Zero upfront cost, community-ownership model for solar
Why partner with us?
We can work with First Nations to develop renewable energy generation both on and off reserves . They can be part-owners or full owners of these utilities.
SolShare Energy’s ownership model is especially suited to remote indigenous communities that are currently using diesel generators for power. The model allows regular community members to become part owners of their community’s energy supply along with the local councils. SolShare also has grants available to indigenous governments to allow them to become owners of these projects.
During plant construction, local workers are employed and paid both in wages and shares. By owning shares, community members receive dividend payments every year after the construction is finished. Also, a portion of profits can be used to increase local ownership of the plant on an ongoing basis.
How We Are Different
SolShare Energy was formed as subsidiary of a worker’s co-operative. We follow the principles of the co-operative movement. As such we place ourselves firmly in the larger solidarity economy. We aim to prioritize social profitability instead of purely financial profits and value participatory and democratic decision-making processes.
Our parent company, VREC, has experience installing hundreds of residential and commercial solar energy systems. Two of these were in remote indigenous communities in Nunavut. We were invited to do the second installation based on the positive experience the first community had. In both cases, we offered public information sessions on the project and provided work and learning opportunities for residents. We have also installed a system at the Doig River First Nation in BC.
We were invited to present at an energy symposium on Haida Gwaii about transitioning from diesel power to solar energy. We were then invited back to give additional public presentations sponsored by the Council of the Haida Nation.
Carol Anne Hilton, CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute, serves as an advisor to the SolShare board on Indigenous issues.
What We Finance
SolShare finances solar projects that can help achieve environmental, social, and economic outcomes. We have a team of experienced professionals who have been building solar energy projects in BC since 2004.
Working with a fund specifically for co-op projects, SolShare has access to additional capital for at least 5 megawatts (MW) of solar energy plants. This funding can also be combined with funding from other levels of government to increase the size of the projects.
We can work with you to assess the suitability of your site for solar. Generally, site requirements include:
- Flat roof or south-facing sloped roof with at least 360 square metres (4,000 sq. ft.), clear and not shaded
- Annual electrical consumption of at least 36,000 kWh