TREC is Canada’s leader in the development of community owned renewable energy.

New Report: The Power of Community

With the Feed-in Tariff program under the Ontario Green Energy and Green Economy Act, community participation of renewables in Ontario has increased dramatically since 2010. This report outlines the environmental, social, and economic benefits of locally owned and operated renewable power, with real data from Ontarians and Ontario-based projects

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Our Services

TREC provides services to Co-ops and Social Enterprises who are turning social capital into financial capital. Our Community Investor & Member Services team provides our clients with securities transfer processing, security holder record-keeping and a point of contact for member/investor inquiries.

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TREC is an umbrella organization
Here are some of the projects we’ve founded to fulfill our mandate:

SolarShare is Canada’s leading renewable energy co-operative. SolarShare develops PV renewable energy systems across Ontario, and residents and businesses are invited to invest in these projects and earn up to 6% interest.

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TREC Education is a charitable organization, which delivers renewable energy education programs in classrooms and at community events across Ontario – creating systemic change for a greener future and fostering the next generation of renewable energy leaders. TREC education directly engages more than 10,000 students and adults each year.

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WindShare is an innovative wind power co-operative, the first of its kind in Canada. WindShare is a joint partner in Canada’s premier urban wind turbine located at Exhibition Place in Toronto, Ontario.

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The Federation of Community Power Co-operatives (FCPC) is a province-wide umbrella organization for community power co-ops in Ontario that are developing grid-tied renewable energy projects. The FCPC exists to unite, represent and serve the community power co-op community across the province.

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Spotlight on a local Co-op: CED Co-op

Since its inception, Community Energy Development (CED) Co-op has generated over 2,500,000 kWh of renewable energy, avoiding over 1,000,000 kg of CO2 emissions to date. Through its first bond offering, CED Co-op has raised $9.6 million from over 600 members to finance 27 solar projects all over Ontario. CED Co-op is currently offering investment in a new 5-year bond, at a rate of 6.13%.

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Spotlight on a local Co-op: Green Timiskaming

Green Timiskaming is located in North Eastern Ontario along the Quebec boarder, a rural resource-based economy that includes mining, forestry and farming. With the aim to revitalize local industry and retain local talent, Green Timiskaming (GT) was founded in 2009 to promote the green economy in the region. While the grid capacity in the region has allowed for significant solar development, GT was the first to propose a community-owned project, and they received FIT contracts for 4.75 MW of solar. As a small community-based organization, GT soon realized that they would need the help of others to develop their projects, and forged a partnership with SolarShare, Ontario’s largest solar co-op, which brings extensive experience in development and financing. SolarShare members can invest in GT projects through “Solar Bonds,” in either a 5-year term at 5% interest or a 15-year term at 6% interest. 5-Year Solar Bonds are RRSP / TFSA eligible.

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Spotlight on a local Co-op: ZooShare

Zooshare is developing North America’s first zoo-based biogas plant near the Toronto Zoo. The biogas plant will recycle manure (“zoo poo”) and local grocery store waste into renewable power for the Ontario grid. How does “waste” become energy? As the manure and food waste decompose, methane is released and is used to run a generator. This process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 10,000 tonnes of C02 each year and creates a by-product of nutrient-rich fertilizer (which would otherwise be destined for a landfill). It’s a win-win for everyone, especially the 600+ members of this community-power project who have purchased $3 million worth of ZooShare bonds. The project is expected to be up and running by early 2017.

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Spotlight on a local Co-op: OREC

Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op (OREC) was one of the first renewable energy co-ops in Ontario. Founded in 2010, OREC partners with Ottawa-area communities, using local roofs and land for community-owned renewable power. OREC currently operates 13 solar projects installed on school rooftops, private barns/warehouses and other facilities, with over 43,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases (CO2 equivalent) avoided to date. So far, over 500 local community members have invested more than $5 million in OREC’s projects, receiving dividend payments on their shares over 20 years.

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Community Power represents more bang for the renewable energy buck

It’s popular in Ontario to blame green energy for rising electricity bills. The truth is much more complicated, with the prices paid to kick-start a transition to green energy in this province playing a much smaller role in driving cost increases than enormously expensive nuclear reactor rebuilds and the billions spent on repairing our aging power transmission system.

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TREC is a trusted and experienced research partner on initiatives related to community energy, Aboriginal power & social finance.

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Our Charitable Partner

TREC Education delivers renewable energy education programs in classrooms and at community events across Ontario – creating systemic change for a greener future and fostering the next generation of renewable energy leaders.