Case Study 

SolarShare Co-operative    

Project Type: Solar Rooftop

Applicant: SolarShare Co-operative

Grants Awarded:  $165,000

Project Size:  438 kW

Status:  Installation Completed

The TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative (TREC) has been at the forefront of a number of leading community-oriented renewable energy projects with the creation of WindShare and SolarShare co-operatives. WindShare members collectively own half of North America’s first urban wind turbine spinning at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto. SolarShare, also a community-based co-operative, has financed and installed 17 different photovoltaic projects and has recently hosted a ribbon-cutting in Mississauga for their 438 kW WaterView project, one of the biggest operating solar rooftop installations in the Greater Toronto Area and the largest community-financed solar project in Canada.

The Waterview Project sits atop previously unused rooftop space on the Daimler Bus manufacturing plant in Mississauga.  The project is pioneering a solar film technology, using smaller, thinner panels with a number of advantages including lighter-weight installations and reduced impacts of shadowing.  The Waterview project was first initiated in August 2009, and the rooftop lease agreement and relationship between SolarShare and Daimler spans 20 years, the length of the FIT contract.

A number of commercial and community partnerships were put in place to realize this project.  Some of these partners included:  the Community Energy Partnerships Program, Daimler Bus North America, Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), United Solar, and the TREC and SolarShare co-operatives.  At the WaterView ribbon-cutting ceremony, partners were praised for their tireless efforts and teamwork in realizing the project. “We have to take advantage of every opportunity to install solar.  Solar energy is something we’ve missed out on for years,” said guest of honour Hazel McCallion, the Mayor of Mississauga. 

To finance the project, SolarShare is offering $1,000 community bonds to all residents and businesses in Ontario.  “Solar bonds allow individuals to add solar power to their portfolio and earn a return by investing in a clean source of electricity,” says Judith Lipp, Executive Director of TREC.  As the first solar bond offering of its kind in Ontario, TREC and SolarShare are offering a unique opportunity for renewable energy supporters to become community power producers.

This project has received funding support from the Ontario Power Authority through the Community Energy Partnerships Program. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Ontario Power Authority or the Province of Ontario of the contents of this material. The views expressed in the material are the views of the Recipient and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ontario Power Authority or the Province of Ontario.

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