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Tag : Cooperatives (54)

Report: Accelerating Renewable Energy Co-operatives in Canada

Co-operatives and Mutuals Canada

Accelerating Renewable Energy Co-operatives in Canada ReportIn light of the growing urgency for, and national commitment to a de-carbonised economy combined with the need for local economic drivers and community resiliency, community energy offers a win-win-win solution.

Community energy (CE), which broadly refers to community ownership of and participation in renewable energy projects, is considered an economically positive and (increasingly) a socially necessary approach to the low carbon economy. CE projects are developed under various ownership models (or legal structures) such as: renewable energy co‑ops; by Aboriginal communities and corporations; through local investment funds; not-for-profit organizations; and the MUSH sector (Municipalities, Universities, Schools and Hospitals). What is common to CE is the retention of project control and benefit (especially financial) at the community level.

On assignment to Co‑operatives and Mutuals Canada (CMC), TREC Renewable Energy Co‑op and the People, Power, Planet Partnership, undertook an assessment of the status of renewable energy co‑ops across Canada. While the reporting on status is specific to the co‑op model, the comments made in this report about development challenges and recommended solutions applies broadly to other forms of community energy models.


The 2016 Create-a-Co-op Challenge is on!

Ontario Co-Operative Association / 17 June 2016

Youth: it’s time to turn your entrepreneurial ambition into a co-op business pitch. You could win up to $1000. This Dragon’s Den-style competition is brought to you in partnership with Gay Lea Foods Co-operative.

To enter:

  1. Create a pitch video (approximately 2- 3 minutes max.) about your new co-op idea. Make it as creative and engaging as possible!
  2. Send your video to
  3. Once we upload it to our Facebook page at, get all your friends and contacts to vote for your video by “liking” it.

Voting closes at 11:59pm, August 28, 2016.

The top 3 vote-getters are guaranteed at least $500! Each will have a shot at the $1,000 Grand Prize by pitching to a panel of experts at On Co-op’s AGM, on September 14, 2016! Who knows, maybe you will even be able to attract investors. It’s happened before!

Visit our Facebook page for complete rules and information.

MEC commits to a 100% renewable powered future

On Co-op / Ontario’s Co-op Current / 24 March 2016

Bullfrog Power®, Canada’s leading green energy provider, and Mountain Equipment Co-op, Canada’s leading outdoor retailer, are announcing a significant expansion of their environmental partnership. MEC is committing to a 100 per cent renewably powered future by choosing both green electricity and green natural gas for all of its current and future facilities, which presently includes 17 stores, its Head Office and Distribution Centre.

Through the agreement, Bullfrog Power’s generators put 100 per cent clean, pollution-free electricity onto the grid to match the amount of conventional power that MEC’s stores, warehouse and offices use. Across Canada, Bullfrog Power’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities.

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SolarShare co-op breaks records with $15,000,000 bond raise

SolarShare / 12 February 2016

SOLAR-POWERSolarShare Co-operative announced today that it has hit the $15 million mark in sales of its Solar Bonds – the largest investment amount a renewable energy co-op has ever raised in Canada.

The milestone is reflective of the public’s growing interest in investments that make positive environmental and social impact. SolarShare is one the few providers of impact investing options open to retail investors.

SolarShare investors are a diverse group – millennials, everyday citizens and small business owners who seek a good return and want their dollars to do good, seniors hoping to leave a better planet for their grandchildren, and philanthropic organizations who desire investments that align with their missions – like the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Science For Peace, Catherine Donnelly Foundation, Bealight Foundation, and the Lawson Foundation.


Credit union first in Canada to use 100% green energy

Ontario Co-operative Association / Co-op Current / 12 February 2016

Bullfrog Power®, Canada’s leading green energy provider and Your Credit Union, a financial services co-operative with branches in Ottawa and Cornwall, recently announced a new environmental partnership – making Your Credit Union the first credit union in Canada to completely bullfrogpower its locations with both 100 per cent green electricity and 100 per cent green natural gas.

Through the partnership, Bullfrog Power’s generators put 100 per cent clean, pollution-free electricity onto the grid to match the amount of conventional power that Your Credit Union’s locations use. Across Canada, Bullfrog Power’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities.

[ more… ]

Guelph: A triumphant co-op town

Guelph Chamber of Commerce / Chris Tiessen / January 2016

Co-operative GuelphFor this special issue, we’ve collapsed col.lab.o.rate and MBF together with a special focus on Guelph’s co-ops. After all, if there’s a single sector that manages to effortlessly collapse the categories ‘business’ and ‘community’, it’s the co-op sector. And if there’s a single sector that embodies what Guelph’s all about, it’s the co-op sector.

As Kofi Annan has posited: ‘Founded on the principles of private initiative, entrepreneurship
and self-employment, underpinned by the values of democracy, equality and solidarity, the co-operative movement can help pave the way to a more just and inclusive economic order.’

Guelph’s a co-op town, plain and simple. A triumphant co-op town. And it’s time we celebrate it.


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The Transition Framework

The Transition Towns movement aims toward veering away from excessive consumption – to deal with the conjoined problems of peak oil and climate change – but also in the belief that we may create an essentially more contented society, through building strong and resilient local communities. We will get to know our neighbours better, because we shall all need one another in the time to come.

— Chris Rhodes, Resource Insights (03 June 2013)
TB Projects


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