Invest in the Sun

Wintergreen in collaboration with SolarShare will be hosting small group information sessions on how you can help the environment and make an ethical investment.

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: dhahn@rideau.net to let us know when you will be attending so we can ensure we have enough seats!

Building Community Power Retreat

building community power

Steve Lapp (St. Lawrence College) with Dwight Lunan & Joseph Lewis

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!)

What is the real price of electricity in Ontario?

electricityThis 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).

Building Community Power Annual Retreat

building community power

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.

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS EVENT!

Buy Solar Bonds Now!

Fully funded SunFields projects in Central Ontario

Fully funded SunFields projects in Central Ontario

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 to invest in SolarShare today for projects that are already underway.

About SolarShare

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 projects that are already built and producing stable revenue streams.

Special Promotion

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.

In celebration of the new partnership, SolarShare is waiving the $40 lifetime membership fee for Wintergreen members. Follow the “steps to invest,” and enter the promo code WGC. To learn more about SolarShare, sign up for a webinar, visit http://www.solarbonds.ca, or call 1-866-560-9463.

FAQ’S For Wintergreen Co-op Members Interested in Buying SolarShare Solar Bonds

  1. 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.

  1. Do I have to pay $40 to join SS Co-op?

No! Just fill in the code “WGC” on the application form.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

 

Climate change

Explaining Climate Change: A Series of Public Talks

public talksUndergraduate and graduate students at Queen’s University have created a series of public talks to make climate change concepts more accessible to Canadians.

Every Monday in March at 7 p.m. in Stauffer Library, researchers from a variety of backgrounds will explain different aspects of climate change in terms everyone can understand – no more complex scientific jargon!  By pairing scientific research with improved communication to the public, they hope to better inform other students, faculty, and members of the Kingston community on issues of climate change and sustainability so that we can make a better future for our nation and the world.

The line-up of speakers includes John Smol, Philip Bonnadventure, Gabriela Ibarguchi, Dasvinder Kambo, Warren Mabee and Ted Hsu.  More information can be found on the Speaker Series website: http://explainingclimatechange.wordpress.com/about/

samso island

Samsø Island, Denmark: Renewable Energy Fuels Everything

samsø islandScarcely a decade ago, the 4,000 inhabitants of Samsø Island, Denmark, decided to do away with carbon fuels. What an inspiring story — and result. The documentary below was produced by a man named Hans Christian Andersen. But it’s not a fairy tale. It is, however, a story worth telling. Take 5 minutes to watch the documentary — and then spread the word. This is building community power at its finest.

Progress: Ontario’s long-term energy plan

Tim Weis of the Pembina Institute, outlines the many positive aspects of Ontario’s long-term energy plan. He writes:

Screen Shot 2013-12-21 at 3.25.49 PMEarlier this month, Ontario updated its long-term energy plan. The plan tries to address questions surrounding the province’s nuclear fleet, renewable energy development and the role of natural gas — all while ramping up energy efficiency efforts. Given all of these competing interests in a market with declining demand, in many ways it offers a reasonable approach. That’s no small feat for such a highly charged file.

Click here to read the full article.

Stop making green power the scapegoat!

green power scapegoat

Photo credit: TransitionNetwork.org

Excellent editorial by Tim Gray in last week’s Ottawa Citizen, where he writes:

“Green power makes a great scapegoat for rising electricity bills in Ontario. The only problem is that this is a myth based on a jumble of dubious assumptions rather than facts. … The real reason electricity bills in Ontario are on the rise is our overbuilt and unreliable nuclear system (with Pickering A being the most expensive nuclear plant to operate in North America).”

See the full op-ed piece by clicking here.

Market Pictures for WGC 088

Come visit us at these upcoming Sustainable Kingston Events!

Wintergreen will have a table at the following Sustainable Kingston events. We are one of Sustainable Kingston’s Community Partners! 

Sustainable Kingston

Sustainable Kingston, in partnership with the City of Kingston, is excited to announce the first two speakers in the upcoming Sustainable Kingston Speaker Series: Pamela Blais and Tom Rand. This speaker series will feature well-known speakers, from diverse areas of expertise, with a focus on sustainability. Each event will start with a talk by a local sustainability champion, who will highlight the great work being done in our own backyard. Come early to mix and mingle with other community groups who will have booths set up, including the Loving Spoonful, Wintergreen Renewable Energy, and more. This speaker series is another community action showing Sustainable Kingston’s commitment to the implementation of the Sustainable Kingston Plan. 

 

 THURSDAY NOVEMBER 14th, 2013 - Keynote Speaker Pamela Blais

 Opening Speaker, Local Sustainability Champion: Chris VanderZwan of New Leaf Custom Homes will be speaking on innovation, building Kingston’s “Passive House” (PassivHaus), and climate change.

  

Keynote Speaker: Pamela Blais, the author of Perverse Cities, makes the case that accurate pricing and better policy are fundamental to curbing sprawl and shows how this can be achieved in practice through a range of market-oriented tools that promote efficient, sustainable cities.

 THURSDAY NOVEMBER 28th, 2013 - Keynote Speaker Tom Rand 

 Opening Speaker: Local Sustainability Champion Mara Shaw of the Loving Spoonful will be speaking on the Loving Spoonful’s commitment to local, healthy food, and her personal connection to climate change.

               

Keynote Speaker: Tom Rand, the author of Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit and his soon-to-be published second book, Waking the Frog, expresses his belief that we have yet to have a serious, public conversation about the threat of climate change, and the economic opportunities afforded by the global transformation to a low-carbon economy.

 Where: Both events will be held at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, 53 Yonge Street, Kingston, ON. 

When: Doors at 6:45, event runs from 7PM – 9PM

Contact:  Please RSVP to ensure appropriate room set up. RSVP by email or phone: info@sustainablekingston.ca or 613.544.2075 ext. 3.

 Events are free. 

 http://www.sustainablekingston.ca/news-events/speaker-series