HAMILTON, ONTARIO – The Hamilton Association for Renewable Energy is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Green Energy Co-operative of Ontario to bring competitive and affordable solar investment opportunities to all Hamiltonians.
“Hamiltonians told us they wanted an opportunity to invest in affordable, accessible, renewable energy projects right here in our City,” says Beatrice Ekoko, coordinator at Environment Hamilton. “Well, now they do, thanks to HARE.”
The Hamilton Association for Renewable Energy or “HARE” recently entered into a working relationship with the Green Energy Cooperative of Ontario or “GECO” to bring solar investment opportunities to Hamiltonians and solar projects to Hamilton.
GECO provides the possibility for residents of Ontario to invest directly in Renewable Energy projects made possible through the Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-In Tariff (FIT) program.
“We teamed up with GECO because we know that the long-term investment opportunity they are providing matches well with the need and desire for more renewable energy in our City,” explains HARE founding member, Nadine Bernacki. “We want to see solar projects happening on mores roofs throughout the City sooner rather than later.”
To date, the FIT program has been very successful in attracting investment to Ontario in large-scale renewable energy projects, homeowner rooftop projects (micro-FIT), and ground-mounted rural solar projects. However, few community-based projects have been developed to date. The second round of contracts under the FIT program has addressed this situation by setting aside contracts for community-based developers, such as co-operatives.
“The great thing about this opportunity with GECO is that you don’t need to have a suitable roof on your own home to participate, and you don’t need to come up with $25,000 in order to invest,” notes HARE founding member Dave Carson. “In fact, anyone with at least $400 can purchase a share in GECO and earn steady and long-term returns from the development of solar rooftop projects in Hamilton and throughout Ontario.”
The Ontario Power Authority, which operates the FIT program, has established a few rules for eligibility. One of the key rules is that to be eligible for a set-aside contract, a co-operative must have at least 50 members who own property in the same municipality as the renewable energy project in order to demonstrate community support for the project.
“All Hamiltonians can take advantage of this opportunity to earn a competitive return on their investment, but HARE needs at least 50 people who have owned property for at least two years to become members of GECO and to commit to investing in solar energy in Hamilton,” concludes Carson.
To learn more about how to invest in renewable energy in Hamilton, residents are invited to attend one or both of our public meetings:
Tuesday, October 16 at 7 p.m., Westdale Library – 955 King Street West
Tuesday, October 23 at 7 p.m., Central Library – 55 York Boulevard
More information about the Hamilton Association for Renewable Energy, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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