A community power project is a renewable energy project owned in full or in part by local residents. Ownership can be organized narrowly (e.g. through a Limited Partnership) or widely (e.g. through a Co-operative). Community power democratizes electricity generation, means that investment returns will be enjoyed locally and lays the foundations for a more decentralized grid.
If you are…
- a group of people intrigued by the idea to develop and own your own renewable energy system
- a charity or faith-based group that is looking for an additional stream of revenue
- a land- or building owner with a property you would like to use to develop a renewable energy project jointly with others
- a commercial developer who believes that working with the local community from the beginning doesn’t only make project development easier but is part of the values your green industry should pursue
....then you should consider community power!
Why we believe in community power
Community power has many advantages compared to commercial power development. Here are a few:
- High personal involvement keeps “soft costs” low
- Improved understanding in community leads to faster permitting process
- Equity is relatively inexpensive, you do not deal with professional investors and very expensive due diligence processes
- Local investment dollars mean positive effect on local economy
How community power can pay off (in Ontario)
In Ontario, the Feed-in Tariff program provides special incentives for renewable energy projects to be developed as community projects: projects are eligible for a ‘community adder’ that is paid on top of the regular FIT rate and their security payments are lowered to $5/kW regardless of technology.
Recognizing that raising the soft cost financing can be an issue for community groups, the OPA has established the Community Energy Partnership Program (CEPP), which provides up to $200,000 of funding for core feasibility and development work.
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