Since September, when the Ontario Power Authority began its generous payment for rooftop solar power, Toronto’s commercial roof acreage has become the site of a new renewable energy gold rush by solar developers now able to earn a steady income farming solar power to local utilities for 20 years.
Just as farmers in Texas or Iowa can now earn royalties from wind developers to allow them to place wind turbines on their farm, now commercial building owners in Toronto can earn income from their roofs.
Solar developers are willing to rent a part of a building that previously had no value, that is now prime solar real estate. How much is this new income for the building owner? It could be as much as $12,000 a year.
Ontario Power Authority will now pay between 53 cents and 71 cents per kilowatt-hour for solar electricity. The utility guarantees a speedy, expedited connection to the grid so solar developers can be assured of a quick start to their earnings. And they are not the only beneficiary. The building owner and the solar developer both stand to gain.
Under the arrangement the utility pays the Feed-in Tariff amount monthly for 20 years. Once built, the solar farms can be expected to generate a steady income for 20 years to the solar developer.
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