For the SUN Co-op it was a winter of hibernating, waiting for the sun to come back, and waiting for the results of our fall 2015 application to the government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) program. Well the sun did come back with a vengeance this summer, and you can also keep a look-out for some good news to be announced at a SUN Co-op member and media event in Sudbury on September 9th! More details to follow. As part of the national “Green Energy Doors Open” Day, we’ll be part of hundreds of events happening across the country to celebrate and educate the public about all that is going on in renewable energy in Canada.
In the meantime, we have continued our partnership with German & Toronto-based solar developer Soventix, a specialist in working with co-operatives in community energy projects. This summer we have ramped up our efforts to find more potential sites for solar projects. We are looking for rural or industrial sites with 7 acres of land that is relatively flat, that does not have wetlands, good agricultural soil or heavy forest, and that is on a major road in the community since that is where the 44 kV hydro lines are.
So far we are expecting to be able to submit a few more leased sites to city council and the Ontario government for what is likely the final intake under the FIT program. This intake is scheduled to start by the end of October 2016, and then we’ll hear the results by Spring 2017. Look for us on the agenda of upcoming City planning committee meetings and please share your support for your co-op’s efforts on social media or however you like, with your local councillors or local MPP.
Remember the goal of your non-profit solar co-op is to promote renewable energy, provide local ethical financial investment opportunities, and keep money in the community. We aren’t sure what the future will look like for co-ops like us after this year, but we hope to be able to continue to promote our goals through any new opportunities created by the current provincial and federal government’s focus on sustainable development, clean technology and a low carbon future.
Also look for the upcoming AGM in the fall of 2016. There will be vacancies on our board and we’ll be looking for members to step up and help us in this next exciting year.