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SolarShare Poised to Be Largest Solar Co-operative in Canada

Jul 09, 2013

With another 4.9 MW of projects to be added to its portfolio, the SolarShare Co-operative is poised to become the largest solar energy co-operative in Canada.  Last week the Ontario Power Authority awarded SolarShare with conditional feed-in tariff contract offers on 13 new rooftop solar projects in Ontario, enough to power 700 homes. 

“We are very pleased to have almost half of our applications approved,” says Mike Brigham, SolarShare President. “The expansion greatly increases the opportunity for citizens of Ontario to become direct investors in solar projects. We will succeed in seeing renewable energy becoming a major part of Ontario's electricity generation mix. It's not if, it's when.”

Renewable energy co-operatives are a form of community power supported by the Green Energy Act and Feed-in tariff programs, which enable citizens to earn social, environmental and economic returns on clean energy projects in their regions.

SolarShare currently owns 780 kW of solar energy capacity on the grid. Combined with existing installations and projects currently underway, the new contracts will amount to 6.86 MW of solar photovoltaic (solar PV) capacity, making it the largest solar power cooperative in Canada once all build-out is complete. For a co-op that began with a few small projects in farmers’ fields in 2010, the prospect of being the largest co-operatively owned independent solar producer in Canada is thrilling to its 500 member-investors. Collectively they have invested $2 million. One SolarShare member, Jane Story is excited about the expansion. She said, “Putting my money into solar is an investment not only for my own retirement, but for the futures of my daughter and future grandchildren. SolarShare's 5% return makes it a win-win.”

The new solar projects will be located in Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Markham, and Vaughan.  SolarShare looks forward to engaging new members in those communities.  

Resco Energy installing racking on SolarShare's "Goodmark" project in Toronto