Ontario Residents put over $6 M of their trust and money in the sun
OTTAWA – Residents of Eastern Ontario are sneaking in under the April 30 deadline to invest in local solar energy projects through the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op (OREC). To date, 650 individuals have invested $6.3 M in local solar power projects.
Directors, staff, and members of OREC are also celebrating General Manager, Janice Ashworth’s recent award of the Forty Under 40 bestowed upon by the Ottawa Business Journal and Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. The award recognizes the remarkable accomplishments and community involvement of Ottawa’s best and brightest business leaders under the age of 40.
Since 2012, OREC’s five securities offerings have financed 13 solar rooftop projects in Ottawa – four of which are found on local French high schools. The latest wave of investments, closing on April 30th, will finance four new solar power projects in the region. Three Ottawa area roofs are set to receive solar photovoltaic (PV) panels: the Twin Elm Rugby Park stadium in Richmond, KIN Vineyard’s new winery in Carp, and a private commercial building in Leitrim. Also, Alfred, Ontario will be home to a 500 kW solar project in partnership with the municipality and Keewaywin First Nation. The projects are under construction and will start to produce power for the grid in June.
Compared to a mutual fund where individual investors have little visibility or control over where their money is spent, in a co-op every investor becomes a member and has a vote in decisions that direct the business.
“Renewable energy co-ops are doing to the energy sector what Wikipedia did to encyclopedias. By feeding green electricity into the grid at thousands of locations across Ontario, we have made centralized coal facilities obsolete. The grid is more stable, secure, and affordable because of reduced transmission losses and no fuel price escalation. Community ownership democratizes the shift to green energy,” says Janice Ashworth, General Manager.