Community Power News

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  • 04 Nov 2016 9:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Originally published in The Waterloo Record and The Hamilton Spectator

    - By Doris Grinspun, Peter Robinson, David Cork

    We just weathered one of the hottest summers on record in Ontario. We're not alone: Around the world, temperature records are being set and broken like it was an Olympic event. Storms get more severe, people wade through streets flooded chest-deep in water, and wildfires consume huge areas left bone-dry by 100-year droughts that now seem to be annual events.

    We know we can't simply ignore what climate change is doing to our planet. But we have left the problem unchecked for so long that we now need ambitious solutions that can sometimes feel out of reach.

    But despite the perception that change will be difficult, solutions like shifting to 100-per-cent clean renewable energy are actually well within our grasp. In fact, more than 1,000 jurisdictions around the world have already committed to going 100-per-cent renewable by 2050, including the City of Vancouver. In 2016, wind power alone provided enough energy to meet 97 per cent of Scottish household electricity needs. In Canada, the power supplied by renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass, grew six-fold in the last decade. Progress is happening faster than we think.

    A report just out from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) projects that wind will meet 35 per cent of U.S. electricity needs by 2050. Here in Ontario, wind has gone from zero to close to 4,000 megawatts of power over less than a decade, the equivalent of replacing the Lakeview coal station that once cast a dark shadow across Toronto's waterfront.

    Worldwide, there is a very bright future for solar, thanks to costs falling by more than two-thirds over the last decade and continuing to fall. Again, the DOE sees solar playing a huge role in the United States, supplying close to a third of U.S. electricity by 2050. Bloomberg New Energy Finance explains why: "The rapid uptake of renewable generation in the power system, [is] unstoppable now because of cost reductions in wind and solar."

    Here in Ontario, we have only been seriously pursuing renewable energy (other than water power) since 2009. Over that short period, wind power prices in Ontario have dropped to the point where they are now fully competitive with nuclear power, if not cheaper. Solar, despite the outdated public perception that it is high cost, is actually dropping ever closer to being a highly competitive source of power in Ontario. That moment isn't in the distant future — it is just three to four years away at most.

    But if we want to get to that 100-per-cent renewable future and reach our targets for reducing damaging greenhouse gas emissions, we are going to need a plan. In Ontario, we have something called the Long Term Energy Plan, which is currently being reviewed. Unfortunately, Ontario's current plan is weak on recognizing how fast technology and systems are changing and long on maintaining the status quo. That means sticking with hugely expensive plans to rebuild 10 aging nuclear reactors and keeping North America's fourth-oldest nuclear plant — the Pickering Nuclear Station, which happens to be surrounded by two million people — operating for another decade.

    Every nuclear project in Ontario's history has gone massively over budget. It is optimistically estimated that rebuilding 10 reactors will cost $25 billion. But, of course, opening up 30- or 40-year-old reactors and replacing miles of radioactive tubing and a slew of other complex components often leads to nasty surprises. It is very likely that these projects will conform to the megaproject pattern of going dramatically over budget.

    Compare that to the simplicity of a solar panel or wind turbine. These off-the-shelf solutions are the future because they are simple to manufacture and fast to deploy, and don't carry the radioactive baggage and risks of giant nuclear plants. They also won't leave us with a massive debt, as Ontario's previous nuclear projects did to the tune of close to $20 billion.

    In fact, nuclear is one of our most cumbersome climate change responses, which is why it is quickly being left in the dust by renewable sources worldwide. Ontario Power Generation just asked for the price it is paid for nuclear power to be raised by 180 per cent in the next 10 years. That means that as solar and wind power prices continue to plunge, nuclear prices will increase to more than three times their current level. Nuclear energy is a dead end for our economy and a dead weight on our pocketbooks.

    Ontario has been a leader in deploying green energy and has seen many benefits — from manufacturing jobs to creating a source of new income for everyone from farmers to schools. Instead of trying to stop the green energy revolution, we need to embrace it. The future is 100-per-cent renewable and we need to be a part of it.

    Doris Grinspun is CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. Peter Robinson is CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation. David Cork is Director of the Federation of Community Power Co-ops.

    For more info, visit

  • 25 Oct 2016 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release: October 25, 2016

    Toronto, ON – A group of fourteen organizations, including environmentalists, doctors and nurses, says that Ontario’s next energy plan should empower citizens and communities to join the global movement toward 100 per cent renewable energy.

    “Ontario’s energy plan needs a major make-over to take advantage of technological innovation and declining costs in the renewable energy industry. The province should follow the lead of communities, such as Oxford County, that are transitioning to clean and healthy 100 per cent renewable energy,” said Keith Brooks, Programs Director with Environmental Defence.

    On the heels of a decision to suspend the procurement of additional renewable energy supplies, the Ontario Ministry of Energy recently announced it will tour the province over the next two months to seek input on its next Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP).

    The fourteen organizations say that as the province looks ahead to update the LTEP, it must acknowledge where cost trends are headed – down for renewables, up for nuclear.

    “With the cost of renewable energy declining so rapidly, Ontario’s next energy plan needs to ensure we can take advantage of fast-moving innovation in the clean energy sector to lower our energy bills, greenhouse gas emissions and nuclear risks,” said Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director with the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

    The group says the province’s next energy plan must prioritize and empower citizen- and community-focused energy generation and move away from the current top-down approach to energy planning; and it needs to come clean on the true cost of nuclear power.

    “Currently, there’s no requirement in Ontario’s energy plan for nuclear megaprojects to be cost effective or to be independently reviewed. This is one of the biggest barriers to Ontario taking advantage of the rapidly declining cost of renewables,” said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, a senior energy analyst with Greenpeace.

    The group is asking other organizations and citizens to endorse their 100 per cent Renewable Energy Declaration and participate in the province’s Long-Term Energy Plan consultations. The declaration can be found at

    The organizations who have endorsed the statement include: the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Environmental Defence, Greenpeace, the Federation of Community Power Cooperatives, TREC Renewable Energy Coop, Ecology Ottawa, the Pembina Institute, Citizens Environment Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Northwatch and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

    - 30 -

    For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

    Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 247; (416) 356-2587 (cell);

    Theresa McClenaghan, Executive Director, Canadian Environmental Law Association, (416) 960-2284 ext 7219; (416) 662-8341(cell)

    Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Senior Energy Analyst, Greenpeace, 416-884-7053

  • 22 Sep 2016 2:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Welcome David Cork, FCPC Managing Director

    David Cork has recently been hired as the FCPC's Managing Director, responsible for coordinating with co-op members, liaising with government officials and working with the membership to explore ways in which the FCPC can grow and expand.


    David who brings a wealth of experience in the solar industry, as founder and President of Aspen Solar Management. He has enjoyed success in the world of high-tech start-ups and acting as a mentor to entrepreneurs. David is also a founding member and director with the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op and is deeply committed to the values and priorities for building the community power sector.


    Learn more about David, here.



    And Farewell to FCPC President, Judith Lipp


    As David steps into the role with the FCPC, founding FCPC-President, Judith Lipp will be leaving her role and leaving the province for Nova Scotia.  Her 8-year tenure as Executive Director of TREC will also end at this time but she has promised to continue to champion CP from Nova Scotia.  We wish her all the best on her new adventures and thank her for the instrumental role she played with the FCPC for the last three years.  


    Read more about Judy’s accomplishments.

  • 14 Jul 2016 3:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    • Location: Downtown Toronto, Ontario (Richmond St. W. & Spadina Ave.)
    • Date Posted: 24 June 2016
      Closing Date: 28 July 2016
      Time Commitment: 4 days per week
    • Wage: $55,000 – $65,000 (commensurate with experience)
      Duration: 1-year initial contract, with the potential for renewal (depending on funding and organizational direction)
    • Start Date: 15 September 2016


    TREC is Canada’s leader in the development of community-owned renewable energy. We directly support co-ops, Indigenous communities and social enterprises with our project and financial management services, and inform policy through our research and advocacy efforts. Established in 1998, TREC developed Canada’s first community owned wind energy project, the WindShare Co-operative. We have since incubated and supported many other successful community energy initiatives and co-ops including SolarShare Co-op, TREC Education and the Federation of Community Power Co-operatives.


    The Federation of Community Power Co-operatives (FCPC) is a province-wide umbrella organization for community power co-ops in Ontario that are developing energy projects. The FCPC was created by co-ops for co-ops to enable co-operation and mutual support within the sector and to speak with one voice to address their needs.


    This is a senior management position to be shared between two organisations: TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative and the Federation of Community Power Co-ops.  Both are non-profit co-ops that work collaboratively to support the growth and expansion of community power in Ontario and beyond. The candidate will report to two boards but the topics areas to be covered will be similar in nature.

    For the FCPC, the role will focus on member coordination and strategic communications to support a government relations strategy to be rolled out over the next year. For TREC the role will focus on partnership building and supporting TREC’s Community Member & Investment Services, Communications and Research departments in assessing needs of clients and disseminating information.  In both cases strong organisation, strategic thinking and communication skills are critical and a key requirement of the candidate.

    For both organisations, the candidate will attend energy and environment events in Ontario, in order to stay current on policy, and to foster partnerships that support community power.  Because of the complimentary nature of work of TREC and the FCPC the two organisations believe that a combined role is the best solution for the sector and we have prior experience of this working effectively.

    As this is a transitional time for our sector (due to changing government policy), the job will require flexibility and thinking on your feet. Experience in change management is an asset.

    You will be working with a dynamic team of experienced, committed individuals in a collaborative, supportive, fast-paced environment. The position is suited to someone seeking to build their career and motivated to have an impact on energy democracy in Ontario and beyond.


    In the FCPC role, the candidate will:

    • Coordinate with the Board and broader FCPC membership to understand project challenges and policy needs; facilitate regular calls and an Annual General Meeting as agreed with the Board of Directors
    • Refine and deliver a government relations and communications strategy with support from the Board and members
    • Work with admin staff to review financials, circulate member communications and collect member dues
    • Explore possible funding options and business models for the FCPC beyond membership fees
    • Broaden and strengthen the relationship of the FCPC with relevant stakeholders and explore new partnerships to support FCPC’s mission and expand its reach to new members and audiences;

    In the TREC role, the candidate will:

    • Broaden and strengthen the relationship of TREC with relevant stakeholders and explore new partnerships to support TREC’s mission and expand its reach to new clients and relevant audiences;
    • Strategically support TREC’s three departments: Services, Research and Communications by being the go-between with external audiences and working with each department to meet its potential
    • Work with TREC’s Management Team to ensure program deliverables are met and ensure appropriate fiscal and organizational controls are deployed;
    • Ensure programs are sufficiently funded by working with team members on preparing proposals, and pursuing other funding sources
    • Work with TREC’s Management team to set the annual budget and review financials before they go to the Board
    • Work with the Operations Manager and Executive Committee to coordinate HR needs
    • Report to the Board as the go-between for the Management Team


    • Professional and dynamic presence with the ability to communicate with diverse stakeholders;
    • Ability to coordinate diverse teams and communicate effectively between them
    • Demonstrated strategic communication skills (oral and written); government relations experience an asset
    • Strong organizational skills;
    • Ability to manage change and support the growth and evolution of a dynamic organization/organizational division;
    • Knowledge of and passion for climate change and/or renewable energy, energy conservation, energy policy, etc.
    • Sense of humour and team oriented work ethic;
    • Excellent time-management skills, balancing the need between meeting internal requirements and external business/project deliverables;
    • Ability to take initiative and be accountable for decisions;
    • Experience working in the not-for-profit / co-op sector is an asset.
    • Experience working with Indigenous groups an asset
    • Business development experience an asset


    Please provide an updated resume and cover letter to:

    Please indicate: Managing Director in the subject line.

    The cover letter should clearly address the following: a) why you feel you are qualified for this position, b) how your previous experiences will contribute to the on-going success of TREC and the FCPC, c) your vision for community power in Ontario based on what you know about the energy / co-op sector and d) your interest in and passion for community power. Your letter should not exceed 2 pages.

    Please compile the letter and resume in a PDF and send as a single attachment. Use your name as the file name. Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis, the sooner we receive your application the better, and not later than 28 July, 10 am.

    We thank you for your application, but only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.

    The position deadline will be extended if no suitable candidate is found.

    TREC is an equal opportunity employer.

  • 24 Sep 2015 4:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    At Our Power, we are big fans of local, community-based renewables – the benefits are clear!

    This October 3rd, at Green Energy Doors Open 2015, you’ll have the chance to meet with several renewable energy co-ops face to face and find out why getting involved in the Community Power movement is right for you.


  • 20 Jul 2015 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Renewable energy co-ops are hiring in the Toronto and Ottawa areas!

    Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op is looking for a communications and administrative assistant:

    Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op is hiring two bookkeepers 3-4 days/week on a maternity leave contract:

    Get involved in the community power sector today with these great opportunities!

  • 14 May 2015 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Position: Community Investment & Marketing Manager
    Organization: TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative/ SolarShare
    Location: Toronto

    Date Posted: May 4, 2015
    Job Type: Full-time contract
    Start Date:  June 1, 2015
    Salary Range: $45,000-$55,000, depending on experience

    About TREC

    TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative (TREC) is an incorporated, not-for-profit organization that has been working for more than 10 years to develop co-operatively owned renewable energy projects in Ontario and to educate about renewable energy, conservation, and the community power model. 

    Summary of Role

    Are you passionate about solar energy and social finance? TREC is looking for a results-driven individual to lead the sales and marketing efforts for its client, SolarShare Co-operative. The Community Investment and Marketing Manager overseas Solar Bond fundraising, marketing, communications and outreach. Be a part of a fun, hard-working team of social innovators that is committed to green energy development and climate change mitigation. Our organization encourages work-life balance, professional development opportunities, and flexible work hours.

    Successful candidates will be independent, articulate and quick on their feet, and have proven success in both a sales and marketing/communications role. The office is located in downtown Toronto and occasional travel within Southern Ontario outside of office hours is required. A valid G license is required.


    • Strategy Development – Create and execute an annual sales and marketing strategy and budget to achieve goals set by TREC senior management, including media and social media strategy, and leveraging SolarShare members, networks, and partners. Our 2015 goal is $4 million in bond sales.
    • Solar Bond Fundraising – Ensure sales goals are met and report progress to management and board of directors on a monthly basis. Conduct in-person sales presentations and seek public speaking opportunities to present the solar bond and SolarShare’s story to relevant audiences.
    • Marketing Materials– Ensure our marketing materials are engaging and up to date. Develop written and visual content for SolarShare website, blog, e-newsletter, and social media.
    • Member Outreach – Organize event opportunities to engage members and volunteers, ensuring SolarShare is achieving its social mission of encouraging citizen participation in renewable energy projects.
    • Media and Public Relations – Manage SolarShare’s media relations efforts to ensure press releases and other media announcements are distributed in a timely manner to reflect SolarShare milestones. Manage third party consultants as required.
    • Volunteer Management - Train and manage volunteer “SolarShare Ambassadors” and Summer Outreach Assistant to support the execution of the overall marketing plan

    Qualifications and Experience
    • At least 3 years experience in a related role
    • Demonstrated success in sales and marketing/communications
    • Experience with face-to-face marketing and event coordination
    • Strong writing and communication skills
    • Highly organized, self-motivated and independent worker
    • Confident public speaking ability
    • Basic financial investment knowledge
    • Knowledge of the renewable energy industry and policy environment in Ontario is an asset
    • Graphic design skills an asset
    • Strong inter-personal skills

    All applications must be submitted by Monday May 18th at 9 am.
    NOTE: Applicants are encouraged to send their resume and cover letter as soon as possible as interviews will begin before the posting deadline.

    • Please submit a cover letter and resume by email to the attention of Julie Leach: 
      jobs (at)
    • Please compile a cover letter and resume in PDF and send as a single attachment. Use your full name as the file name.
    • In your cover letter, please address how you would be successful in marketing and selling $4 million in Solar Bonds to relevant audiences over the next year.
    • You will be expected to familiarize yourself with the SolarShare website
    • We thank you for your application but only those chosen for an interview will be contacted; no phone calls please.

    TREC is fully committed to equal opportunity employment.

  • 08 Apr 2015 2:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FCPC members SolarShare and Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op are hiring in Toronto and Ottawa:

    Summer Outreach Coordinator - SolarShare

    P/T Project Development Associate - OREC

    Apply now for a chance to work in the growing Community Power sector!

  • 19 Mar 2015 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Ontario Co-operative Association (On Co-op) is in the midst of hosting regional conferences across the province to foster connections between the hundreds of co-operative corporations operating here. TREC Renewable Energy Co-op and the Federation of Community Power Co-ops presented about renewable energy co-ops in St. Catharines and Toronto, and we will also be at the London conference on March 25.

    FCPC President Judith Lipp presenting at the Niagara On Co-op Conference

    Source: Niagara Co-op Network Facebook 

    Energy is under provincial jurisdiction in Canada, and in Ontario, we have the Green Energy & Economy Act, 2009. This important piece of legislation brought us not only the Feed-in-Tariff program that allows individuals, communities, First Nations, municipalities and others to sell power back to the grid, it also amended the Co-operative Corporations Act, 1990, to include a specific provision for the creation of renewable energy co-operatives.


    Co-operative renewable energy may be relatively new to Ontario, but it is well-established and thriving in places like Germany and Denmark, where co-ops own a large stake of the energy system. RE co-ops provide ethical investment opportunities for local individuals; provide local jobs for manufacturers, installers, and more; help to produce clean power locally while contributing to a more reliable distributed energy system; and allow for reinvestment from the sale of power to the grid.


    TREC Services Manager James Law presenting at the GTA Regional On Co-op Conference

    Because of these benefits, co-op involvement in RE development in Ontario has exploded since 2009, making the province a model for community-owned power across the country. But, like any business, RE co-ops are looking to the future, hoping to grow their members and continue transforming the energy system through the co-operative principles of people (encouraging social justice), planet (respectful of the environment), profit (strong economic foundation).


    We don’t have to do it alone. By sharing the experience of the RE co-op sector at the On Co-op conferences, we have been able to connect with credit unions, housing co-ops, and innovators looking to collaborate for the benefit of everyone involved. It can be easy and comfortable to stay in our respective silos, but we should all welcome the opportunity to expand our reach by working with like-minded businesses in the co-op sector. 



    You can still register for On Co-ops Sudbury and London conferences here:

    The presentations by TREC/FCPC at these events are made possible in part through the financial support of the Education and Capacity Building Program brought to you by the IESO. The Co-op is solely responsible for implementation of this initiative, and the IESO has no responsibility or liability whatsoever in the event that any person suffers any losses or damages of any kind as a result of the initiative.

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