Posted on 8:48 pm - October 13, 2017

As part of the Ironcor Solar team (Calgary), and responsible for promoting our Solar Carport system in south-western Alberta and south-eastern BC, we would be interested in speaking with SolShare about the potential to develop a partnership, related to commercial-scale systems, for installs in the Cranbrook region.

Kjell Liem
Posted on 8:48 pm - November 6, 2017

Hi SolShare,

It’s my understanding that Solshare is not a co-op but a corporation with multiple owners: is an investment share also a voting share? If not I’m not convinced that the accessibility is not “Indirect”.

Regarding ownership, vrs. some other form of legal benefit, If I own part of a project it’s not like I can decide to take my share of the equipment home because it’s mine. Not sure this matters to most people either way.

The main difficulty in developing a project through the SolShare model is the premium cost of the solar generated electricity which is necessary to give the investors a higher return on investment as well as cover the annual audit costs which are significant.

For those who can find a way to make it work Solshare is a consideration considering the limits some utilities are placing on other models.

    Posted on 11:10 pm - November 6, 2017

    Good Questions. Solshare is a separately incorporated subsidiary of a co-op. It was incorporated as a BC Corporation but since it is controlled by a co-op it is run as a co-op and adheres to the cooperative principles.

    For this reason the Canadian Workers Cooperative Federation and Concentra Financial allow Solshare investors to participate in the RRSP/TFSA program that is normally only open to co-ops. Solshare is also open to additional funding that is available to coops through Canadian Co-ops and Mutuals.

    Because we are operating as a co-op it is not one vote per share. That is how corporations work but not co-ops. As a co-op it is one vote per person. Solshare works a little different in that the investors can vote to nominate members to the board of directors. The workers that install (or manage) the plants will also have representatives on the board. Investors will also be consulted on corporate resolutions on a one person / one vote basis.

    I am not sure I understand your comment about “accessibility.” In this article we used accessibility to refer to who has the ability to invest. With Solshare there is no restriction on who can invest. With VNM it is limited to customers of a utility.

    We agree that most people may not be concerned with legal ownership and it is an issue that may never come up with this project. However if something goes wrong with a project and the utility controlling VNM decides to pull the plug or make dramatic changes to the program the investors will have less rights than if they were legal owners.

    We find that some people don’t like the idea of a large unaccountable corporation being the gatekeeper for these projects.

    Yes, the rate Solshare charges means that that there is a limited number of potential sites. However, we do now have two sites and there are many more that would work. We have identified over 2 MW of potential additional sites. So right now the limiting factor is investment – not sites.

    Posted on 9:41 pm - January 22, 2018

    EBITDA is only one measure we use. Our audited financial statements and long term projections include other measures such as net income as well. The 5 reasons given in the article really don’t apply to Solshare as I will explain.

    5. Long term assets needs are clearly shown in our long-term projections. This is one of the reasons we use EBITDA. The difference between EBITDA and dividends allows investors to see the amount of cash kept as cash reserves for asset replacement. This would not be as clear using other measures.  
    4. Debt service is not an issue for Solshare since we have no debt and no need to take any on.
    3. There are no working capital needs for photovoltaic projects since operating costs are low if any.
    2. Of course it doesn’t adhere to GAAP – which is why we include all the other measures and have audits done.
    1. EBITDA might not be a determinant for cash flow for some business. But in the case of Solshare were there is no interest (the I in EBITDA) and no taxes (the T) it does show accurately show cash flow.

    What measure do you think we should use?

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