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Community Ownership of Renewable Energy and the Distributed Electrical Grid

electrical grid

Written by: Dick Bakker, OREC Board Member Electricity distribution systems are changing around the world and community ownership is playing a significant part of this evolution. How are these two trends related?   Most people think of an investment in a renewable energy cooperative (like the Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative – OREC) as a financial vote for alternative energy; an investment …

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Investment Season is Here, There is a Local Option!

Written by: Dick Bakker, OREC Board Member The February RRSP investment season is upon us once more.  Where to put that little nest egg we are each trying to protect and build? Interest rates are low, the stock market unpredictable, mutual fund management expense ratios are high, while oil and other ‘sure things’ are not!  How can we make a …

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Tour: Learning from German Co-op Sector

OREC has been very fortunate to have Dr Andreas Wieg, German Renewable Energy Co-op expert, join us for a whirlwind tour of Ontario. During his week here he has inspired audiences from Parliament Hill to Carleton University, from Ecology Ottawa to Queens Park. In case you missed seeing him present, you can find his presentation slides about the German renewable …

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China US Climate Deal: 3 Takeaways for Canada

From Clean Energy Canada Change is slow, until it’s lightning fast. That’s what we witnessed this week, when the leaders of the United States and China altered the climate playing field literally overnight. Analysis of the new agreement has been pouring in, and the full impact of the announcement will take months, even years, to play out. But whatever else …

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Suggested Letter to Municipal Candidates

Enough solar energy hits the Earth in one minute to replace the fossil fuels consumed by everyone, everywhere for a year. Cutler Cleveland Dear Ward Candidate, Many savvy investors and burgeoning economies are investing heavily in in renewable energy sources. The Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative (OREC) offers all Ottawa residents the opportunity to invest in community owned renewable energy systems. …

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Never Heard of Vanadium? That Might Change

Renewable energy – solar and wind – works like a charm when the wind is blowing strongly enough to whip windmill blades into a frenzy, or the sun is baking down onto strategically-placed solar panels. The trouble, of course, is that the power they produce is intermittent. Wind has an annoying habit of dying down, as does the sun in …

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Ontario Once a Leader Lost Its Way But the Results are Here to Stay

By Paul Gipe Bakersfield, California In 2009 Ontario leapt to the forefront of energy policy in North America when it introduced the Green Energy and Green Economy Act. For those south of the Canadian border it was a surprising turn of events. Accustomed to thumping our chests and shouting to the rooftops how we are the “first” in this or …

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OP ED: Green Energy an Election Issue

By Kim Scott, OREC Board Member Enough solar energy hits the Earth every minute to replace our use of fossil fuels globally for a year.   With that kind of abundance, what could possibly be better than getting energy from the sun?   The Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative is harnessing clean energy with several solar projects throughout Ottawa that support our city’s …

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The Value of Solar Power

Roger Peters – May 27, 2014 Solar power has many benefits for electrical utilities. First, the power output of a solar system coincides well with the summer peak demand on the grid. A hot sun results in high air conditioner loads but also maximum output from solar PV cells. This is valuable to the grid because at peak times it …

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Time of Day Pricing Explained

Roger Peters – May 12, 2014 Ontario’s electricity demand varies with the time of day and day of the week depending on how much we all need, and when we need it. To meet this demand the province’s grid operator must buy power from a variety of different power generators. To provide a base amount of electricity, power is purchased …

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