Another Community Solar Programs Celebrates a Milestone

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Simcoe County Community Energy Co-operative (SCCEC) based in Barrie, Ontario (Canada) is a co-operative developed to give area residents an opportunity to promote environmental awareness and create good investment opportunities. This week the first of 33 planned solar photovoltaic systems was installed at a local business.

Simcoe County Community Energy Co-operative (SCCEC) is one of six co-operatives in Ontario’s Rural Community Power Producers Association. The Rural Community Power Producers Association is a group of likeminded community power co-operatives, industry leaders and supporters sharing resources to further the development of renewable energy co-operatives and keeping energy projects locally owned.

“Ownership models vary as does the percentage of local ownership. In some cases, co-ops have joint ventures with other members, municipalities, utilities and the private sector, “said Marlene Moore, VP Marketing at Green Power Labs. “As individuals and communities choose to become more energy self-sufficient, the financial structures developed to support this objective are as varied as the communities” added Moore.

And there is little doubt rapid growth in distributed generation of electricity using rooftop solar systems will continue. In Australia for example, there is now 3.4 GW on around 1.4 million Australian homes and regulatory authorities in Australia forecast by 2035 solar PV will provide 17 per cent of Australia’s energy and 29 per cent by 2050.

“But communities need effective planning tools to maximize their investment in solar” Moore commented. “One emerging issue is that of “solar rights” – the right of citizens with onsite generation to continued, unfettered access to the sun. This is a community planning issue and one that has the potential to create serious issues if not properly managed by community development policies and processes.”

Green Power Labs’ provides expert, independent support to support effective solar planning in communities. For more information visit the Smart Cities section of our website.