Green energy co-operatives are enjoying a renaissance in the Ontario power market.
In several cities and towns in southern and southwestern Ontario you’ll see large buildings or fields with solar-panel arrays, with some wind farms dotting the landscape.
Often those projects are the creations of co-ops. The fruits of their investments have increasing visibility in roof mount or field solar panel arrays in Toronto and its suburbs, and more recently in Guelph, Brant and Oxford.
Renewable energy co-ops have been around for years. One of the oldest is TREC Renewable Energy Co-op, which was founded in 1998 as a non-profit community power co-operative.
Wintergreen Co-op members and friends can invest in both of these co-ops. Contact David Hahn (email@example.com) for more information.
Today the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) announced the latest contract offers in its FIT program. The Wintergreen SolarShare collaboration has been offered a contract to sell electricity from a 500kW ground mount photovoltaic project on Unity Road in Kingston. This is the second Wintergreen project to be offered a contract by the OPA this year. We are intending to submit at least one more project in 2015. We will keep members up to date on developments.
So far this year our members have invested $447,000 in SolarShare bonds. The money that is raised from these bond sales will finance these and other co-op owned projects all over Ontario. Our investment campaign will continue through 2015. Remember the SolarShare bonds are for a five-year term and pay 5% interest on a semi-annual basis.
We thank all of our Wintergreen Co-op members for your support, and invite you to our AGM on Friday Jan. 30 at the Main Branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library on Johnson Street at 7:00 pm. Our guest speaker will be Daniel Bida, the President of ZooShare, a sister co-op, engaged in building a very exciting biogas project at the Toronto Zoo using Zoo Pooh to generate clean energy for Ontario.
Put it in your calendar and stay tuned for more information.
Co-ops like ours thrive on the partnerships we have with other co-ops and like-minded organizations. We have posted regularly about our partnership with SolarShare and TREC Renewable Energy. You’ve no doubt heard about our partnership with Bullfrog Power as well.
The list of partnerships is growing, and our partners and affiliates are listed on the side bar, so that you can access their websites directly.
One of those partners is SWITCH Kingston, for which we are one of the many supporting members. SWITCH is a network of businesses, research and educational institutions, public sector participants, and community-minded volunteers dedicated to making Southeastern Ontario a leading centre for sustainable energy.
You may recall reading the earlier post from September, when we (with great hope, but a bit of nervousness) put our target out there of $200,000 in Solar Share bond sales by December. Well, we have raised nearly double that amount, so we’re setting our sights even higher: $500,000 by March 31! Yes, that would be a half a million.
Support renewable energy initiatives and help us reach our goal. Once you are a member of Wintergreen Co-op you can become a member of SolarShare Co-op at no additional cost so that you can buy SolarBonds. Just remember to use the WGC code when you fill out the bond purchase application.
We’ve reduced the Co-op lifetime membership fee to $40 for the duration of the bond sales campaign. Join now!
Already a member? Encourage your family and friends to join now at this reduced fee.
Remember, once you are a member of Wintergreen Co-op you can become a member of SolarShare Co-op at no additional cost so that you can buy SolarBonds. Just remember to use the WGC code when you fill out the bond purchase application.
$200,000 bond sales target by December 31, 2014. Now’s the time to invest in Ontario renewable energy projects
Investing benefits you, the Co-op, and the environment
Bonds pay you a 5 % return every year for 5 years
The Co-op receives a benefit every time a member buys a bond
SolarBonds support clean, green energy in Ontario
A Co-op member, who wishes to remain anonymous, has promised to match the next $25,000 in SolarBond purchases. Our goal is within reach.
Want to know more about SolarBonds?
We’d be happy to present information at a meeting you host or to have you come to one of our information sessions. Look for our information session schedule on our website. out this page for bond information http://www.wintergreencoop.com/buy-solar-bonds/
We’d like to hear from you. Please call someone from our SolarBond Campaign team:
David Hahn, 613-273-5545
Steve Abbott, 613-766-8835
Wolfe Erlichman, 613-273-3986
Bob MacInnes, 613-546-0719
Wintergreen Renewable Energy Co-op – 100% volunteer powered!
SOLAR BONDS SUPPORT CLEAN, GREEN, COMMUNITY OWNED, ELECTRICAL ENERGY IN ONTARIO
Wintergreen, in collaboration with SolarShare, will be hosting small group information sessions on how you can help the environment and make an ethical investment. Invest in the sun!
On August 19th at 7:00pm, and August 27th at 5:00pm, we will be holding information sessions at St. Andrews Church on Clergy Street at the corner with Princess Street in our board room on the second floor.
Please Email David Hahn at: firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know when you will be attending so we can ensure we have enough seats!
On Friday June 13th, we hosted close to 30 people who are passionate about renewable energy at the 4th Annual Building Community Power Retreat. The retreat was held at Wintergreen Studios, our namesake, as the idea for creating the Co-op was first formed at an earlier retreat that took place at Wintergreen.
This year, we were delighted to showcase our partnership with SolarShare, and enjoyed presentations by Mike Brigham (TREC), Julie Leach (SolarShare), and Kristina Inrig (Sustainable Eastern Ontario), among others.
Julie Drucker, from the Frontenac News, joined us for the afternoon and penned an article that you can access here.
Thanks to all who came and participated so wholeheartedly (including those participants who tilted the solar panels at Wintergreen Studios to their summer pitch!)
This seems like a timely article with the upcoming election on Thursday, June 12. Rob Graham, in an article titled, Are Hydro Prices Really So High? (click on the title to see the full article), provocatively suggests that hydro prices on Ontario aren’t actually that high. He writes:
Hydro Quebec routinely surveys electricity rates for consumers/small business and large industrial customers across North America. In 2013 it may surprise many people to know that at a kw/h price of $0.1248, Toronto has lower hydro rates than Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Halifax, Charlottetown, and St John’s. In addition, it has much lower rates than Boston (0.165), Detroit (0.1554), New York (0.2175), and San Francisco (0.2294).
On June 13th the Wintergreen Renewable Energy Co-operative will be hosting the 4th Annual Community Energy Retreat at Wintergreen Studios, along with long-term partners, Sustainable Eastern Ontario and the Community Energy Network of Eastern Ontario. Our partner, SolarShare, a project of TREC will also be joining us at this year’s event. This retreat is sponsored in part by Endura Energy.
Take a tour of beautiful Wintergreen Studios and get inspired to build community power! As in previous years, the event will include a mixture of presentations, roundtable discussions and themed group discussions, delicious food, and networking opportunities throughout.
This day-long event, open to the public and Wintergreen Co-op members, will showcase sustainability success stories and emerging opportunities for engagement with renewable energy and energy efficiency within the region. Wintergreen Renewable Energy Co-op, along with its partner, SolarShare, will describe how it is moving forward with Solar Bonds and FIT 3 applications in our region, and invite members and non-members to contribute to the discussion and learn about investment opportunities. The day-long event, which runs from 9:30 – 6:30, includes workshop materials, a sustainability tour of Wintergreen’s facilities, snacks, tea, coffee, lunch, and an early dinner. The subsidized fee is $35, with thanks to the contributing partners.
Board members from Wintergreen Co-op, Sustainable Eastern Ontario, and SolarShare/TREC are encouraged to spend Friday night at the lodge, with the opportunity for further discussion and planning on Saturday morning. The second day of the retreat (June 14) will close after lunch.
In the spirit of co-operation among co-ops, Wintergreen and SolarShare will develop solar projects in the Kingston area as partners.
Two of our 600 kW OPA applications to build solar projects under the province’s Feed-in Tariff program have advanced to the next stage along the path to contract offers. If the projects receive final approval, construction will begin in 2015 or 2016. In the meantime, members of the Wintergreen and SolarShare Co-ops are invited toinvest in SolarShare today for projects that are already underway.
SolarShare makes it easy for Ontario investors to earn a reasonable return while doing something positive for the planet. SolarShare develops commercial-scale solar energy installations in Ontario. When you choose to invest, 100% of your funds will directly finance solar projects across the province. Click here for information on SolarShare projectsthat are already built and producing stable revenue streams.
SolarShare projects convert energy from the sun into electricity. 20-year contracts with the provincial government pay for the electricity produced, and SolarShare pays it back to investors in the form of 5% Solar Bonds. Our SolarShare partners share our passion about bringing everyone in Ontario on board with renewable energy, and ending our reliance on polluting, climate damaging energy sources.
FAQ’S For Wintergreen Co-op Members Interested in Buying SolarShare Solar Bonds
Where do I get more info on Solar Bonds?
Visit the SolarShare website and send in a request to Solar Share for the investor’s package.
Do I have to pay $40 to join SS Co-op?
No! Just fill in the code “WGC” on the application form.
Will Wintergreen Co-op get any benefit when our members buy Solar Bonds?
Yes. Wintergreen Co-op will get a commission on all bonds that our members invest in with SolarShare. This will provide a major source of income to pay our Co-op’s operating expenses and run bond sales drives.
Will my bonds be raising funds to pay for our Kingston-area solar projects?
Not at this time. For now, funds that WGC members invest with SolarShare will help finance other FIT projects that SolarShare has “in the pipeline.”
If we are offered contracts for the Kingston FIT 3 projects, we expect they will be built in 2015 or 2016. Money invested in 2014 with SolarShare will be put into projects that are already underway.
Are investments linked to a specific project?
No. Funds that our members invest in Solar Bonds will be backed by the whole basket of projects that SolarShare owns. This diversity of investments will provide more security for our members’ investments.