About Us

The Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative, incorporated in 2010, has continued to grow as a local, green investment opportunity in Eastern Ontario. We strive to provide residents of the area with the chance to diversify their portfolios by investing in renewable energy development in their own communities. With a growing portfolio and membership, the Co-operative continues to expand its horizons every year, while staying true to its grassroots origins.

Timeline

December, 2009

Initial Meetings

The first meeting to discuss a renewable energy co-operative take place in the home of one of the eventual co-founders. At its core, the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative had the belief that the people who see the renewable energy projects should be the ones who benefit and profit from them. For this reason, the initial geographic boundaries of the Co-operative were those of the City of Ottawa.

December, 2009

Co-operative Development

In the early stages of the newly formed co-operative, special care was taken towards developing the necessary legal and financial framework to make the endeavour a sustainable one. Support and consultation from other renewable energy co-operatives, as well a legal experts helps craft initial roof lease agreements and offering statements.

September 3, 2010

Incorporation

OREC Logo

June 17, 2012

Launch of the First Investment Series

  • Duration: 9 weeks
  • Total investment: $991,000
  • Projects financed: 6

The Co-operative exceeds its target of $500,000 over the course of a 9 week offering. These investments go primarily towards 5 microFIT projects that were built on co-operative and non-profit housing buildings.

August 13, 2012

Membership Reaches 100

During the series 1 investment offering, the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative saw its membership grow incredibly. Prior to the offering, membership was at 60 people. By the end of the 9 week offering, it had reached 140+ members.

December 14, 2012

First OREC Project Comes Online

OREC partners with the Co-operative Housing Association of Eastern Ontario to install a 10 kW rooftop solar array on the roof of Eileen Tallman Housing Co-operative. This marked the beginning of a 20 year agreement under Ontario’s MicroFIT program.

February 18, 2013

First FIT Project Comes Online

OREC partners with Windmill Development Group to install 250 kW rooftop installation (FIT) on a Windmill storage facility in Dunrobin. This project is co-owned by the members of OREC and Windmill Development Group.

November 4, 2013

Launch of the Second Investment Series

  • Duration: 26 weeks
  • Total investment: $1,250,000
  • Projects financed: 1
August 21, 2014

Launch of the Third Investment Series

  • Duration: 27 weeks
  • Total investment: $1,342,500
  • Projects financed: 6
May 4, 2015

Launch of the Fourth Investment Series

  • Duration: 26 weeks
  • Total investment: $1,500,500
  • Projects financed: 4
May 21, 2015

Expansion of Geographic Boundaries

At a special members meeting, the decision is made to expand the Co-operative’s boundaries beyond the City of Ottawa to include Eastern Ontario. This means that all those living in Eastern Ontario can now become members of the Co-operative, and invest in local renewable energy projects.

October 2015

OREC Reaches $5 Million in Investment

OREC members invest $5 million over the course of four local solar investment offerings. The average investment is $13,300, demonstrating the widespread, grassroots support for renewable energy development.

September 29, 2016

Membership Reaches 500

January 11, 2017

Launch of the Fifth Investment Series

  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Total investment: $1,988,500
  • Projects financed: 4
November 23, 2017

Largest OREC Project Comes Online

  The largest project in OREC’s portfolio, a 500 kW ground-mount installation in Alfred, ON, is connected to the grid. This project is unique in Canada. It is the first ever solar power project in the country to be co-owned by a co-operative and a First Nation. OREC partnered with the Keewaywin First Nation to make this innovative project a reality.

January 8, 2018

Launch of the Sixth Investment Series

  • Duration: 7 weeks
  • Total investment: $859,500
  • Projects financed: 2

Vision & Goals

Vision In a thriving integrated co-op economy, OREC is a significant leader in providing Eastern Ontario with clean, community financed energy that has transformed the region to 100 percent renewable energy. Goals The Co-op’s goals are:

  • Generate decentralized renewable energy in Eastern Ontario. By 2020, own a full range of renewable energy generating sources across Eastern Ontario.
  • Create a democratic, self-reliant, environmentally, socially and financially sustainable co-operative business model for community power in Eastern Ontario. By 2020, increase membership to 5,000 from all parts of Eastern Ontario.
  • Provide a fair return to residents of Eastern Ontario who wish to invest in local renewable energy production and energy efficiency. Pay the best possible dividend yearly on co-operative member equity investments.
  • Increase the accessibility of investments options and awareness of renewable energy production and energy efficiency. Be a strong voice in Eastern Ontario for renewable energy through education, workshops, social media, and advocacy.
  • Advocate for hospitable policy climates that facilitate community owned and financed renewable energy and other forms of sustainable technology in Eastern Ontario.
  • Partner with other organizations, companies, and government agencies to achieve our vision. Work with the City of Ottawa on a 100 percent renewable city strategy. As part of the Ottawa Co-op Network, help build and finance a thriving co-operative social economy in Eastern Ontario and a social finance support and finding portal.

Governance & Policies

Our Governance

  • OREC’s projects are democratically governed through a co-operative model, which strengthens community engagement.
  • Members of OREC are residents of Eastern Ontario older than 16 who have purchased a member share and whose membership has been approved by the board of directors. Every member has one vote and may run for a position on the board.
  • The Board is made up of up to seventeen directors who are elected by the members at the annual general meeting. Directors serve for three-year terms and are not remunerated. The Co-op holds director and officer insurance for the activites of the board. The board is responsible for contracts, projects, reserve funds, dividends and surplus distribution, and borrowing.
  • Advisory committees have been formed to advise the board on business, technical, and communication issues.
  • OREC is incorporated as a Renewable Energy Co-operative with share capital under Ontario’s Co-operative Corporations Act and operates under Bylaws that are reviewed by the membership at each Annual General Meeting.
OREC adheres to the 7 principles of co-operative governance

Our Policies

Collaboration Policy
OREC is interested in entering into collaborations with organizations that share and advance our vision and goals. Read our full Collaboration Policy framework here (.pdf 0.2 MB).
Non-Member Loan Policy
This Policy is guide the OREC Board in accepting loans from non-member organizations that share the co-op’s vision and goals. Read our full Non-Member Loan policy framework here (.pdf 0.3 MB).
Project Terms of Engagement Policy
This policy is designed to guide the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative Board and staff in the procurement of renewable energy (RE) project installations and encourage collaboration with RE project developers when they seek our participation/financing of appropriate RE projects. Read our full Project Terms of Engagement Policy here (.pdf 0.2 MB).

Community Partners

Special thanks to the generous support of the following organizations:

We are grateful for the support and co-operation of the following organizations and initiatives as well: