The Community Power Fund (CPF) recently disbursed C$1.1 million in grant money to community groups for the development of local renewable energy projects in Ontario.
‘We are excited to announce today the approval of 15 grants to 15 different community power groups, representing a diversity of technologies, geographical regions and cultural backgrounds,’ says Deborah Doncaster, CPF's executive director. ‘We are working with the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) in their efforts to build capacity and the right policy environment for community-developed and owned projects. Often, what proponents are lacking is financial support – that's what the Community Power Fund is here for.’
The projects, which represent more than 170 MW of power capacity and are expected to be eligible for Ontario's standard offer program – include:
– 80 MW of First Nations wind projects,
– 13 farm owners working together to develop more than 50 MW of wind on their land,
– a Toronto housing cooperative solar thermal initiative, and
– a small-hydro project.
CPF and OSEA say they plan to support the development of at least 10,000 MW of community-owned renewable energy – about 50% of Ontario's stated renewable energy goal – by 2025.