About Community Power
What Community Power is:
Community power is the result of financial, conceptual and organizational participation of local citizens in a renewable energy project.
A community power project is a renewable energy project owned in full or in part by local residents. Ownership can be organized narrowly (e.g. through a Limited Partnership) or widely (e.g. through a co-operative). Community power democratizes electricity generation, means that investment returns will be enjoyed locally and lays the foundations for a more decentralized grid.
The Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in Tariff Program provides financial incentives for renewable energy projects to be developed as community projects by including a ‘price adder’ that is paid on top of the regular FIT tariff rate for non-community projects and lowering security payments.
In addition, the OPA recognizes that early-stage financing can be an issue for community groups, and established the Community Energy Partnership Program (CEPP) to provide funding for core feasibility and development work.
Benefits of Community Power:
Community power has many advantages compared to commercial power development:
- High personal involvement helps keeps “soft costs” low;
- Improved understanding within the community leads to higher acceptance and thus faster permitting process for projects;
- Equity is relatively inexpensive to raise because there is limited involvement of professional investors and much less expensive due diligence processes; and
- Locally-raised investment dollars can stimulate the local economy.
Community Power offers great opportunities for:
- Business owners and BIAs where owners are not only sharing facilities or buildings, but also values and selling propositions to their clients
- Groups of people intrigued by the idea to develop and jointly own a renewable energy system
- Charities or faith-based groups looking for an additional stream of revenue to support their operations
- Property or building owners with properties they would like to use to develop a renewable energy project jointly with others in their community.
This project has received funding support from the Ontario Power Authority through the Community Energy Partnerships Program. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Ontario Power Authority or the Province of Ontario of the contents of this material.