Developing Your Project

The IESO will review your application to confirm that it is complete and that all required information has been provided. 

If your application passes the completeness review, the IESO will confirm whether sufficient capacity remains within the Annual Procurement Target. If there is sufficient capacity, your application status will change from "Submitted" to "Pending LDC Offer to Connect".

Then there are a number of steps to complete.

Application Approval Notice

The IESO will issue an Application Approval Notice when:

  • you have requested an offer to connect from your LDC within 30 days of the status of your application changing to "Pending LDC Offer to Connect"
  • your LDC has issued an offer to connect for your microFIT project within the 90-day period
  • you have met all other microFIT Program eligibility requirements.

When an Application Approval Notice is issued:

  • your application status will change from “Pending LDC Offer to Connect” to “Pending Connection”   
  • you must build and connect your microFIT project, upload a copy of your Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) Connection Authorization to your My microFIT Home Page and the LDC must provide connection details of your project to the IESO within 180 days from the date the Application Approval Notice is issued. The Application Approval Notice will expire and your application will be terminated if your LDC does not report your project’s connection details to the IESO and you do not upload a copy of the ESA Connection Authorization within 180 days from the date of your Application Approval Notice. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with your LDC’s timelines and processes to ensure that you meet the 180-day deadline.
  • the IESO will offer you a microFIT Contract for the project described in your application, subject to you satisfying the conditions set out in the Application Approval Notice and receiving confirmation from your LDC of the connection of your microFIT project to the distribution system.

Note: if you build your project before the IESO issues you an Application Approval Notice, you do so at your own risk and all costs, expenses and liabilities relating to the microFIT project will be borne by you, the applicant, regardless of whether a microFIT contract is offered. We strongly encourage you NOT to build your project before you receive an Application Approval Notice.
 

Applicant responsibilities

  • Read and understand the terms of your Application Approval Notice.
  • Contact your LDC to find out how to connect your project.
  • Develop a plan to build and connect your project, upload your ESA Connection Authorization and have your LDC report your project’s connection details to the IESO within 180 days from the date of your Application Approval Notice.
  • Continue to check your My microFIT Home Page for messages from the IESO.

Build and connect your project

After you have received your Application Approval Notice, you are ready to build your project. This involves building and connecting your project to your LDC’s distribution system, uploading a copy of the ESA Connection Authorization to your My microFIT Home Page and your LDC reporting your project connection details to the IESO within the required 180-day period. Note that the ESA Connection Authorization can only be obtained once your project has been built.

Your Application Approval Notice is only valid for 180 days. Your Application Approval Notice will expire and the application will be terminated if you do not upload a copy of your ESA Connection Authorization to your My microFIT Home Page and the LDC does not report your project’s connection details to the IESO within 180 days of the date that the Application Approval Notice is issued.

Your project’s metering configuration must be compliant with the microFIT Rules and permitted by your LDC.  Some connection configurations may be more appropriate for you than others. For more information on connecting your project, please go to the Types of Connections page. You are encouraged to discuss the most suitable metering configuration for your project with your LDC.

Installation

Many people who own their own microFIT project hire an installer to help them install their project. The renewable energy sector is a growing industry, and there are many installers from which to choose. It is very important to choose a qualified installer when you are developing your renewable energy project.

The IESO does not endorse or recommend any particular installer. You remain solely responsible for the selection of and agreements with all installers or other third parties related to the installation of your project. If you are considering a third-party service provider, please review the “Using Third-Party Service Providers” section of the microFIT webpage.

A qualified installer or contractor will:

  • have experience installing grid-connected renewable energy projects in Ontario, with particular experience installing your technology of choice
  • have the proper licensing and certifications as applicable
  • have general liability insurance.

The IESO has prepared a list of questions that you should ask your installer before investing in your project. For more information, please view the checklist of questions to ask when you are developing your microFIT project.

Contacting the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)

After your project has been built, you must apply to the ESA for an electrical inspection. Your project will not be connected to the grid until your LDC receives a Connection Authorization letter from the ESA. You will also be required to provide the IESO with a copy of the ESA Connection Authorization as evidence that the project has passed the service inspection and is ready to connect to the grid.

This information must be uploaded through your My microFIT Home Page and submitted to the IESO before the expiry of your Application Approval Notice. This file can only be uploaded once your application has received an Application Approval Notice. Submitting this document to the IESO can be done through the "My Files" link that is enabled once your application status is updated to "Pending Connection."

In many cases, your installer will help you to arrange and prepare for the safety inspection. The inspection will address the following:

  • Is the equipment approved for usage in Ontario?
  • Does the installation have the required devices to protect against short circuits and circuit overloads?
  • Does the installation have the required disconnection features?
  • Does the installation make use of an appropriate inverter system?
  • Does all wiring comply with provincial safety requirements?
  • Do all devices display the proper safety labels?

FAQs on the Electrical Safety Authority inspection are available in the FAQ document.

types of connections

Finalizing your connection with your LDC

After your project is installed and has passed the electrical safety inspection, you will need to finalize your connection to the grid.

Your LDC must have the following information from you to finalize your connection:

  • Connection Authorization letter issued by the ESA
  • payment for the connection costs
  • signed “Micro-Embedded Generation Facility Connection Agreement.”  This is a standard agreement prescribed by all LDCs. It is an agreement between you and your LDC. Please review this agreement carefully and ensure that you understand its terms and conditions.

Once your microFIT project is connected, your LDC will notify the IESO. Notification will include project-specific information and the date the project was physically connected to the distribution system, and the status of your application will change to “Connection Completed.”

Contract offer

The IESO will offer you a microFIT contract after your LDC has completed the connection of your microFIT project and the other conditions contained in the Application Approval Notice are satisfied. The LDC will provide the IESO with information about your microFIT project. There is no need to contact the IESO at this stage.

Note that a contract will only be offered if you continue to be in compliance with the microFIT Rules.

When an offer is made, the status of your application will be set to "Contract Offered."

Your microFIT contract will commence on the date of the Application Approval Notice or the date that your project is physically connected to your LDC’s distribution system in compliance with the microFIT rules – whichever date is later.

If you install your project before the IESO issues you an Application Approval Notice, you do so at your own risk. All costs, expenses and liabilities relating to the microFIT project will be borne by you, the applicant, regardless of whether or not a microFIT contact is offered. We strongly encourage you NOT to build your project before you receive an Application Approval Notice.  

Applicant responsibilities

  • Answer information requests within the designated time frame.
  • Continue to check your My microFIT Home Page for messages from the IESO.

Contract offer acceptance

After you have received your contract offer, review the contract carefully and ensure that you understand all of the terms and conditions. We encourage you to consult legal counsel to ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities under the contract. 

You must accept or reject the contract offer within 45 days or the contract offer will be revoked and your application will be terminated.

The Applicant must access its My microFIT Home Page itself, and not through a representative, to accept the microFIT Contract.  Under no circumstances may a third-party representative accept a contract or make the declarations and representations or agree to the other terms and conditions during the contract acceptance process.

After you have accepted the contract, the status of your application will change to "Contract Accepted." The contract price for your microFIT project will correspond to the FIT price schedule in effect for the renewable fuel type and applicable project size tranche on the date the Application Approval Notice was issued. You must accept the contract offer in order to be paid for the electricity generated by your project.

Applicant responsibilities

  • Review all of the information in your contract.
  • Ensure that all the information is accurate, current and correct and if necessary, , request changes to be made by either your LDC or the IESO.
  • Accept or decline the contract offer within 45 days or the contract offer will be revoked and your application will be terminated.
  • Continue to monitor your My microFIT Home Page for messages from the IESO.


Get an offer to connect

If the status of your application changes to “Pending LDC Offer to Connect”, you must submit a connection request to your LDC for the connection of your proposed microFIT project within 30 days of the date that your application is set to this status. The LDC will report to the IESO when it has received your connection request.

Your application will be terminated if you fail to submit your connection request within the required 30-day period.

You must receive an offer to connect from your LDC no later than 90 days after the date the connection request was received by your LDC. The LDC will report to the IESO whether it has issued or denied your request for an offer to connect.

If you do not receive an offer to connect within the 90-day period or if you are denied an offer to connect from your LDC, your application status will be changed to “Terminated” and your application will be terminated.

Applicants are solely responsible for any delay in receiving an offer to connect.
 

Applicant responsibilities

You must submit a connection request to your LDC within 30 days of your application status being changed to "Pending LDC Offer to Connect." You must also provide your LDC with all relevant information, including:

  • your microFIT application reference number. This is the number assigned to your microFIT project when you submit your application to the IESO.
  • the type of renewable energy technology your project will use
  • the nameplate capacity of your project
  • the location of your project, including its address and load account number with your LDC
    Note: You will be required to set up a new generator account for your renewable energy project by your local distribution company. The new generator account must be held by the applicant. If there is more than one eligible participant as the applicant, each eligible participant must be listed on the generator account as well as on the microFIT application. This account will be in addition to the customer account that was created for your home, farm or institution.    
  • continue to check your “My microFIT Home Page” for messages from the IESO and application status changes