export power to the distribution grid.  More specifically, the Generator must obtain a Generator Licence from the OEB when:

        i) The Applicant intends to sell power into the IESO-administered market.

        ii) The Applicant intends to settle for amounts through a distributor’s retail settlement system
        for energy injected into the distributor’s distribution system (i.e. sell electricity through the distributor). If so, the Applicant must have a connection agreement and a service agreement for settlement purposes with the distributor.

        Generally, a generator licence is not required for load displacement generator or net metering customers.

        c)   Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)

        The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) manages the Ontario power grid, provides the hourly energy spot market prices, as well as sets and enforces the Market Rules for participating in the Ontario electricity market.

        A System Impact Assessment is conducted by the IESO prior to the customer connecting an embedded generation facility that is 10 MW or greater in size.

        Embedded generators that are over 20 MW or are participating in the Renewable Energy Supply Contract are required to register with the IESO as a Market Participant and must comply with all market rules, including metering requirements.

        d)   Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)

        The Ontario Electrical Safety Authority sets and enforces standards for electrical safety through the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Before connecting to the Toronto Hydro distribution system, the customer is required to have the ESA inspect their generation facility and provide
        a Connection Authorization to Toronto Hydro.

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        What other external approvals may apply that are not part of the Toronto Hydro connection process?

        The customers should also be aware that other approvals might be required such as those from the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE), the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), etc.

        a)     Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE)

        Depending on the size, type, fuel, and location of generation facilities, the MOE may require
        that the customer carry out an environmental assessment.

        The Ontario Ministry of Environment sets environmental standards for electricity
        projects in Ontario and ensures that generators, distributors and transmitters follow rules
        and standards when constructing and operating facilities.

        Guide to Environmental Assessment for Electricity Projects provides the environmental assessment requirements for electricity projects. They apply equally to the public and private sectors.

        Projects involving generators less than 1 MW typically do not require environmental screening or environmental assessment.  For certainty, you are encouraged to contact the MOE to determine whether an environmental assessment is required.  

        b)    Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)

        The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency  (CEAA) controls the federal environmental assessment process and it applies whenever a federal authority has a specified decision-making responsibility for a project.

        Depending on the impact of the generation facilities on federal jurisdiction, a federal environmental assessment may be required. For certainty, you are encouraged to contact the CEAA to determine whether a federal environmental assessment is required.

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        How do I apply for connection of an FIT or MicroFIT generation facility?

        Interested in connecting a distributed generation facility under the FIT program to the Toronto Hydro distribution system?

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        Acronyms

         CEAA  Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
         DG  Distributed Generation
         DSC  Distribution System Code 
         ESA  Electrical Safety Authority
         FIT  Feed-in Tariff
         IESO  Independent Electricity System Operator
         LDC  Local Distribution Company
         OEB  Ontario Energy Board
         MOE  Ontario Ministry of Environment
         OPA  Ontario Power Authority

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        Contact Us about Fit/microfit

        416.542.3099
        fit@torontohydro.com