Category Archives: Solar Energy

SolShare investments now qualify for RRSPs and TFSAs

Now you can get a tax advantage for supporting local renewable energy projects! Future investors in SolShare’s community solar projects will have the option of putting the investment in a self-directed RRSP or TFSA.

SolShare is BC’s first cooperatively-owned community solar project. Our first plant has been producing power for over a year. During the first year we paid out $1.63 per share (shares are bought at $50 each).

Our second plant is scheduled to begin construction in August. Over the next two months we will be doing another round of investments. The minimum investment for this round is $1,000.

The RRSP/TFSA does have a $55 annual fee, so it may not be best option for investors who will be buying at the minimal amount. But if you are looking at making a larger contribution it is something to consider.

2nd Dividend Paid to Solshare Investors

Solshare Energy has now paid its second dividend of $0.19 per share for the period of 12/08/2015 to 01/20/2016. Solshare investments are Class C2 investments and receive 3.3% annualized interest.

These dividend payments were followed by a second opening for investments, contributing to a total $69,000 raised in share capital from investors.

If you are interested in investing in community solar energy with Solshare Energy, check out our FAQs page.

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About Solshare Energy

Solshare Energy is BC’s first cooperatively owned community solar energy project. Solshare’s plan is to own a portfolio of renewable energy installations throughout BC that will engage BC residents and offer financial, social, and environmental returns. Solshare’s first installation was a 23kW system installed in east Vancouver. Solshare Energy is a project of Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-operative (VREC).

SolShare Working with Local Community Groups

Solshare is happy to work with local BC Community Groups that want to set up a cooperatively owned solar project.

Why work with SolShare?

Given the economics of grid-tie solar energy in BC it is important to keep costs low in order to give your investors a good return on investment. There can be considerable costs associated with incorporation and meeting the requirements of the BC Securities Commission. By working with SolShare those costs are shared.

Here is what you need to set up a co-cooperatively owned community project with SolShare:

1. Investors

A group of investors, willing to invest at least $1,000 to own part of the larger solar array. Usually we will need at least 70 investors at $1,000 each. Of course if some investors are willing to contribute more than you will need fewer investors.

  • Investors should expect to receive dividends at 4% annualized
  • We take care of all the paperwork required by the BC Securities Commission. We use an “offering memorandum” to inform investors about the project and meet the requirements of the Securities Commission.
2. The Site

A building where the owner or tenant is willing to pay for the electricity generated by the solar. The building needs at least 4,000 square feet of roof space.

  • In most cases the building owner will be paying $0.14 / kWh for the power generated
  • We may be able to reduce the cost per kWh if we are able to also do energy efficiency upgrades and we are able to include those in the power purchase agreement (PPA)
  • For most building owners $0.14/kWh is a premium over their BC Hydro rates.
  • If the building is seeking LEED certification or buying Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) the PPA might save them money even at the premium.
  • The premium declines over time so eventually the building owner may be paying less for the solar energy than the utility
  • Multi-family residential buildings are especially good candidates if they are paying residential rates for their common areas. In just a few years they will be saving money under the power purchase agreement.
  • We can evaluate the site to see if it is suitable.

How can you save by cooperating with SolShare?

  • Incorporation costs – we have already incorporated
  • BC Securities Commission compliance – unless you are raising a small amount with a small group of people you will need to file a Prospectus (which can cost $80,000 or more) or use another exemption.  We are using the Offering Memorandum exemption which requires paperwork to be filled and records kept.  We have templates and a database system already set-up to handle the paper work and filing.
  • Audit Costs – If you are using the Offering Memorandum exemption you will need to get an annual financial audit done at least once.  This can cost $8,000 or more.  By sharing the Audit costs amongst more than one project we reduce the costs and allow more profit to be returned to investors.
  • Administration Costs – We take care of the accounting and record keeping.  We also have automatic electronic funds transfers set up to handle the payment to investors.

Community Solar Project Showcase and Tour

Solshare Energy is hosting a Community Solar Project Showcase and Tour on March 30th, 2016 to present BC’s first community owned solar energy project producing clean energy. The 23 kW photovoltaic plant, recently installed in East Vancouver at Vancouver Cohousing, a multi-family residential complex, officially began production recently. Bullfrog Power provided construction financing for the project and has been a great supporter of the community solar project. The project is one of the first leasing projects under BC Hydro’s Net Metering Program.

The launch event is open to the public and will include brief remarks by Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer, free hot drinks, snacks, door prizes, mini tours of the community solar project and more!

Wednesday March 30
3:30pm-6:00pm
3:30pm: Solar Tours every 10 min
4:00pm-4:40pm: Remarks from Vancouver Renewable Energy, Bullfrog Power, Vancouver Cohousing and Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer
4:40pm-6:00pm: Solar Tours every 10 min + mingling

Vancouver Cohousing
1733 E 33rd Avenue, Vancouver

RSVP to the event here>>

About Solshare Energy

Solshare Energy is BC’s first cooperatively owned community solar energy project. Solshare’s plan is to own a portfolio of renewable energy installations throughout BC that will engage BC residents and offer financial, social, and environmental returns. Solshare Energy is a project of Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-operative (VREC).

If you have any questions about the event, please contact:

Kathryn MacDonald
778-869-8333
kathryn@vrec.ca

Van CC Cohousing solar
Vancouver Cohousing Solar

BC’s First Community Owned Solar Project Raises $69,000

Solshare Energy, BC’s first community owned solar project, has just completed another round of financing and now has a total of $69,000 in share capital from investors.

The funds raised will be used to complete the purchase of a 23 kW photovoltaic plant recently installed in East Vancouver as well as other start-up costs. The photovoltaic system is installed on a multi-family residential complex and is expected to officially begin production later this week. The revenue from selling the electricity from the system will be used to pay dividends to investors. Dividends have already been paid out to investors who bought shares in earlier financing rounds.

Solshare Energy plans to add additional solar plants located throughout BC to its portfolio and will be seeking new investors as these plants come online.To receive updates on investing in Solshare fill out our contact form.

Van CC Cohousing solar
Cohousing Solar

BC’s First Community Solar Energy Project Pays Dividend

Solshare Energy has announced it has paid its first dividend of $0.41 per share. This is an annualized return of 3.3%.

“We are excited to offer BC residents an investment in local renewable energy projects that offers an ongoing income stream.” said Solshare CEO Rob Baxter. “We have seen considerable interest for a truly local ethical investment alternative.”

Solshare Energy is also currently accepting another round of investments that will help finance its first installation.
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About Solshare Energy

Solshare Energy is BC’s first cooperatively owned community solar energy project. Solshare’s plan is to own a portfolio of renewable energy installations throughout BC that will engage BC residents and offer financial, social, and environmental returns. Solshare first installation was a 23kW system installed in east Vancouver. Solshare Energy is a project of Vancouver Renewable Energy Co-operative (VREC).

Work on First Project Begins

We have begun installation of our first project. Crew from Vancouver Renewable Energy (VREC) started installing the roof mounts for the solar modules at a site in Vancouver.

The 23 kW photovoltaic system is being installed on Vancouver Cedar Cottage Co-housing. The complex is currently under construction so the system will not be brought fully online until later in the year when the electrical systems are in place.

The Solar Revolution is Here



Solshare Energy is running a series on the solar revolution all over the world to help BC residents better understand why solar power is coming to a roof near you, why it’s viable here and how you can take advantage of its growth.  But what exactly are renewable and non-renewable” sources and why are they viable today? In this blog we’ll look at various energy sources, some we already use in our daily lives that can be both renewable and non-renewable. Let’s take a look at some of the different varieties.

Types of Energy Sources

Fossil fuels: the dominant source of energy in the world, formed by the sun over millions of years. Fossil fuels are a hydrocarbon that sit below the earth’s surface that are eventually converted into crude, natural gas and coal.

Wind: generated in part from the sun by heating the air which changes air pressure and generates power using wind turbines both on land and sea.

Hydropower: the dominant energy source for electricity in British Columbia created by dams that use the force of water.

Tidal: a form of hydropower that uses the gravitational effect from the moon and sun creating motion by the water and is often used in the ocean.

Geothermal: generated by the earth’s heat much like geysers, volcanoes and hot springs.

Solar: is derived from the sun’s heat and light. It’s also the only source of energy that produces every other energy we currently use. Solar power is International Energy Agency said solar power could be the number one source of electricity on earth by 2050. (Source).

You may have noticed that the common thread among these forms of energy is they all depend on the sun’s power. Harnessing the sun’s power to generate electricity is nothing new. But the solar revolution that’s occurring all over the world is happening for one major reason: the price of solar panel has dropped drastically in thirty-years making the technology accessible and profitable.

In the next issue in our series on the solar revolution we’ll talk about how solar power works and why it’s reliable and viable for BC residents today.

Solshare Energy is a community-owned solar energy project in BC.   If you would like more information on Solshare Energy please enter your details in the form below.