On the evening of Tuesday, October 16, 2012, HARE (Hamilton Association for Renewable Energy) and GECO (Green Energy Co-operative of Ontario) held their first joint public meeting to a packed house at the Westdale library in Hamilton.
HARE member Dave Carson acted as emcee, introducing fellow HARE member Patti Turnbull as our first speaker. Patti’s presentation was excellent. She quickly explained the roots of the organization, followed by where we want to go and why we want to get there. The assembled citizens appreciated Patti’s friendly and straightforward nature.
Our next speaker was Kevin Epp, a director of GECO and an incredible source of information on the myriad details related to solar co-operatives. He engaged the audience in an overview of the history of GECO; from founding of the AGRIS Solar Co-operative, its connection with Spark Solar, through to the sound reasons for GECO’s formation.
GECO will provide the experience, industry connections, and proven business acumen that is an absolute requirement of the start-up renewable energy groups, such as HARE, that are forming across Ontario.
Kevin explained the multi-step process that we will follow together, from the signing up of members through to power generation from new commercial-grade rooftop solar projects. While doing so, he pointed out where we, as members of the co-op and citizens of Hamilton, can get involved.
At the end of the presentations, there were several questions from the group regarding the property ownership rules set out by the OPA (Ontario Power Authority) in the FIT 2.0 program, when our opportunity to invest is likely to arise and how the financial model works. Kevin and Patti answered all questions fully and honestly.
After the presentations, HARE and GECO members provided attendees with the opportunity to sign up as members of one or both groups. Several folks chose to become members, bringing our venture closer to success.
Our next public meeting will be on Tuesday, October 23rd, at the Central Hamilton Library at 55 York Blvd. This meeting is free to attend and open to all. We hope to see you there!
If you are unable to make our next meeting, but would like to learn more, please send us a note through the form on our contact us page.by