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Energy Program Supports Agricultural Industry

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Energy Program Supports Agricultural Industry

Combined Heat and Power Program Encourages Investment to Reduce Electricity Costs

Ontario is supporting the agricultural industry by updating a program that can help businesses reduce their electricity costs.

Combined Heat and Power - also known as CHP or cogeneration - uses one fuel source to generate both electricity and heat or steam. For example, a natural gas generator produces electricity and the heat from this process is then used for space or water heating.

The Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is developing a Combined Heat and Power Standard Offer Program 2.0 (CHPSOP 2.0) for district energy projects and agricultural industry projects, including greenhouses. With a CHP facility, businesses can reduce their electricity costs by generating their own heat and electricity. CHP facilities can also contribute to Ontario's electricity system, which helps to meet regional energy needs.

Supporting the province's agri-food and other industries is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths - its people and strategic partnerships.

Quick Facts

  • With funding from Guelph Hydro, Polycon Industries in Guelph is investing in a CHP facility that will heat the water system and provide most of the plant’s electricity.
  • Envida Community Energy Inc., a subsidiary of Guelph Hydro Inc., will construct a CHP facility in Hanlon Creek Business Park that will improve the City of Guelph’s ability to attract new businesses to the area. Under a CHPSOP contract with the OPA, the facility will generate 10.2 megawatts (MW) of electricity for the local grid.
  • CHPSOP 2.0 will be launched in two phases. The first application window will be launched on November 3, 2014, with a procurement target of 100 MW. A second window will be launched in 2015 to procure the remaining 50 MW.
  • The OPA will be consulting with stakeholders over the coming months to develop the program’s rules and contracts.
  • Since 2005, Ontario has procured 420 MW of small-scale CHP projects – 414 MW are in operation and the remaining six MW are scheduled to be in service in 2014.

Additional Resources


“With this program, the province is looking to procure agricultural and district energy projects that focus on efficiency or regional needs. This program will offer businesses an opportunity to invest in Combined Heat and Power technology that provides both heat and electricity – and helps lower their electricity costs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Bob Chiarelli

Minister of Energy

“The City of Guelph and Guelph Hydro have been leading proponents of District Energy plans and projects like the one announced today. This is an exciting example of how heat and steam systems can generate electricity to support the plant’s industrial processes. This is great news for Polycon and the Guelph community.”

Liz Sandals

MPP, Guelph

“Our Combined Heat and Power project will benefit Polycon Industries by increasing long-term competitiveness and prosperity through lower energy costs. The project aligns with Magna’s world class manufacturing and sustainability initiatives, while assisting the community of Guelph in its ongoing energy planning. This project showcases how industry, municipalities and the provincial governments can work together supporting the development of infrastructure related investments by sharing costs, while also contributing to the long-term economic prosperity of industry in Ontario.”

Don Walker

Magna International (Polycon’s parent company)



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