Generation and Storage Applicant Guide - Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs)
Expansion Update – October 2022
The following is the updated Applicant Guide for the extended Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs). The program extension is a result of funding announced in Canada’s Emission Reduction Plan.
Below is a summary of key changes to SREPs requirements:
- To support a greater number of projects and benefit a wider range of communities, the maximum funding available per project has been reduced to $25 million;
- To reduce the timelines for project approval, new registrations and applications will be received using an online portal, Integro. Please refer to Section 3 (Preparing an Application) for more details on the application process;
- Two Applicant Guides are now available. Generation and storage projects should apply using this guide. For grid modernization projects, including utility-led energy storage projects, please refer to the Grid Modernization Applicant Guide; and
- The application criteria have been clarified to ensure a fair and consistent evaluation process. The main changes are listed below. See Section 3 for a complete list of program requirements.
- The Levelized Cost of Energy requirement has been removed (previously T3);
- Renewable generation projects are not required to complete a template for criteria T6 (Greenhouse Gas Reductions);
- Additional documentation may be required, such as permits or agreements for site control and land access, proof of a signed energy or service sale agreement, or completed grid impact assessments for the project.; and
- Further clarity has been provided regarding criteria T5 (Grid Services), including pre-determined grid service capability requirements taking into account project resource type, connection level and jurisdiction. Acceptable documentation for demonstration of meeting program requirements have been adjusted and expanded to increase flexibility for applicants.
Table of contents
- Eligibility and Funding Limits
- 1.1. Eligible Recipients
- 1.2. Eligible and Ineligible Expenses
- 1.3. Eligible Projects
- 1.4. Generation and Energy Storage Stream Eligibility
- 1.5. Additional Program Requirements
- 1.6. Funding Limits
- Application and Program Process
- Preparing an Application
- 3.1. Registration
- 3.2. Technical and Financial Project Application
- A1 – Applicant Information
- A2 – Project Information
- A3 – Project Timeline
- A4 – Project Risk
- S1 – Indigenous Engagement
- S2 – Indigenous Ownership
- S3 – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
- R1 – Regulatory Approvals and Permits
- R2 – Land Access Rights
- R3 – Environmental Assessments
- F1 – Financial Application Form
- F2 – Financial Statements
- F3 – Confirmation of Financing
- F4 – Funding from Other Levels of Government
- F5 – Energy or Service Sale Agreements
- T1 – Energy Resource Assessment and/or Feasibility Studies
- T2 – Technical Characteristics
- T3 – Cyber Security
- T4 – System Design
- T5 – Grid Services
- T6 – GHG Reductions
- Payment Processing (only for Approved Projects)
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) reserves the right to alter any application process, eligible funding amounts, apply regional or technology stream funding limits, or cancel any application process at its sole discretion.
The program has authority to create funding reserves to support priority projects in coal-generating provinces in coordination with provincial governments and crown corporations and will ensure Indigenous-led projects are prioritized.
Program updates will be communicated regularly on the NRCan website
Any costs incurred for the submission of the Project Application are at the Applicant’s own risk and cannot be considered as part of the Total Project Costs.
Until a written contribution agreement is signed by both parties, no commitment or obligation exists on the part of NRCan to make a financial contribution to any project, including any expenditure incurred or paid prior to the signing of such a contribution agreement.
NRCan is offering funding to support smart renewable energy and electrical grid modernization deployment projects. As coal-fired electricity generation units are phased out due to provincial and federal regulations, the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program (SREPs) will support coal’s replacement with renewable solutions able to meet increased energy needs and provide grid services to the electricity grid.
SREPs aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to meet Canada’s 2030 targets and beyond by supporting the transition towards electrification through these renewable energy projects and the transformation of the Canadian electricity grid. In addition, SREPs will decrease barriers to participation for those underrepresented in the energy sector, including but not limited to women, 2SLGBTQ+ people, Indigenous peoples, racialized communities and persons with disabilities.
III) Expected Outcomes
- Decrease greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s electricity system;
- Increase the number of electricity system assets that can contribute to system reliability;
- Generate economic and social benefits, including job creation and increased equity, diversity and inclusion in the energy sector; and
- Increase renewable energy capacity or increase electrical grid accommodation of renewable energy;
Desired outcomes, where applicable:
- Increase meaningful Indigenous ownership of, and benefits from, renewable energy projects.
1) Eligibility and Funding Limits
1.1 Eligible Recipients
Eligible recipients are the owners of Eligible Projects and may include:
- Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada;
- Provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies;
- Indigenous communities and governments, Tribal Councils, National and regional Indigenous councils or organizations, and Indigenous for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. (The term “Indigenous” is understood to include Inuit, Métis, First Nation, Status Indian and non-Status Indian individuals, or any combination thereof.)
There can only be 1 applicant
Where an Applicant is a newly formed Limited Partnership, the program may require the Applicant to secure a Guarantor for the Project. The Guarantor will be required to sign a form of Guarantee, as provided by the program, of an amount up to the proposed program funding amount.
1.2 Eligible and Ineligible Expenses
1.2.1 Eligible Expenditures
The program will reimburse a portion of Eligible Expenditures incurred that are directly related to, and necessary for, the implementation of a Project, which include:
- Salaries and benefits for employees on the payroll of the Recipient, including parental leave benefits, accommodations and accessibility costs;
- Professional, scientific, technical and contracting services;
- Equipment expenditures;
- Travel costs necessary for the delivery of the Project, including meals and accommodation, based on National Joint Council Rates.
- GST, PST or HST, net of any tax rebate to which the Recipient is entitled;
- Other expenses, including:
- Printing services and translation;
- Data collection services, including processing, analysis and management;
- Construction insurance;
- Licence fees and permits;
- Capacity building and training.
- Where the Recipient is an Indigenous organization or distributing funding to Indigenous organizations, other expenses may include honoraria and costs associated with an Indigenous ceremony.
- Overhead expenses, provided they are directly related to the conduct of the Project and can be attributed to it. Overhead expenditures can be included in the Total Project Costs up to a maximum of 15% of eligible expenditures.
Costs ineligible for reimbursement from the program (but permitted as part of the Recipient’s portion of the Total Project Costs) include:
- The reimbursable portion of Federal and Provincial Taxes;
- In-kind costs; and
- Legal costs related to notarization requirements.
In-kind contributions from the Recipient and their partner(s) will be accepted on a case by case basis to count towards the Recipient’s portion of the project costs. In-kind support must be verifiable, directly support the project, and fall into the same cost categories as identified for Eligible Expenditures.
1.2.2 Non-Admissible Expenditures
The program will not reimburse any portion of the following costs, nor will it consider the following costs towards Total Project Costs:
- Land acquisition costs and associated real estate fees;
- Costs of leasing land, buildings and other facilities;
- Legal costs;
- Project Application preparation costs;
- Tax preparation costs;
- Financing charges and interest payments on Project loans;
- Costs that cannot be deemed necessary for the implementation of the Project;
- Salary benefits and incentives deemed unrelated to the Project (e.g., employee bonuses);
- All costs associated with the protection of Intellectual Property;
- Fossil fuel generation equipment;
- Costs incurred before the Project Approval notification date, or after the Project Completion Date or March 31, 2029, whichever is earlier.
1.3 Eligible Projects
Eligible Projects funded under SREPs are expected to be “shovel-ready” (i.e., ready to begin construction or installation), must be located in Canada and provide energy for sale or use in Canada. The program defines shovel-ready as projects that successfully meet all of the application criteria, as outlined in Section 3.
Renewable energy generation and energy storage projects funded under SREPs must contribute to the following mandatory outcomes, and may contribute to the desired outcomes, as listed in Expected Outcomes.
Eligible Projects under SREPs include, but are not limited to, the permanent deployment of technologies listed below.
|Program Stream||Examples of Eligible Projects|
|Grid Modernization||For a complete list please refer to the Grid Modernization Applicant Guide.|
Ineligible Projects for SREPs include, but are not limited to:
- Demonstration projects;
- Renewable fuel production projects, including hydrogen generation;
- Non-organic waste to power;
- Technologies below Technical Readiness Level 8.
For more information on technology readiness levels, please visit Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
1.4 Generation and Energy Storage Stream Eligibility
Each program stream is designed to support a different suite of clean energy technologies, as described below:
- The Established Renewables Stream supports the accelerated deployment of commercially viable renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar. Projects in this stream are eligible for up to 10% of Total Project Costs.
- The Emerging Technologies Stream supports the development of new clean energy technologies and markets in Canada. Geothermal, energy storage, and other emerging technologies are eligible for up 30% of Total Project Costs.
- The Grid Modernization Stream supports technologies and processes which are necessary to accommodate the current widespread changes in the electricity system, particularly changes associated with rapid decarbonization. Projects which are integrated to provide direct benefits to the operation of the bulk power grid, including the deployment of smart grid technologies are eligible for up to 50% of Total Project Costs. Eligibility requirements for the Grid Modernization Stream can be found in the Grid Modernization Applicant Guide.
1.4.1 Established Renewables Stream Eligibility
Projects that meet the following minimum requirements may be considered eligible under the established renewables stream:
- The technology has been successfully deployed at the utility scale and is commercially viable in Canada;
- The system is capable of producing renewable energy for sale or use in Canada;
- The project has a minimum net installed capacity of 4 megawatts (MWac), or 500 kWac if the project is Indigenous-owned; and
- The technology is capable of providing grid services as defined in Section 1.5.3.
1.4.2 Emerging Technologies Stream Eligibility
The purpose of this stream is to expand the portfolio of commercially available clean energy solutions for use in Canada. This stream supports projects which are not commonly deployed in Canada in comparison to other energy project types. Projects in this stream support the long term advancement and diversification of clean energy markets.
Projects that meet the following minimum requirements may be considered eligible under the emerging technologies stream:
- The technology faces additional market barriers compared to established renewables, leading to limited levels of deployment well below the expected long term potential;
- The system is capable of delivering renewable energy (or electricity storage services) for sale or use in Canada;
- The technology is capable of providing grid services as defined in criteria T5 Grid Services; and
- The system satisfies the minimum capacity requirements, per the Table below.
|Project Type||Minimum Size Requirement||Minimum Size Requirement for Indigenous Owned Projects|
|Electricity Generation||4 MW AC||500 kW AC|
|Energy Storage||1 MW AC||250 kW AC|
|Deep Geothermal Heating||40 TJ/year||5 TJ/year|
|Renewable Community Heating||10 TJ/year||5 TJ/year|
A single project may bundle multiple sites in order to make the minimum size requirements noted above. In this case, the need for a sole applicant is still required and will need to coordinate with different land owners, if applicable.
SREPs considers utility-led energy storage projects as grid modernization projects and as such, these projects should refer to the Grid Modernization Applicant Guide.
Utility-led Energy Storage deployments are considered a form of grid modernization and therefore are expected to deliver on a wider range of grid benefits. Expenses related to the storage technology will be funded at the same level as the Emerging Technologies stream. Expenses related to integration are eligible for higher levels of reimbursement. Please refer to the Grid Modernization Applicant Guide for more details.
1.5 Additional Program Requirements
1.5.1 Indigenous Engagement Requirement
Program Intention: SREPs is seeking projects and applicants that proactively engage with Indigenous groups as part of the project planning to deliver local community benefits (e.g., improved air quality, job creation). Projects which are not expected to impact Indigenous communities should, at a minimum, confirm there are no objections from Indigenous communities directly or indirectly impacted by the project as planned and that all appropriate parties have been engaged. Projects must also demonstrate they meet all Provincial or Territorial Indigenous consultation requirements.
Applicants are requested to demonstrate proactive, ongoing and meaningful engagement with any and all relevant Indigenous communities, or SREPs funding may be withheld.
SREPs Grants for Indigenous Engagement Activities
SREPs will provide grant funding, up to $50,000 per Applicant per fiscal year, to support Indigenous engagement and consultation activities and expenses related to eligible Projects.
Applications are available upon request from the program (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Eligible activities are limited to projects where the expected outcomes are known at the onset of the project, contribute to SREPs objectives, and may include activities that disseminate information to Indigenous organizations, activities directly related and attributable to Indigenous participation in dialogues for the sustainable and responsible development of natural resources; or outreach forums such as conferences, workshops or e-forums.
In addition to the Applicant’s responsibilities, NRCan has a Duty to Consult with Indigenous groups when a contemplated Crown conduct, such as the provision of funding or the issuance of permits, may have an adverse impact on existing or potential Aboriginal or Treaty rights. The Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System will be used to assess Consultation requirements and to identify Indigenous groups that may be impacted by proposed projects. The federal government will then follow up as appropriate.
Further details on the Indigenous engagement requirement, are available in criteria S2 Indigenous Engagement.
1.5.2 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Requirement
Program Intention: NRCan recognizes the importance of a diverse and inclusive workforce to the resilience of Canada’s energy sector. SREPs aims to advance the participation of multiple underrepresented groups in Canada’s energy sector, including but not limited to women; 2SLGBTQ+ persons; First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples; racialized people; youth and persons with disabilities.
SREPs requires recipients to either provide Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plans for their organization or participate in a public commitment. Activities for fulfilling the commitment or EDI plan could include reporting on progress, gathering relevant data, promoting the renewable and energy sector as a post-secondary option, and promoting workforce diversity and inclusion through collaboration.
Further details about this requirement are available in criteria S3 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
1.5.3 Grid Services Requirement
Grid Services are also known as “ancillary” or “essential reliability” services. They can be defined as, “Services necessary for the operation of an electric power system provided by the system operator and/or by power system users… System ancillary services may include the participation in frequency regulation, reactive power regulation, active power reservation, etc.”
– International Electrotechnical Vocabulary (IEV 617-03-09).
Program Intention: In order to enable and demonstrate the capabilities of renewable technologies, projects capable of delivering electricity must also be capable of providing the grid services that synchronous generators (such as hydro, natural gas, coal or nuclear) have traditionally provided in the jurisdiction where the Project is located.
Specific services are uniquely identified by each local jurisdiction’s grid codes and generator connection requirements – however, in the absence of them being defined in the local grid codes, SREPs has defined minimum requirements for supported projects.
Enhanced grid service capabilities from a wider range of non-emitting and renewable resources are essential in maintaining a reliable electricity system as the system is decarbonised and conventional emitting generators typically responsible for these services decrease in capacity. The program requires that all SREPs supported projects capable of delivering electricity must also be capable of providing grid services as defined by the program. This will enable utilities and system operators to gain experience with and develop new operational processes and support higher levels of renewable energy generation.
Applicants will be required to make these grid service capabilities available to the system operators. The ultimate decision to make use of these grid service capabilities remains with the applicable utility or system operator.
Further details on this requirement are available in criteria T5 Grid Services.
1.5.4 Cyber Security Requirement
Program Intention: NRCan aims to improve awareness and use of cyber security best practices in Canada’s electricity sector. The program is seeking projects which contribute to a more resilient infrastructure through continual maintenance and enhancement of cyber security over the Project’s life cycle.
Cyber security is the protection of digital information and the infrastructure on which it resides. It includes the body of technologies, processes, practices as well as response and mitigation measures designed to protect networks, computers, programs and data from attack, damage or unauthorized access to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability. Public Safety GC
Applicants will be expected to demonstrate how their organization will make use of cyber security-related controls, standards and tools, prioritizing actions and investments to maintain or enhance the organization’s cyber security posture. Applicants will be required to complete the Canadian Cyber Security Tool (CCST), a virtual self-assessment of their organization’s operational resilience and cyber security posture, and summarize the results. Additionally, applicants will be asked to share cyber security lessons learned as part of their final report.
Further details on this requirement are provided in criteria T3 Cyber Security.
1.6 Funding Limits
1.6.1 Program Funding Limits and Funding Period
Once approved, projects will be eligible for funding from the date of Project Approval until the Project Commissioning Date or March 31, 2029; whichever is earlier.
See Section 4 for more details on the timing and processing of payments.
The maximum eligible funding, as a percentage of Total Project Costs, is determined based on program stream, per the table below.
|Program Stream||Max Eligible % of Total Project Costs||Maximum Eligible Funding|
|Established Renewables||10%||$25 million|
|Emerging Technologies||30%||$25 million|
Hybrid Projects combine technologies from multiple streams into a single integrated system. They are eligible under SREPs, provided the project meets the minimum size requirement of at least one stream. The maximum funding percentage for a hybrid Project will be determined according to the proportion of eligible expenditures in each program stream.
1.6.2 Indigenous-Owned Project Funding Limits
Understanding that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis partners experience unique barriers to participating in the energy transition, SREPs aims to enable and encourage their participation by providing greater funding percentages, as well as supporting smaller-sized projects.
In order to support Indigenous Recipients and projects that provide economic and social benefits to Indigenous communities, projects are eligible for funding based on the table below.
|Minimum Percentage of Indigenous Ownership||Maximum % of Total Project Costs||Maximum Funding|
Indigenous-owned projects will be eligible for funding as determined per the table above (superseding the stream-specific funding levels).
1.6.3 Stacking of Assistance
Stacking Limits: The maximum level of total Canadian government funding authorized under this program will be 75% of Total Project Costs when the Applicant is a for-profit organization.
Provincial, territorial, and municipal governments or their departments and agencies, as well as Indigenous Recipients and non-profit organizations, are eligible to receive up to 100% of Total Project Costs from government funding sources.
In general, collaboration and financial leveraging from other sources is strongly encouraged for all SREPs streams. Applications submitted under SREPs may be shared with other government funding programs to which those applications may be better suited.
Prior to signing a contribution agreement and upon Project Completion, the Applicant will be required to disclose all funding sources (Canadian and non-Canadian) for the Project, including industry sources, approved in-kind funding, and contributions from other Canadian government sources (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal).
In the event that actual total government assistance to a Recipient exceeds the eligible expenditures, NRCan will adjust its level of funding and if necessary, seek reimbursement (see Section 4.3: Repayability).
2) Application and Program Process
The application process involves the following steps:
- Project registration
- Technical and Financial Application
- Project Evaluation
- Project Approval
- Contribution Agreement Negotiation
Register and Apply Online:
As part of the SREPs expansion, Applicants are asked to use the Integro portal for submitting both Registrations and Applications. This adjustment is designed to ensure all submitted applications are complete and meet the criteria requirements as listed.
For a downloadable version of the Technical and Financial Application Forms, or for any other accessibility concerns, please reach out to the Program inbox (email@example.com).
2.1 Project Registrations
To formally begin applying for SREPs, Applicants are asked to submit a completed Project Registration Form, as outlined in Section 3.1. Upon receipt of the registration form the program team will confirm the eligibility of the proposed project and identify which program stream it is eligible for. Once a registration is approved, the Technical and Financial Application will be made available for completion in Integro.
Reach out to the program inbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) if a paper copy of the application is required for accessibility purposes.
2.2 Technical and Financial Application Submission and Review Process
The Technical and Financial Application is used to:
- Confirm all approved projects are at a sufficiently advanced stage of planning and development – “shovel-ready”;
- Ensure all program requirements are met (e.g., Grid Services, EDI, confirmation of financing, etc.); and
- Collect information required for the contribution agreement.
The program will evaluate Technical and Financial Project Applications in the order they are received, provided:
- The application is complete; and
- Funds are available that the Project may be eligible for under a contribution agreement.
Applicants must meet the criteria requirements outlined in Section 3 as applicable to their Project.
If supplementary information is required to complete NRCan’s review of the Project, the program will request the additional information or clarification in the form of a modified application. When re-submitting an application, the date of the modified submission will be used to determine approval priority.
2.3 Project Approval
The approval process is based on the date the applicant has submit an application that has met all the criteria requirements which demonstrate the project is “shovel-ready”.
Upon a positive review of the Technical and Financial Project Application, and subject to all other SREPs conditions, including availability of funds, the program will seek necessary approvals to fund the Project. Once approval has been obtained, NRCan will proceed to negotiate and sign a contribution agreement with the Applicant.
Costs incurred prior to project approval will not be considered as part of Total Project Costs.
2.4 Contribution Agreement Negotiation
The Contribution Agreement, the legal agreement that outlines the funding obligations, is the last step in the approval process. Any funding under this entire submission, review and assessment process will be contingent upon the execution of a contribution agreement. Until a written contribution agreement is signed by both parties, no commitment or obligation exists on the part of NRCan to make a financial contribution to any Project, including any expenditure incurred or paid prior to the signing of such a contribution agreement.
2.5 Service Standards
NRCan maintains a suite of service standards on the expected timelines for each phase of program delivery. The purpose of these service standards is to clarify for applicants when funding is available, the timeline for reviews, and when announcements will be made regarding any remaining funds.
Key service standards for this program
|Acknowledgement of receipt of a Project Registration or Project Application||5 business days|
|Invitation to submit a Technical and Financial Project Application, following Project Registration||10 business days|
|Funding decision||90 business days|
|Payment issued||30 days|
2.6 Confidentiality and Security of Information
Paragraph 20(1) of the Access to Information Act prohibits a government institution, including NRCan, from disclosing any information—financial, commercial, scientific or technical—supplied by a Project Applicant to NRCan so long as the Project Applicant treats the information as confidential in their own establishment.
Accordingly, NRCan will protect the Applicant’s confidential information in its possession to the same extent as the Applicant protects said confidential information in their own establishment. NRCan will use email correspondence to the Applicant for all non-confidential matters.
NRCan recognizes that email is not a secure means of communication, and NRCan cannot guarantee the security of confidential information sent via email while it is in transit. Nonetheless, Applicants who regularly use email to communicate confidential information within their own organizations may choose to submit their documentation packages by email to: email@example.com
For more information on this subject, please refer to Section 20 of the Access to Information Act.
2.7 Program Inquiries
To ensure that all Applicants have access to the same information and that there is a written response to every question, all questions and answers will be sent and received via the program email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Preparing an Application
The Project Registration Form is available on the Integro portal, accessible via the SREPs webpage, where it can be submitted to the program while the intake process is open.
The program team will review the Project Registration Form to determine which stream the proposed Project falls into. Eligible Applicants will be assigned a file number and invited to submit a Technical and Financial Project Application.
In addition to signing the Project Registration Form, the Applicant must attest that they have read the Applicant Guide and certify the information provided is accurate.
3.2 Technical and Financial Project Application
Registrants who meet the basic eligibility criteria through the registration process will be invited to complete a Technical and Financial Project Application. This application covers all the mandatory criteria for program funding approval. Incomplete applications will be rejected by the program, and Applicants will be invited to re-apply when their project has reached the stage where a complete application can be submitted.
For the Technical and Financial Project Application to be considered for review, the Applicant must provide all the following information, where applicable to their project.
|A||Overview||A1, A2, A3, A4|
|S||Social Benefits||S1, S2, S3|
|R||Permits and Regulatory Approvals||R1, R2, R3|
|F||Financial||F1, F2, F3, F4, F5|
|T||Technical Requirements||T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6|
The following sections describe what information is required to complete each application criteria. Applicants are advised to complete A1 and A2 first.
A1 – Applicant Information
The purpose of this criteria is to ensure the program has all the required contact information regarding the applicant, their partners and the team members contributing to the project.
- Organization name
- Type of organization
- Registration/incorporation number (e.g., federal GST number).
The Applicant organization should be the owner of the project. This organization must be legally incorporated in Canada.
- Mailing address
- Primary contact’s name, role and contact information
- % of Indigenous ownership in the Project
- Applicant organization’s corporate ownership structure
- List of core team members and their relevant experience
A2 – Project Information
This section is designed to collect general information about the project, including key indicators that will be reported on in the future.
- Project name
- Stream (as identified by program during registration process)
- Type of project activity/technology type(s)
Where projects include multiple technology types, technical documentation for each program component will be required.
- Project partners
- Project location (including geographic coordinates, and specifying whether any portion of the Project is on federal lands or on-reserve)
- Estimated Project start date
- Estimated commissioning date (or commercial operation date)
- Project size (net installed capacity AC in MW, or TJ for heat)
- Expected annual generation (if not applicable, please enter 0)
- Expected number of jobs created by project (during construction and operations and maintenance)
- Total Project Costs (CA$)
- Requested SREPs funding amount (CA$)
- Status of energy sale agreement (if applicable)
- Description of the Project (800 words maximum). This section should include a high level summary, a description of the project benefits (e.g., job creation, air quality, increased reliability), and key details about the project development plan.
A3 – Project Timeline
The purpose of the project timeline is to understand the overall critical path of project deployment. The Program needs to understand the scheduling of key milestones, as well as the organization responsible for delivering on each task.
At a minimum, Applicants are asked to address the following project tasks, if applicable. Additional project tasks should be included as relevant.
For each project task, provide a project-specific description of the task and potential risk to overall project timeline.
|Project Task||Example of Expected Output|
|Land Acquisition and Siting||Land access agreements have been signed for the entirety of the project.|
|Environmental Surveys||All required environmental surveys necessary for the project to begin construction or implementation have been completed.|
|Stakeholder Engagement||Initial project consultation with regulatory bodies and landowners have been completed.|
|Project Permitting||Permitting to develop and operate the planned facility is in place.|
|Interconnection Approval||Completion of interconnection studies with the grid authority.|
|Project Financing||Confirmation of full project financing.|
|Detailed Engineering||Completion of detailed project design.|
|Procurement||Key procurement agreements are signed and payments have been provided.|
|Mobilization||Teams mobilize to site.|
|Civil Works||Completion of civil work and site preparations.|
|Electrical Works||Completion of electrical work.|
|Energization||The project is connected to the grid.|
|Commercial Operation Date||Project begins selling electricity.|
If Applicable, identify the expected dates for selecting key vendors and contracts, and any expected decision points (e.g., notice to proceed).
A4 – Project Risk
This criteria is intended to identify any potential risks to project implementation. Applicants should identify key risks which are specific to the project. For each risk identify the risk type, the estimated likelihood and the residual project risk after mitigation measures. The table below is provided for applicants to complete in Integro.
At a minimum, please address the following key risks as they relate to the project:
- Procurement or supply chain uncertainty
- Regulatory or permitting risks (e.g., environmental approvals, land access)
- Detailed design considerations, if applicable
- Construction delays, if applicable
- Market uncertainty, if applicable (e.g., lack of a formal energy sale agreement, unclear revenue streams)
|Risk Name and Description||Provide the name of the specific project risk and a brief description of the drivers for uncertainty.|
|Type of Risk||Select a risk type from the dropdown list, or choose other. Risk types may include financial, market, technical, regulatory, supply chain, or others.|
|Estimated Likelihood||Describe the likelihood of this risk occurring and causing impact to the project. Select from the dropdown list as low, medium or high.|
|Mitigation Measures||Describe the proactive measures being undertaken to minimize the impact of the risk to the project.|
|Description of Residual Risk||After mitigation measures have been enacted, classify the residual level of risk to the project as low, medium or high.|
|Residual Risk to Project||If the residual risk is medium or high, describe in further detail the key unknowns and potential impact to the overall project timeline and deliverables.|
Project Risk Examples
|Field||Example 1 – Wind|
|Risk Name and Description||Climate Change Resiliency Climate change is expected to increase the moisture content of the air near the onshore wind project. Moisture in the air can lead to blade leading edge erosion which in turn, may impact the projects ability to produce electricity.|
|Mitigation Measures||To prevent erosion, the leading edge will be coated with a high performance chemical solution which will reduce the impacts of increased air moisture content.|
|Description of Residual Risk||Medium|
|Residual Risk to Project||The coating will only limit erosion and not eliminate the risk altogether. The leading edge of the blades will be monitored for signs of erosion and reinforced with additional coating if necessary.|
|Field||Example 2 – Solar|
|Risk Name and Description||
Supply Chain Shortages
A global polysilicon shortage is expected to continue over the short term which in turn, may impact the project's ability to acquire the solar panels on schedule. Polysilicon is essential to the fabrication of solar PV modules and as the shortage of this material continues, prices for these units continue to rise, ultimately slowing down manufacturing as the manufacturers are unable to make their regular bulk purchases.
|Mitigation Measures||Current forecasts suggest that this polysilicon supply chain issue will persist in the near term, in turn impacting the availability of solar panels. While supply might be slightly limited globally, the project still expects to acquire the needed solar panels in a timely fashion and the impacts to total project costs have been considered in the financial components of this application. Vendors will also be engaged early to confirm panel availability and the project will secure these units via an agreement as soon as the project confirms financing.|
|Description of Residual Risk||Medium|
|Residual Risk to Project||The polysilicon shortage will persist for some time but the project will most definitely be able to acquire the needed solar panels within the defined program period. Should there be construction delays due to this material shortage, the project will bring in another installation crew to accelerate the schedule.|
|Field||Example 3 – Alberta Generation|
|Risk Name and Description||
A Power Plant Approval from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) is required for this project. An application for this approval has been submitted but has not yet been granted. As such, there remains a risk that the approval could be denied.
|Mitigation Measures||The project complies with all AUC rules applicable to this project and does not have any adverse effects on any persons or the environment. Notably, the project meets all of the requirements outlined in AUC rules 007 and 012, among other rules, required for approval. In fact, a noise impact assessment has been completed and submitted with the application.|
|Description of Residual Risk||Low|
|Residual Risk to Project||Once the project obtains the Power Plant Approval, there remains little to no risk associated with this approval as the project will be able to proceed on schedule.|
|Field||Example 4 – External Financing|
|Risk Name and Description||
Confirmation of Financing
The project will require additional funding from third parties, which has not yet been secured. While negotiations to acquire this funding have started, agreements have not yet been signed. Consequently, there remains a risk that the project cannot secure the required financing to proceed.
|Mitigation Measures||Conversations with third party financers have so far been positive and agreements are expected to be finalized in the near term. The Applicant has extensive experience in negotiating financing through third parties. As a result, the risk that the project does not acquire the needed financing is reduced significantly.|
|Description of Residual Risk||Low|
|Residual Risk to Project||Once these agreements are signed, there remains little risk that the project is unable to be financed.|
S1 – Indigenous Engagement
This criteria is intended to confirm Applicants have sufficiently engaged with local Indigenous groups.
If Indigenous consultation is necessary for the project, the required information includes:
- List of engagement activities with Indigenous groups to date, including consideration of recommendations from coordinating bodies, where available
- Details about past engagement and letters of support, if available
- List of anticipated engagement
- Description of discussions with coordinating bodies, where applicable (i.e. BC, AB, SK, NB, and NS)
- If the project is located on Reserve land, provide a letter of support from the community signed by Chief and/or council.
- If no consultations or engagements are required for the project, please explain why.
Among other resources, Applicants are encouraged to refer to the Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System (ATRIS). ATRIS is a Web-based information system intended to map out the location of Aboriginal communities and display information pertaining to their potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights. Indicating that ATRIS was consulted should be included in the application response, where applicable.
Coordinating Bodies Examples
The program recommends utilising coordinating bodies for Indigenous consultation and engagement, where available.
|British Columbia||The Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation||
Building Relations with First Nations: Respecting Rights and Doing Good Business. (PDF)
Clean Energy Production in B.C.: An Inter-Agency Guidebook for Project Development (PDF)
|Alberta||The Aboriginal Consultation Office||The Government of Alberta’s Proponent Guide to First Nations and Metis Settlements Consultation Procedures.(PDF)|
|Saskatchewan||The Ministry of Government Relations||Proponent Handbook: Voluntary Engagement with First Nations and Métis Communities to Inform Government’s Duty to Consult Process.|
|New Brunswick||The Department of Aboriginal Affairs||Interim Proponent Guide: A guide for Proponents on Engaging with Aboriginal Peoples in New Brunswick. (PDF)|
|Nova Scotia||The Office of L’nu Affairs||Proponents’ Guide: THE ROLE OF PROPONENTS IN CROWN CONSULTATION WITH THE MI’KMAQ OF NOVA SCOTIA.(PDF)|
S2 – Indigenous Ownership
Only applicable to partially or fully Indigenous-owned Applicants
This criteria is required to confirm the level of legal Indigenous ownership in the project. Projects with future or planned Indigenous participation are not considered Indigenous-owned.
- Description of the expected benefits as a result of the project (e.g. jobs, training, opportunities for increased ownership)
- Legal documentation outlining the percentage of Indigenous ownership in the Project (e.g. Community Development Agreement, Limited Partnership Agreement, Impact Benefit Agreement). The document must include signatures from Indigenous leadership.
- If the document is not signed, provide a letter of support from the partnered community stating the intention to sign at the next available opportunity.
- Indigenous partner contact information
S3 – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Applicants have two options for completing the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) criteria:
- Submitting an EDI Plan with clear objectives, activities, metrics, and timelines; or,
- Signing on to a public commitment for EDI that supports the program’s objectives, along with details on how the applicant will meet that commitment.
Option 1: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan
In order to promote a focus on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Canada’s electricity sector, Applicants who select Option 1 are required to include the following:
- Anti-discrimination policy – This policy should reference applicable Human Rights Codes and may include processes and procedures to ensure safety and inclusion in the workplace.
- Diversity policy – This policy can include anti-racism, lateral violence, and inclusion policies where relevant to your organization.
- Staff education requirement – The Applicant should outline actions, with specific timelines, for educating staff on policies, practices and activities chosen to enable a safe, inclusive, diverse, and equitable workplace.
Indigenous Applicants may substitute traditional teachings and practices in place of policies. For 100% Indigenous-owned projects, there is flexibility in how policies and education plans are presented as long as an intent is sufficiently demonstrated to implement tangible EDI practices under the project.
Each Applicant is required to select activities to be pursued as part of the EDI plan. The number of activities required depends on the Applicant type. Applicants with fewer than 50 employees, or Indigenous applicants and Limited Partnerships will be required to include two or more activities in their EDI plan. Applicants with 50 or more employees, are required to include a minimum of four activities.
Activities may be chosen from the lists below, or other planned activities can be provided) if relevant. Applicants are encouraged to include activities related to community engagement if their project will impact the local community. Any activities listed under S2 may be included as part of the S3 requirement.
Please ensure all included activities have clear metrics, goals and timelines. Include additional details as required to understand how EDI goals will be met.
For example, “This project will aim to train 90% of all employees on anti-racism by the end of the year” or “This project will include EDI criteria as part of the supplier selection process up until project commissioning, including asking for EDI plans”.
|Governance and policies||
|More equitable, diverse and inclusive workforce representation||
|More equitable, diverse and inclusive management representation||Increasing representation of women and other marginalized genders in managerial roles
|Workforce advancement & retention||
|Training to educate and empower the workforce||
|Workplace committees dedicated to EDI||
|Community engagement and benefits||
Option 2: Public Commitment
Applicants who select Option 2 have chosen to sign onto a public commitment for EDI.
Eligible public commitments are not limited to, but must be related to, the following:
- Advancing the roles of multiple underrepresented groups in the energy sector including but not limited to women; 2SLGBTQ+ people; First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples; racialized people; and persons with disabilities
- Reducing barriers to entry into the workforce;
- Commitments to workplace equity, diversity, and inclusion measures;
- Goals for representation in the workplace and leadership;
- Commitments to the advancement of underrepresented persons in the workplace.
- Name of the public commitment;
- Name of the organization delivering the public commitment;
- Details of the public commitment:
- Objectives of the commitment;
- Timeframes of the commitment ;
- Metrics to be measured;
- Specifics of the commitment;
- Written confirmation and proof of signing on to the public commitment from the coordinating organization
Examples of eligible public commitments include, but are not limited to:
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s 50 – 30 Challenge
- Diversio Certification of Diversity and Inclusion
- Becoming a Signatory of the Electricity Human Resources Canada Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Accord. Please note that only the Signatory status is permissible under the program. The Advocate status is not permissible.
Public Commitment Detailed Example
The table below is an example of a fully described public commitment. Applicants are encouraged to provide a similar level of detail for whichever public commitment they intend to join.
|Field||Example: ISED 50-30|
|Name of the public commitment||
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s 50 – 30 Challenge
|Name of the organization delivering the public commitment||
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s
|Objectives of the commitment||
|Timeframes of the commitment||
Our organization is aiming to reach the above objectives by 2030, with progress made by the end of the project.
We aim to have 40% women/ other marginalized genders as part of our senior management by 2024. Currently senior management consists of 30% women and 70% men with additional hiring in progress.
The senior management team already consists of 30% people from equity-deserving groups but the team will continue to create inclusive hiring processes.
To reach our goals, we will ensure all hiring boards have gender parity and have completed inclusive hiring training to ensure an equitable and inclusive hiring process for new employees.
All job descriptions will be reviewed for inclusive language and will also encourage those from underrepresented groups to apply. Flexible work accommodations will be advertised.
To track progress, demographic data of employees will be collected annually through a voluntary and aggregated survey.
Gaps will be identified annually and measures will be taken to address any gaps in addition to the current gender gap.
The team will continue to engage with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada as resources become available to improve our practices.
Other inclusive measures will be put in place to ensure employees are well supported once hired. For example, our organization provides childcare located in the same building.
|Confirmation of signing||
Written confirmation and proof of signing on to the public commitment from the coordinating organization.
R1 – Regulatory Approvals and Permits
To ensure projects are advancing towards their construction or implementation start date, Applicants are requested to share the status of all key permits and approvals required for project completion. Where permits or approvals have not been obtained, please address the associated risk in A4.
Approvals and permits may address topics including, but not limited to:
- Land access and use
- Water access
- Operational licensing
- Building permits
- Interconnection approval
For this criteria Applicants are asked to describe the status of permits and regulatory approvals for the project by selecting one of the following options:
- No permits or approvals are required for the project;
- All key project permits and approvals are secured;
- Some permits or approvals remain outstanding but pose no significant risk to the project; or
- Some permits or approvals remain outstanding which do pose some risk to the project.
Additionally, Applicants are required to complete the table below in Integro, adding rows as needed. The program may seek confirmation that key regulatory approvals and permits have been acquired before Project Approval.
|Permit or approval||Name of permit or approval|
|Issuing authority||Name of issuing authority|
|Jurisdiction||Identify the jurisdiction as Federal, Provincial, Municipal, Regulatory, or Other|
|Current status||Identify the status as Not started, In progress or Complete|
|Start date||Date of application submission|
|Completion date||Expected date of approval|
|Risk level||Identify the risk of project delays due to the permit or approval timeline as low, medium or high, where:
|Comments||Describe the potential impact where risk levels are medium or high|
If a project requires SREPs funding in order to obtain regulatory approval, a conditional approval may be considered. Please outline such scenarios in the “Comments” section.
R2 – Land Access Rights
The purpose of this criteria is to ensure Applicants have site control and access to the land required to build the project. Permits and/or agreements for site control for all land within the project boundaries must be secured.
- Confirmation that the Applicant has acquired, the land access rights required to complete the project.
- A site map, outlining the project boundaries and the land to which access rights have been acquired.
Please identify the individual plots of land to which each permit or agreement is applicable.
Under the Impact Assessment Act, NRCan is required to assess whether projects carried out on federal lands intended for funding are likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects. If so, the Project may become a “designated project” under the Impact Assessment Act, and an Impact Assessment may be required. Applicants are asked to identify on the site map if any portion of the Project will be carried out on federal lands, and the specific activities that will occur on those sites.
If a project is deemed a “designated project”, funding will be withheld until the Impact Assessment is complete and it has been determined that no significant adverse environmental affects will arise from the Project.
The program may seek proof of land access rights as part of the project review. Road access approvals (i.e., right of ways) may be acquired after submitting a project application and described in criteria R1, if applicable.
R3 – Environmental Assessments
This criteria is designed to ensure Applicants are well on track in completing the required environmental assessments at the Regional, Provincial and Federal levels.
- A description of the environmental surveys and assessments required for the specific project site(s), including the expected timelines for approval;
- The overall status of the project with respect to environmental approvals; and
- If the project is located on federal lands, the status of the project’s designation under the Impact Assessment Act (see section R2).
Please select one of the following options which best describes the projects status with respect to environmental surveys and assessments.
|Desktop studies complete||The Applicant has completed a virtual analysis of the project site to assess environmental risks.|
|Field work complete||The Applicant has completed all required on-site work and/or data collection.|
|Environmental assessments in progress||The Applicant has begun preparing documents, using completed desktop and field work for approval from key environmental regulators.|
|Environmental assessments submitted for approval||All major environmental approval documents have been submitted for approval.|
|Environmental approvals received||All major environmental approval documents have been approved.|
Applicants are required to complete the table below in Integro, adding rows as needed to fully describe the project. An approved environmental assessment may be required for Project Approval.
|Environmental Approval||Name of specific permit or approval.|
|Permitting Authority||Name of issuing authority.|
|Approval Status||Identify the status of the permitting process from the dropdown list. Options are the same as the table above.|
|Date of approval or anticipate date of approval||Expected date of approval.|
|Risk Level||Identify the risk of project delays as low, medium or high for each permit.|
|Proof of submission or approval||If applicable, provide proof of submission, any follow-up correspondence with the regulatory, and/or the final approval.|
F1 – Financial Application Form
This criteria is designed to give the program an understanding of the overall project budget.
A Budget Application Form will be available for download in Integro. Applicants are required to complete the form with the project budget and expenses broken down by government fiscal year.
This government fiscal year runs from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023 (also referred to as FY 2022-2023 or FY23).
Required information includes but is not limited to:
- Total eligible expenditures;
- Total project costs; and
- Program contribution requested
F2 – Financial Statements
The purpose of this criteria is to ensure the program understands the financial resources available to the project.
- 2 years of Financial Statements (may provide a link if available publicly online); and
- Financial Statements of parent organizations, if the Applicant is a newly formed organization such as a limited partnership
F3 – Confirmation of Financing
The purpose of this criteria is to ensure Applicants have access to the appropriate financial resources required to complete the project.
If the project will be obtaining financing from a second party, provide confirmation in the form of a term sheet or letter of intent to finance. If not applicable, please provide a brief rationale (e.g., the project will be fully financed with existing assets and SREPs contributions).
F4 – Funding From Other Levels of Government
Similar to F2, the purpose of this criteria is to confirm the financial resources available to the project.
If the project is receiving funding from other levels of government, the following information is requested:
- Name(s) of the funds or programs the project or Applicant has applied to;
- Name(s) of the government organization implementing each fund;
- Amount(s) of funding requested from each fund; and
- The status of each funding application.
Applicants are encouraged to review the Canadian Infrastructure Bank website for additional investment opportunities.
F5 – Energy or Service Sale Agreements
Applicants are required to provide details about any energy or service sale agreements, including the status of any Power Purchase Agreement (or conditional agreements). Successful projects are expected to have clear access to relevant energy markets. For some behind the meter projects where a purchase agreement may not be required, a detailed business case outlining the financial benefits of the project must be included in the application.
- Name of the energy offtaker;
- Price and length of the contract term;
- Amount of energy to be sold, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of total Project output (in the case where there are multiple offtakers); and
- If the project is operating in a market, include an anticipated average energy price.
To ensure projects are shovel ready, applicants may be required to submit proof of a signed energy sale agreement.
T1 – Energy Resource Assessment and/or Feasibility Studies
The purpose of this criteria is to understand the energy resource the Project intends to utilize.
Applicants are required to submit a site-specific resource assessment, energy yield assessment and/or feasibility study which has been completed for the Project by an experienced meteorologist, specialist or engineer. Reports may be provided from external engineering firms or certified, in-house specialists. Alternatively, a technical summary may be submitted, provided it is signed by a professional engineer.
For the purposes of this program, a bankable resource assessment is required. The assessment should address all major technical uncertainties and provide a reasonably high level of confidence in the resulting production value(s). If a project is being funded with existing assets, Applicants will be asked to attest that the provided study is acceptable to their financial institution(s).
Depending on the project type, Applicants will be asked to provide the following:
- For wind generation, the P50, P90, and P99 energy yields based on a correlation with measured data or a sample data set.
- For solar generation, the annual energy yield based on a correlation with measured data or a sample data set (This data can be derived from MERRA-2, ERA5 a climatic weather station, or the NRCan Photovoltaic potential and solar resource maps of Canada, among other options).
- For energy storage, an analysis of how the system will operate to achieve program outcomes such as reduced GHGs or increased system flexibility. Describe the energy services provided and the markets the system will operate within.
- For geothermal heat and/or power, a bankable resource assessment which addresses all major technical uncertainties. Applicants will be asked to attest that the study provided is deemed acceptable to all relevant financial institutions.
- For other emerging technologies, the most detailed feasibility study completed to date, including a description of the estimated production value and key uncertainties.
The program may seek further details on feasibility studies during the project review.
T2 – Technical Characteristics
The purpose of this criteria is to demonstrate the Applicant has reached a sufficiently advanced stage of project design.
- Documentation of the Project component’s technical characteristics (i.e. PV modules, wind turbines, inverters, battery specification sheets, power curves)
The following documents are requested, if applicable:
- Solar PV manufacturer’s data sheet, including I-V performance curves, operating power/voltage/current parameters, and references to IEEE, IEC and/or UL standards;
- Inverter manufacturer’s data sheet, including operating power/voltage/current parameters, and references to IEEE, IEC and/or UL standards;
- Turbine manufacturer’s data sheet, including rated power, wind speed vs. output power performance curves, turbine height, and reference to CSA and/or UL standards;
- Energy storage manufacturer’s data sheet, including storage type, rated power, capacity, cycle life, rated voltage and currents, and reference to IEEE, IEC and/or UL standards; and
- Any other equipment features documentation relevant to the project.
The product make and models provided in this section should match the documentation provided in other sections of the applications, specifically in T1 and T5.
T3 – Cyber Security
The Cyber Security (CS) Summary ensures that CS is addressed in all applicable aspects of the project, covering digital information and associated infrastructure. Proponents must demonstrate how their organization will make use of CS controls, standards, tools and best practices to protect their energy infrastructure from cyber threats.
Applicants are required to complete a Canadian Cyber Security Tool (CCST) virtual self assessment and describe how they will use CS tools and adhere to relevant standards (e.g., NERC CIP Standards, NIST Cyber Security Framework, or equivalent).
Cyber security requirements for each project are assessed on a case-by-case basis, with consideration given to planned actions to improve CS posture for the following reasons:
- There may be significant differences in organizations’ capacity to undertake CS measures due to their level of experience as well as their ability to employ dedicated resources or access skilled professionals;
- Organizations may take a wide range of approaches to CS in order to meet corporate objectives, privacy requirements and/or comply with regulations;
- The electricity sector is largely provincially regulated, with a variety of market structures, regulatory frameworks and approaches to CS implemented across Canada; and
- In the absence of formal regulations and standards that address CS risks, applicants may need to look to cyber hygiene best-practices and other standards.
- Applicants are expected to consult with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and Public Safety Canada for tools and resources related to cyber security.
- The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security is the single unified source of expert advice, guidance, services and support on cyber security for government, critical infrastructure owners and operations, the private sector, and the Canadian public. In addition to free tools and services, alerts and advisories, education resources and training opportunities, there is an Energy Partnerships team that supports electricity sector organizations.
- Public Safety Canada works closely with critical infrastructure stakeholders, federal departments and agencies, provinces and territories, owners and operators, the research and development community and international counterparts, to help protect the cyber systems that underpin the infrastructure and services that are integral to the daily lives of Canadians and to the health and security of Canada’s economy. They host Industrial Control Systems Security Events focused on cyber security for automated systems, and offer a range of tools and services aimed at enhancing the resilience of Canada’s critical infrastructure, including electricity systems.
- Evidence of/Attestation to completing the CCST.
The CCST is divided into specific and clearly defined categories that will provide additional information about CS best-practices. It takes less than an hour to complete. The post-assessment results will include advice and guidance to the Applicant related to each CS theme discussed throughout the tool. The results and advice can help the Applicant prioritize actions and investments for their project to mitigate cyber risks and improve resilience. The results and attachments provided by the CCST will remain with the Applicant.
- Description of the approach to addressing CS needs and relevant standards (in 1000 words or less). Specifically, how the organization will make use of CS-related controls, standards and tools for the project, and prioritize actions and investments to maintain or enhance its cyber security posture (i.e., how the project contributes to more resilient energy infrastructure). The description should include measures and controls that will be used to mitigate cyber risks and help prevent, respond to and recover from cyber incidents and threats.
Examples of CS controls:
- Monitoring of data management for Information Technology (IT) and/or Operational Technology (OT) systems (e.g., servers, internet connected devices, sensor networks, industrial control systems);
- Incident response plans, reporting and communication protocols;
- CS policies and considerations for procurement and supply chains (e.g., goods, services, partners, 3rd parties); and
- Data protection measures to identify vulnerabilities and intrusions (e.g., data analysis, legislated data privacy requirements).
The Applicant should refer to the results of the CCST report for the project/organization and describe how they will use these results to improve their CS posture throughout the course of the project. This could include risk mitigation strategies for areas of weak performance identified in the CCST and opportunities to build on areas of strong performance to increase the resilience of the project and/or the electricity sector.
- Reference to appropriate CS standards, regulations and tools that apply to the project.
The Applicant must describe both CS standards, frameworks and enterprise level approaches used by their own organization (and how they will be extended to the project, where applicable), as well as CS requirements for the project that are required by regulations, reliability standards, and relevant utility requirements (i.e. via grid codes). In the case that the regulations, reliability standards or relevant utility requirements in the applicant’s jurisdiction do not apply to the proposed project, the applicant should indicate that they have reviewed and confirmed their exemption.
The applicant may also wish to identify CS tools, frameworks, or resources that they will use to strengthen measures and support continuous improvement (e.g., Risk Management Framework, Incident Response Playbook, Maturity Model).
Examples of Relevant Tools and Standards:
- Canadian Cyber Security Tool (CCST)
- NERC Reliability Guidelines, Security Guidelines, Technical Reference Documents and White Papers
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework and Smart Grid Framework
- Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model (C2M2)
- Provincial standards such as the Ontario Energy Cybersecurity Framework (PDF) or Alberta Reliability Standards
- Identification of high-level CS performance indicators, impacts of these indicators, direct outputs and CS outcomes, per the table below.
- Indicator: Identify 2-3 specific activities and/or measures to advance CS in key areas of the project,
- Impact: Describe why indicators are relevant to CS for the project/company/sector,
- Direct Output(s): Identify what information or data will be used to report and track progress, and
- Outcome(s): Explain how this is anticipate to contribute to improved cyber resilience of the project/company/sector.
Applicants may wish to refer to the results of CCST report for the project/organization to identify potential performance indicators, and recommendations for tools and resources available, that could improve the CS posture of their projects.
Project final reports should include information about these performance indicators along with information about how these indicators contributed to CS lessons learned.
Maintain inventory of system components
IT and OT assets that are important to the delivery of the function are inventoried.
Increased awareness of IT and OT components and other key assets
and Cybersecurity vulnerability assessments are performed and used to develop a strategy for cyber risk management, which may be developed and managed in an ad hoc manner
Vulnerabilities of system components are readily identified, analyzed and prioritized, and risks are mitigated on an ongoing basis
Cyber risks are prioritized based on estimated impact, at least in an ad hoc manner
Increased awareness of system and organizational vulnerabilities and the cyber threat environment.
Strengthened risk management program
Develop a cyber incident response and recovery plan
Ensures that organization is prepared to detect, respond to, and recover from a cyber incident
Mitigates risks, costs and impacts of cyber incidents
events are analyzed to support the declaration of cybersecurity incidents
Rapid and efficient response to cyber threats and incidents
Mitigates financial impacts of cyber incidents
Enhanced understanding of key partners involved in incident response
Monitor industrial control systems
Faster identification of cyber threats and incidents to support prevention, preparedness and recovery
Faster issue identification of intrusions/incidents and improved ability to recover from cyber attacks
Workforce cyber awareness
Workforce has improved understanding of the cyber security landscape and their organizations cyber security strategy
Cyber security hygiene and awareness is improved throughout the organization
T4 – System Design
Applicants are required to provide a system diagram in the form of either a Single Line Diagram (SLD) for electrically connected projects, or a network diagram for projects where a typical SLD would not be applicable. The system diagram should include key project components and indicate the linkages and interactions between those components.
For projects requiring a utility impact assessment or equivalent, applicants must indicate the status of the impact assessment. Projects which have not obtained a complete impact assessment must provide an anticipated completion date, and projects which have completed an impact assessment or equivalent must provide a copy. For those projects which do not require an impact assessment or equivalent, a brief description is required.
T5 – Grid Services
This section describes the grid service requirements for projects in the established renewables and emerging technologies streams. This section includes the identification of core grid services, the methodology for defining grid service capability requirements for each jurisdiction, and the acceptable methods for verification of those capabilities.
Grid service capabilities are required for the following core grid services as defined in applicable grid codes and, in their absence, applicable standards:
- Fast Frequency Response (FFR) or Inertial Response (Inertial response is only applicable to technologies synchronously connected to the grid. Extraction of kinetic energy from wind turbines and other “inertia-like” services from inverter-based resources fall under Fast Frequency Response.), and
- Primary Frequency Response (PFR), and
- Secondary Frequency Response (SFR) or Automatic Generation Control (AGC) (with ability to send/receive external control signals), and
- Reactive Power and Voltage Control (RPVC).
Where grid service capabilities are undefined in applicable grid codes, projects must meet equivalent capabilities as defined in the following standards and guidelines. Transmission and sub-transmission connected projects must refer to NERC Reliability Guideline for BPS-Connected Inverter-Based Resource Performance (PDF) Appendix A for PFR, SFR, and RPVC, and the current version of IEEE 2800, including draft, for FFR. Distribution connected projects must refer to IEEE 1547-2018.
The requirement for eligibility is to have the control capabilities necessary to provide these services while respecting operational limits of the resources. Grid code requirements such as minimum size or resource availability, which may exclude otherwise eligible projects, may be identified and given exceptions; however, control capabilities must still be present.
The definition of grid service requirements depends on the project resource type (i.e. synchronous or non-synchronous) and the project connection level (i.e. distribution or transmission). Program-defined grid service requirements for these conditions are shown in the table below. Further clarification for the definition of grid service requirements and on the acceptable methods of verification are provided in the following subsections.
|Resource Type||Connection Level||Capabilities||Verification|
|Synchronous||Any||Connection requirements||No additional verification required|
|Non-Synchronous||Distribution||IEEE 1547-2018 or CSA C22.3 No. 9-2020||Attestation and documentation of compliance|
|Non-Synchronous||Transmission||As defined in connection requirements where applicable, otherwise IEEE 2800||Attestation for mandatory connection requirements and additional verification for either optional requirements or IEEE 2800|
For program grid service requirements, synchronous technologies are assumed to meet the core grid service requirements as a function of their underlying technologies and as typically required as a condition of connection. Therefore, synchronous technologies do not need to submit any additional information for confirming the program grid service requirements.
For non-synchronous and inverter-based technologies, products are currently available allowing for projects to meet program grid service requirements. This may require the addition of specific technologies, or the selection of alternative products. Program grid service requirements for the core grid services are defined according to the connection level of the project, and according to the presence or absence of requirements defined in existing applicable grid codes and connection requirements.
Distribution Connected Projects
SREPs requires that all distribution connected projects satisfy either IEEE 1547-2018, or CSA C22.3 No. 9-2020. To demonstrate satisfaction of these requirements, applicants must attest and provide documentation demonstrating certification of compliance with either of the acceptable standards. Acceptable documentation must be provided, consisting of one of the following:
- Applicable certification test documentation for the selected product to either of the acceptable standards, such as certification to UL 1741 (3rd Ed.) Supplement SB.
- A signed letter from a technical resource with the product vendor, on company letterhead, confirming that the selected product will achieve certification to either of the acceptable standards by the time of product delivery.
- A signed letter from an authority with the project, on company letterhead, attesting that the procured and installed products will be compliant with either of the acceptable standards.
In the scenario that certification testing to either of the acceptable standards is uncertain, applicants may alternatively choose to provide additional confirmation with supporting documentation of the ability to meet specific sections of IEEE 1547-2018 applicable to the previously identified core grid services. Acceptable documentation must be provided confirming the ability to meet those capabilities described in the table below, consisting of one of the following:
- A signed letter from a technical resource with the product vendor, on company letterhead, confirming that the defined capabilities will be met by the chosen products.
- A signed and stamped letter from a professional engineer confirming that the professional engineer has reviewed technical documentation for the selected products and certifies that the product will meet the defined capabilities. The letter should refer to relevant sections of technical documentation used to make the assessment.
- Applicable technical documentation used in the assessment of capabilities should be provided for the selected products.
|Grid Service||Relevant Grid Code or Standard Requirements|
|Fast Frequency Response (FFR) or Inertial Response||Not Applicable|
|Primary Frequency Response (PFR)||Abnormal frequency response requirements defined in Section 6.5.2 of IEEE 1547-2018 by providing the required frequency disturbance ride-through capability and response.
Automated frequency-droop capability defined in Section 22.214.171.124 of IEEE 1547-2018 during low-frequency or high-frequency ride-through events.
|Secondary Frequency Response (SFR) or Automatic Generation Control (AGC)||Control capability defined in Section 4.6 of IEEE 1547-2018 by being capable of responding to external inputs and limitation of active power within the specified response times.|
|Reactive Power and Voltage Control (RPVC)||Reactive power capability, and voltage and reactive power control function requirements defined in Section 5 of IEEE 1547-2018. This includes Subsection 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4. Reactive power capability in Subsection 5.2. Voltage regulation capability and capability of operating in either Power Factor, Voltage-Reactive Power, Active Power or Reactive Power mode are defined in the related Subsections (5.3.2 through 5.3.5). Capability to operate in Voltage-Active Power mode is defined in Subsection 5.4.|
Transmission Connected Projects
SREPs requires that all transmission connected projects satisfy connection requirements specific to their jurisdiction, as well as core grid service capabilities. Relevant connection requirements applicable to each jurisdiction which satisfy core grid service capability requirements have been identified by the program. Applicants must attest that their project will meet these capabilities as a condition of jurisdictional connection requirements. For any core grid service capabilities which are not covered by mandatory connection standard requirements, applicants must attest and provide acceptable documentation that their project will meet either optional defined requirements for core grid services applicable to their jurisdiction, or applicable sections of IEEE 2800-2022 in their absence. Non-synchronous transmission connected projects will see a pre-filled table like that below according to their jurisdiction and connection entity as part of the application process, which defines the capability requirements of the project for each core grid service.
|Grid Service||Relevant Grid Code or Standard Requirements||Attestation Details|
|Fast Frequency Response (FFR) or Inertial Response||Alternative Standard Section A.1||Additional confirmation and attestation necessary for confirming compliance with alternative standard capabilities.|
|Primary Frequency Response (PFR)||Mandatory Connection Requirements Section B.2||Covered by connection requirements.|
|Secondary Frequency Response (SFR) or Automatic Generation Control (AGC)||Optional Connection Requirements Section C.3||Additional confirmation and attestation necessary for confirming compliance with optional section of connection requirements.|
|Reactive Power and Voltage Control (RPVC)||Mandatory Connection Requirements Section D.4||Covered by connection requirements.|
For grid service capabilities defined by either optional connection requirements or by IEEE 2800-2022, additional confirmation with supporting documentation of the ability to meet those capabilities is required. Acceptable documentation must be provided, consisting of one of the following:
- A signed letter from a technical resource with the product vendor, on company letterhead, confirming that the defined capabilities will be met by the chosen products.
- A signed and stamped letter from a professional engineer confirming that the professional engineer has reviewed technical documentation for the selected products and certifies that the product will meet the defined capabilities. The letter should refer to relevant sections of technical documentation used to make the assessment.
- Applicable technical documentation used in the assessment of capabilities should be provided for the selected products.
T6 – GHG Reductions
All projects must achieve some form of GHG reductions, recognizing that the scale of reductions will differ by technology and project use case. The process for completion of the T6 requirements is distinguished by stream, with the corresponding directions for each stream included below.
T6.1 Established Renewables
The program will use project expected annual generation outlined in criteria T1 and the associated offset emissions intensity in the respective jurisdiction to determine expected GHG reductions. Established renewable projects are not required to provide additional information to meet this requirement.
T6.2 Emerging Technologies
For emerging generation technologies, the same process as detailed for established generation technologies is followed. Annual production is requested as part of other application sections, which will then be used by the program to estimate annual GHG reductions. Additional information is not required.
For non-utility led energy storage projects, a sample use case considering the annual charging, discharging, and the associated intensities are used to determine approximate GHG reductions. For non-utility led energy storage projects which note that the standard use case is not reflective of their project, the GHG template will be provided and required to be completed. Detailed calculation of the standard use case is shown in the equation below, where the left-hand side of the equation consists of project data inputs, and the right-hand side is the annual GHG reductions.
In the case that completion of the GHG template is required, applicants must provide supporting documentation or analysis for any relevant data assumptions.
4) Payment Processing (only for approved projects)
4.1 Basis and Timing of Payment
Payments will be made based on evidence of Eligible Expenditures incurred on a regular basis (e.g., quarterly), upon receipt of the documentation as defined in the contribution agreement. The total amount of contribution funding paid to a Recipient under a funding agreement is not to exceed the Eligible Expenditures actually incurred by the Recipient.
Recipients will be allowed to incur Eligible Expenditures, at their own risk, from the date that Project Approval has been provided by the program to the date of contribution agreement signing within a given fiscal year, to a maximum of 30% of the program’s contribution.
In order to ensure appropriate Project oversight, a holdback amount, based on Project and Applicant risk, may be applied to each payment. The holdback will not be released until progress to meet all requirements outlined in the contribution agreement is deemed acceptable to NRCan.
Regular advance payments may be permitted, where requested by the Applicant, and based on an assessment of their need, risk levels and cash flow requirements.
Method of Payment for Indigenous Recipients
Where it is deemed by Canada as advantageous to the success of the Project, Natural Resources Canada shall offer fixed or flexible contribution funding approaches for contributions to Indigenous Recipients.
4.2 Reporting Requirements
The Recipient will submit the following on a regular basis (e.g., quarterly) using the templates provided by the program:
- An expense report signed by the Chief Financial Officer or Duly Authorized Officer of the organization which outlines Eligible Expenditures incurred;
- An updated Project cash flow statement and/or budget for the upcoming quarter;
- An update on Project activities that includes tasks completed and expected in the next quarter, and any Project-related issues and how they are being addressed.
At the end of the Project, the Recipient will submit:
- A financial report on how the Contribution was spent, including a declaration as to the total amount of contributions or payments (including in-kind) received by the Recipient from other sources in respect to the Project and certification that the claims for payment of Eligible Expenditures have been incurred and paid by the Recipient;
- A narrative report to describe how Project activities have contributed to the achievement of the objectives, benefits and key performance measures of the Project, including the results of the Project in comparison to the original deliverables and work plan, with explanations of any deviations;
- Where applicable, a commissioning report signed by a professional engineer or duly authorized officer, indicating the date of commissioning.
For five years following Project commissioning or completion, the Recipient will submit annually, on the anniversary, an outcome report indicating the revenues received as a result of the Project.
As part of program outcome reporting, performance indicators will be requested during the five years following Project Completion, including:
- Electricity produced (depending on project type);
- Greenhouse gas emissions reductions
- Total jobs to date
- Equity, Diversity and Inclusion plan results
- Grid Service usage
As part of the final report, projects will be asked to provide a Levelized cost of energy, if applicable.
Projects where the Recipient is a for-profit organization and that are intended to allow the business to generate profits will be repayable. Profit in relation to the Project, means net operating profit as determined by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
These projects will be monitored for five years following their commissioning to determine the amount to be repaid to Canada. Within this time period, if a profit is generated, the Recipient will be required to repay SREPs funds based on profit multiplied by the proportion of Canada’s contribution towards Total Project Costs, up to a limit of the amount of Natural Resources Canada’s Contribution. The maximum repayment would be equal to the program’s Contribution.
The requirements that may trigger repayments will be detailed in the contribution agreement, along with the process for repayment.
The following Projects or Recipients will qualify for non-repayable contribution agreements:
- Indigenous Recipients;
- Provincial, territorial and municipal governments;
- Projects that qualify for less than $100,000 in contribution funding;
- Non-profit organizations.
Recipients may be audited during the course of the contribution agreement period or after Project Completion. Financial audits will be tied to financial compliance and Project performance assessments will be evaluated in relation to outcomes identified in the contribution agreement.
4.5 Other Program Terms and Conditions
4.5.1 Intellectual Property
All Intellectual Property (IP) that arises in the course of a Project shall vest in, or be licensed to, the Recipient. The Recipient will grant to Canada a non-exclusive, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free licence in perpetuity to use the data and information contained in reports and modify such reports and documents for non-commercial governmental purposes.
4.5.2 Regulatory and Legal Requirements
Prior to Project Approval, where applicable, Projects will be required to complete various provincial environmental assessments, obtain conditional approval from regulatory bodies or obtain necessary permits (such as construction permits), and will be subject to relevant federal and provincial laws and acts. Applicants will be expected to fulfill all federal and provincial regulatory and legal requirements applicable to their Projects, or SREPs funding may be withheld.
4.5.3 Other Conditions
- No Member of the House of Commons shall be admitted to any share or part of the contribution agreements, or any resulting benefit.
- The Applicants and Recipients will comply with the Conflict of Interest Act and the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders.
- Funding may be cancelled or reduced in the event that departmental funding levels are reduced by Parliament. Agreements will include provisions to this effect.
- Recipients will be required to acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada in all public information produced as part of the Project.
- As part of Project monitoring requirements, NRCan will have the right to visit and inspect all Project sites upon providing a reasonable notice to Project Recipients.
- Contribution agreements will include requirements for joint communications activities, such as public information products, news releases, public announcements, other joint events and official languages.
- NRCan programs are subject to Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) considerations. As such, NRCan requests that Applicants and Recipients report on the number of women and other identity groups that will be employed on the proposed Project.
- Applications may also be shared for support under other Government of Canada initiatives, such as the Energy Innovation Program (EIP) or Canada Infrastructure Bank. These other programs may require additional mandatory criteria.
Women and other identity groups are generally underrepresented in the Canadian electricity sector, as reported by Electricity Human Resources Canada. While NRCan will use statistics on the number of women and other identity groups employed on proposed projects, this information will not be used when evaluating projects. Additional information can be found here.
- For Grid Modernization projects (i.e. Microgrids, Virtual Power Plants, etc.) aggregation refers to the grouping of sites to act as a Single Controllable Entity with respect to grid operations. For grouping of projects to meet minimum project size, please refer to “Bundling”.
- means the organization that submits a Project Application to the program;
- means a written project application signed and submitted by the Applicant to the program, comprised of the Project Registration Form as well as the Technical and Financial Project Application and any additional attachments requested by the program.
- means grouping of projects to meet minimum project size. Projects can be located in different physical locations and potentially different electrical systems. Bundled sites are still required to meet all other project stream requirements related to grid services, EDI, cybersecurity, and performance data. Bundled projects must be owned by a single applicant.
- Construction Start Date
- is interchangeable with “Project Start Date” where applicable for projects that do not requires construction activities.
- means the acceptance and respect of various human dimensions including race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religious beliefs, age, physical abilities, political beliefs or other ideologies.
- Electricity Market Innovations
- are technologies (systems; software and/or hardware) that provide modernization of system operations, dispatch and asset utilization which enables improved clean, reliable, and affordable operation of the electricity system. Efforts may include, but are not limited to, developing new approaches or markets for distributed resources to meet local system needs and introducing advanced approaches, rate structures, and programs to incentivise grid friendly use of end use assets, or allowing inverter-based resources to contribute to essential reliability services.
- Eligible Expenditures
- means those costs, incurred by Recipient within the Eligible Expenditure Period, which are cash disbursements made with respect to the activities set out in the Application.
- Eligible Expenditure Period
- means the period starting on the date on which the Applicant was notified of Project Approval and ending on the earlier of the Project Completion Date or March 31, 2029.
- Emerging Technologies
- means technologies successfully deployed at the utility scale in other countries but not yet commercially viable in Canada, or successfully demonstrated in Canada but not yet commercially deployed.
- means a condition or state of fair, inclusive and respectful treatment of all people. Equity does not mean treating people the same without regard for individual differences.
- Grid Services
- are also known as “ancillary services” or “essential reliability services.” The International Electrotechnical Vocabulary (IEV) defines ancillary services (IEV 617-03-09) as “Services necessary for the operation of an electric power system provided by the system operator and/or by power system users,” and further notes that “system ancillary services may include the participation in frequency regulation, reactive power regulation, active power reservation, etc.” (Refer to Section 5.1).
- means, in relation to a limited partnership, the parent organization or a related organization that guarantees any repayment obligation to the program.
- Hybrid Project
- is a project which combines technologies from multiple deployment streams.
- means the extent to which diverse members of a group (society/organization) feel valued and respected.
- is understood to include Inuit, Métis, First Nation, Status Indian and non-Status Indian individuals, or any combination thereof.
- Indigenous Recipient
- means an Indigenous community or government, Tribal Council, National and regional Indigenous councils, and Tribal organizations, and majority owned and controlled for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
- Indigenous-owned Project
- means a Project where there exists Meaningful Ownership by an Indigenous organization that is greater than or equal to 51%.
- Meaningful Ownership
- means that the Indigenous share of ownership is significant enough to result in generational benefits for Indigenous communities
- means a group of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), including renewable energy sources, energy storage systems, and loads that act as a Single Controllable Entity with respect to grid operations. The microgrid can operate connected to the electric system and/or as an independent island while still meeting the safety and reliability requirements of the local grid codes. Microgrids implement hardware and software control and digitization technology to manage the interactions between generation, storage and load as directed by a local utility, system operator, or private company
- in relation to the Project, means net operating profit as determined by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
- means the Applicant’s project identified in the Application, as approved by NRCan.
- Project Approval
- means the date, following evaluation of an Application, on which the Applicant was notified by the program that it has succeeded to the contribution agreement negotiation stage.
- Project Completion Date
- means the date of Project completion, commissioning or commercial operation, whichever is later.
- Project Start Date
- is interchangeable with “construction start date” where applicable for Projects that do not requires construction activities.
- refers to a successful Applicant that has entered into a contribution agreement with NRCan.
- Renewable Energy
- means energy derived from natural processes that are replenished at a rate that is equal to or faster than the rate at which they are consumed.
- means the installation of new software or hardware to an existing renewable energy or storage site to enable grid service capabilities compliant with Section 5.1. Addition of capacity to an existing site is not a retrofit for the purposes of the program and instead is considered a capacity build-out project.
- Single Controllable Entity
- means any combination of load, and/or generation, and/or storage that can be controlled and operated as if it were single and independent facility.
- means the maximum limit of total Canadian government funding (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) that is permitted under a contribution agreement for a Project.
- System Operators
- are often referred to as “Independent System Operators” and are defined as the Balancing Authority, Transmission Operator or Reliability Coordinator who operates or directs the operation of the Bulk Electric System (BES) in real time as defined by provincial/territorial regulations.
- Total Project Costs
- means the program’s Contribution and other verifiable cash or in-kind Project contributions, either received or contributed by the Recipient, from the Project Approval date to the Project Completion Date or March 31, 2029, whichever is earlier.
- are also referred to as “Electrical Utilities”. These entities own, establish, maintain and operate power system equipment (poles, wires, transformers, etc.) within the transmission and/or distribution systems as defined by provincial/territorial regulations.
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