Let the grift begin:

Ontarians get the green light for 700 rooftop solar projects

Popular new program attracts more than 2,200 applications

TORONTO, Dec. 16 /CNW/ – Seven hundred Ontarians from Ottawa to Windsor to Thunder Bay – including a member of the popular band Barenaked Ladies – will be celebrating a green holiday season after being the first to receive offers to generate renewable electricity under the province’s new feed-in tariff program.

The new microFIT program encourages the development of small-scale renewable energy (10 kilowatts or less) from a diverse range of producers, including homeowners, schools, farmers and small businesses. It is part of a broader Ontario feed-in tariff program (FIT), the most comprehensive program of its kind in North America. FIT is also aimed at encouraging community-owned and aboriginal-led projects.

“It’s a thrill to be able to power my own lights while at the same time contributing to my city’s electrical needs,” said Jim Creeggan, bassist for the band Barenaked Ladies. “Now that the microFIT program is up and running, it makes solar a realistic option for more households. With enough homeowners on board, communities will have a greater impact on where our power is coming from. I’m glad solar power is getting out of the fringe and into the mainstream.”

I guess when one is just the bassist in a top recording act, and not the principal songwriter, one needs to supplement one’s income. But with the band’s CDs, I at least have a choice. Not so with any solar power Creeggan might generate. For that, us hapless ratepayers have the privilege of subsidizing Creeggan’s “contribution” by paying him over 14 times the retail rate.

Why not join the club and get some grift of your own?

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