Case Study 

Hall's Pond Co-operative    

Project Type: Solar Groundmount

Applicant: Hall's Pond Solar Co-operative 

Grants Awarded:  $200,000

Project Size:  5,000 kW

Status:  Early Stage Development

Residents in the Guelph area are taking steps toward building Ontario’s largest community-financed urban solar project in Canada.  The Hall’s Pond Co-operative solar project will produce up to 7.5 MW of clean energy with over 25,000 photovoltaic panels.

The interest has been steady as individuals pledge to join the co-operative and commit a minimum of $5,000 to invest and realize the project.  A deposit of $100 is required to formalize the commitment and 42 individuals had done so as of September, 2011.  “Guelph residents are really getting behind this project” said  Mike Labbé, president of Options for Green Energy, the development consultant on the project and " "we've also been pleased with the support we've received from Mayor Farbridge and City of Guelph Community Energy Initiative staff." The mayor has been quoted in local papers supporting the project as a contributor to the City’s goal to get at least 25% of the city's energy requirements from renewable sources within the next 15 years.

The project is located on Urban Reserve Land, which is a 105 acre property owned by the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT), a division of the Foundation for the Support of International Medical Training who have been stewards of the land for 40 years.  “This community power project helps us to advance the mission of our non-profit organization and preserve the land for future sustainable development,” said Tullia Marcolongo, IAMAT's director of programs and development.  The land houses a heritage barn which is currently used to host community events such as public information meetings for the project.

To finance this $26 million dollar project, the co-operative intends to raise 30% through local member loans or community investment.  To date, the project has received support from the Community Energy Partnerships program to support the first stages of project development. The balance of bridge and debt financing will be raised by project partner Options for Green Energy, (a division of Options for Homes), a non-profit corporation dedicated to developing renewable energy projects.  Surpluses from the revenue generated by the project will be dedicated to a Community Wealth Fund, to develop new green energy projects across the Province.

Another community power group, Guelph Solar co-operative is currently collaborating with Hall’s Pond to raise funds to build a rooftop solar project at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre.  Both projects are expected to be built by 2013.

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.

Hall's Pond Site Image

Hall's Pond Site

Hall's Pond Site Website