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What is Community Power
Community Power is a class of sustainable energy projects that are owned, developed and controlled in full or in part (50 per cent or more) by residents of the community in which the project is located. Under the OSEA definition, Community Power proponents include local residents, farmer collaboratives, co-operatives, First Nations, municipalities and other institutions working to develop local sustainable energy projects. Anyone can become a Supporter member. To qualify as a Champion or Enabler Member please see OSEA’s Membership Criteria.
Where did Community Power originate?
OSEA’s inspiration for the development of the Community Power sector in Ontario stems from German and Danish experiences. In Germany for example, farmers interested in owning local energy projects often incorporate as limited liability for-profit corporations that adhere explicitly to co-operative principles. Other projects like the 40 MW Middelgrunden Offshore Wind Cooperative also provided inspiration.
What are the benefits of Community Power?
According to the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, in conventional energy systems, like that of Ontario, at least 75 cents of each energy dollar leaves the local economy.
Community sustainable energy developments provide an excellent opportunity to help keep energy dollars in the community, create economic development, empower residents, cut pollution, greenhouse gases and address energy security concerns. According to the Iowa Policy Project (click to download a PDF), locally owned renewable energy project generates 5-10 times the local economic benefits than do conventional ownership models. From a solely economic perspective every dollar invested by local community members results in a 3 times multiplier within the community.
New jobs, increased revenue for communities and stable energy prices: these are the benefits of Community Power outlined in a presentation given by OSEA at workshop on sustainability hosted by Credit Valley Conservation.
Concerned about global warming, Ontario residents are taking steps to reduce their personal carbon footprints.
OSEA supports First Nations and Metis members in their pursuit of lower energy costs, protection of the environment and economic development with clean energy projects.