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:
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 least once a year. The most recent dividend we paid was 4% but we expect to raise the dividend rate as we add new projects.
- 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 first step is to identify a local business, organization or institution that will buy the solar power. Explain that they will be getting a solar system installed at their location with no upfront costs and no maintenance costs. But they will be pay for the electricity generated. They need at least 360 square metres (4,000 sq. ft.) of roof space or ground that is clear and un-shaded. And annual electrical consumption of at least 36,000 kWh
- Although there are not upfront costs, the building owner does pay for the electricity produced by the system. They also still purchase any additional electricity needed from the utility. So, they are now paying two bills for the electricity but the total paid is less than what they were paying the utility (BC Hydro) previously. This PPA model has been approved by the BC Utilities Commission and is supported by BC Hydro.
- The best candidate would be a business or organization that is keen to install solar energy but does not have the capital to do so. Supermarkets and grocery stores also can be good potential sites because their need for refrigeration often means there is a good correlation between their demand charges and peak solar production.Once a good candidate is identified, we need to look at their billing information to see if they can save money with a PPA. Ideally we would get a year’s worth of billing data. We also many need to get additional information about their demand curve from the utility company (BC Hydro).
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.