Frequently asked questions: Emerging Renewable Power Program

Find a collection of frequently asked questions on the Emerging Renewable Power Program.

What is the minimum project size to qualify for the program?

Each project must have a minimum net capacity of 4 megawatts, though projects that fall under the “other” category of eligible technologies may be able to qualify if the project is at least 1 megawatt in capacity.

Are demonstration projects eligible for funding under this program?

Accelerating clean technology is a key component of the Government of Canada’s approach to promoting sustainable economic growth and to supporting Canada’s transition towards a low-carbon economy. While this program does not support demonstration projects, more information on other programs which may support R&D and demonstration projects, can be accessed via the Clean Growth Hub.

Are energy storage projects eligible for funding under this program? What if they are part of an emerging renewable power project?

Energy storage plays an increasingly important role in modern electricity systems, however, energy storage projects are not eligible for funding under this program. If a qualifying generation project includes energy storage as part of the overall project, the costs of the storage components would not be eligible for funding under the program.

Depending on the nature of the storage project, it may be eligible for support through other programs that can be accessed via the Clean Growth Hub.

Are renewable fuel production projects eligible for funding under this program? What if they are part of an emerging renewable power project?

The increased use of renewable fuels have the potential to reduce Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. However, renewable fuel production projects are not eligible for funding, as the objective of the program is to support the generation of electricity from emerging renewable projects. If a qualifying project includes fuel production as part of the overall project, the costs of the fuel production component would not be eligible for funding under the program.

Are emerging renewable heating projects eligible for funding under this program?

Renewable heat can play a large role in the reduction of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. However, renewable heating projects are not eligible for funding as the objective of the program is to support the generation of electricity from emerging renewable projects. If a qualifying project includes heat production as part of the overall project, the costs of the heat components would not be eligible for funding under the program.

What is the difference between total government funding allowed and the total program funding allowed?

The total government funding allowed refers to the stacking limit (i.e. maximum level of government funding from municipal, provincial, territorial and federal governments). All sources of government funding should therefore be listed in the Project Application.

For commercial entities, the stacking limit is 75% of Eligible Project Costs. For Indigenous proponents, and for all levels of government except federal (eg. provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, along with their departments and agencies) the stacking limit is 100%.

The total program funding allowed is a maximum of $50 Million per project, or up to 50% of the total project costs (whichever is less). For offshore wind energy projects, due to the expected size, the potential maximum amount per recipient can be greater than $50 million, subject to approval from Treasury Board of Canada.

Are projects in other countries eligible for funding?

Eligible projects must be built in Canada and produce electricity for sale in Canada.

Are foreign companies eligible for funding?

Foreign companies are not eligible for funding under this program. Only the Eligible Recipients in Section 9 of the Applicant Guide (eg. Canadian legal entities) are eligible for program funding.

What are the repayability terms of the contribution agreements?

Projects with signed Contributions Agreements will be monitored over 5 years from the commissioning date of the project. Proponents will be required to submit financial reports for five years from the date of commissioning, in order to evaluate whether a profit has been generated. Within this time period, if profit is generated, the Recipient will be required to repay the transfer payment based on: profit multiplied by the proportion of NRCan funding of the eligible costs.

Is it only projects with Power Purchase Agreements that are eligible for funding under the program?

The program is able to approve funding for proposed projects that do not have a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in place yet, however, unless the electricity generation is for self-use, a PPA in principle or similar agreement in principle with an electricity buyer will be required. Projects without a PPA or agreement in principle, and who are not generating for self-use, will only receive a portion of their total eligible expenses until the program is satisfied that the Proponent has secured a buyer for the electricity.

What is the last day I can submit a Project Application to the program?

All project applications must be received by April 20, 2018 (11:59 pm EST). Subject to the availability of funds, there may be future opportunities to apply to the program.

How do we apply for funding for Regional (Strategic) Environmental Assessments or Regional Energy Resource Assessments?

At a later date, the program may solicit bids for Regional Environmental Assessments (REAs) and/or Regional Energy Resource Assessments (RERAs) to determine the resource viability and potential impact of large-scale emerging renewable power projects in those areas.

If supported through this program, these REAs and RERAs would be made public and available to all potential developers.

A decision on whether to support REAs and RERAs will be made later in 2018, after potential utility-scale emerging renewable electricity generation projects are identified through the program’s Request for Project Applications process.

If funds remain after support is allocated to the selected emerging renewable power projects, or if the program decides that it would be desirable to conduct such studies in order to advance emerging renewable energy technologies, the program will solicit bids to conduct REAs and/or RERAs.

How will confidential project data included in my Project Application be treated?

Technical information provided to the program as part of the Project Application will be considered confidential and protected. Technical specifications of each project are exempt from the Access to Information Act. The program will only share project data with our federal and provincial partners if we receive express written permission by the proponent to do so.

When will I find out if my project is accepted by the program?

Project applications will be evaluated by a panel of experts, and the projects that the program identifies as eligible for support will then proceed to a due diligence phase. Proponents should expect to hear if their project will proceed to the due diligence phase in early summer 2018.

What if my project will be launched in phases?

If a project has multiple phases which individually are less than the 4 MW minimum threshold (or 1 MW minimum threshold for “other” technologies), but combined exceed the threshold, it is suggested that the Applicant combine the phases into one project in their application.

If each phase exceeds the net capacity threshold, or has a separate Power Purchase Agreement, it is up to the Proponent’s discretion as to whether to combine the phases into one application or submit multiple applications.

What price will I receive for the electricity I produce?

This program does not buy the electricity nor provide a production credit. The prices received by projects through their Power Purchase Agreements, and the terms of those agreements, are determined by the provincial or local utility or other entity that has agreed to purchase the electricity.

Are joint applications permitted?

Applicants may partner with other proponents or entities. However, the program will enter into a contribution agreement with only one Proponent. If the project is jointly owned or managed, one entity will need to be identified as the project Proponent.

The Applicant Guide, in Section 3, lists two definitions for “emerging” in the context of the program. Do projects have to meet both these definitions, or just one?

The program defines emerging renewable power projects as those that will use technologies that: have been successfully deployed at the utility scale in other countries but not yet in Canada, OR have been successfully demonstrated in Canada but not yet commercially deployed. So emerging renewable power projects that meet EITHER of those definitions are eligible.

Will fees for line-of-credit or other financial instruments (including interest paid), be eligible expenses?

Interest payments and banking fees are not eligible expenditures under this program.

In the Project Application package, would a letter of intent be sufficient to indicate a financial commitment from an external partner?

Yes, a letter of intent or a letter confirming the financial involvement in the project of a financial partner would be sufficient for the Project Application. If a project reaches the due diligence phase, more rigorous proof of partnership will be required.

Will there be a financial audit of Proponents to ensure they can handle cash flows with a line of credit if they do not have cash-on-hand?

For selected projects, prior to signing a contribution agreement, there will be a financial analysis performed as part of program due diligence phase. The program will look at financial reports from the Proponent to ensure financial capacity to carry out the project. During the course of the payment period, the invoice process will include an update on financial resources. At least one on-site audit by a third party auditor will take place over the period of the contribution agreement and program staff will do periodic desk audits to review specific costs.

What if I email in the Project Application Form, but it does not arrive by 11:59pm EST on April 20, 2018?

When sending in your Project Application package, keep an official record of when the package was sent. If there is an issue with the arrival of the Project Application outside of the Proponent’s control, the application will still be considered.

Which of the evaluation criteria are the most important?

All evaluation criteria are listed in the Applicant Guide. The mandatory pass or fail criteria are:

  • Technology must be eligible
  • Project must be located in Canada and meet the minimum size requirement
  • Electricity production must be for sale or use in Canada
  • Recipient must be validly registered in Canada

Projects which meet the mandatory criteria will undergo further review based on the rated criteria listed in the Applicant Guide. Of the rated criteria, the following criteria will be more heavily weighted:

  • Cost of Project to the Program
  • Life Cycle Energy Costs of Project
  • Expected Commissioning Date
  • Financial Plan of Applicant
  • Expected Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions
  • Power Purchase Agreement (or Power Pool) Plan
Can I receive funding from this program as well as other government programs?

Assuming a project is eligible for multiple programs, it is possible to receive money from multiple government programs provided it is within the program stacking limits. Please refer to Section 17 of the Applicant Guide for further information about stacking.

 

For more information, visit the Emerging Renewable Power Program website.  

Contact the Emerging Renewable Power Program by email.