Spark Solar, a Spark Power company, created the Green Energy Co-Op of Ontario to provide the opportunity for urban citizens to participate in the burgeoning renewable energy sector.
The Green Energy Co-operative of Ontario (GECO) is a “for profit” renewable energy co-op, providing membership and investment opportunities for Ontario residents. GECO has allowed individuals to own and generate returns from green energy projects in their community, creating clean local power while supporting local employment and community development.
GECO has a portfolio of 18 solar projects in progress with a total of 6,200 kW of capacity. Spark Solar monitors and manages all aspects of the co-operative, which has included:
- Professional management
- Monitoring and maintenance contracts
- Enrollment of over 550 members in to the co-op
- Raising $3M in equity from Ontario residents
- Negotiating debt facility of more than $20M for GECO and other community solar developers
- Construction management
- Meeting OPA contract requirements
- Securing $650,000 in Community Energy Partnership Program grants for GECO
Becoming part of the GECO co-operative meant having access to investment opportunities, the chance to have a say in the co-op’s decisions, the ability to participate in a clean energy source and supporting continued solar power development across Ontario, while receiving a good return on investment.