Renewable Energy Opportunity in Ottawa
Community ownership of Renewable Energy Generation has many advantages. Generation is local, close to the consumers, which means transmission losses from faraway generation plants are minimised. Community ownership also fosters a sense of being a part of the solution to climate change, which is quickly approaching a critical tipping point, according to most experts.
Founded in 2010, the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op (OREC) was one of the first renewable energy co-operatives in Ontario. A social enterprise designed to facilitate community ownership over local renewable power production, OREC provides an alternative for those without the time, money, or space to invest in their own solar power system, and generates a significant return for investors. OREC’s projects support local industry and job-creation, expedite Ontario’s transition to a clean energy economy, and increase self-sufficiency and resiliency of local communities.
In addition to the above benefits of greater efficiency and economic growth associated with local community-level renewable projects, OREC’s projects are democratically governed through a co-operative model, which strengthens community engagement.
OREC partners with local property owners to use their land or rooftops for its community-owed renewable power projects, entering into 20-year lease agreements that protect the interests of both parties over the long-term. Their latest project placed a large solar panel array on College Catholique Samuel Genest, a local French Catholic high school located just west of here. Other schools, factories and public buildings are in the plans for 2015.
Ottawa residents can become a member of OREC and invest in local renewable power generation through the purchase of preference shares, which provide the capital to finance local renewable power projects, usually wholly-owned by OREC and its members. Each member of OREC may purchase between $2,500 and $100,000 in preference shares, which predict an annual return on investment of 5% (dividend) in addition to a full repayment of capital (starting in year 6) over a 20-year period. That’s not bad, considering the recent volatility of equity markets! Stable income from renewable energy generation nicely completes any investment portfolio, and can help you to divest from carbon-based energy stocks.
And, Shares are RRSP eligible!
Joining and Investing in OREC
OREC is currently on a membership drive and hopes to increase its membership from currently 350 members to 600. They have several projects lined up for 2015 including three more schools.
Residents of the City of Ottawa interested in making a financially- and environmentally-friendly investment can purchase a membership with OREC for $100, which guarantees:
- access to investment opportunities;
- the opportunity to participate in the Co-op’s events and decision making;
- the ability to contribute to generating a local source of clean energy;
- support continued development of renewable power in Ontario.
For further information, please contact any of the following: