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  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 12:06 PM | Anonymous

    June 19 - 23, 2017 

    The International Renewable Energy Academy (IREA) highlighted the Oxford Community Energy Cooperative and their community wind project as a demonstration of leadership in renewable generation. 

    Academics and professionals from around the globe travelled to York University to participate in a five day immersive training course on community renewable power. 

    Starting the week at York University,  IREA members completed the RETScreen training course and heard from innovative leaders in renewable energy and community power. Speakers included; Greg Leng, the creator of RETScreen and Donna Cansfield, former Minster of Energy and Natural Resources. 

    On Wednesday June 21, participants toured the Silfab Manufacturing facility to view  the process of producing solar panels. IREA then arrived in Oxford for the experiential component of their training. They toured multiple renewable projects in Oxford including many solar installations in Woodstock. 

    Thursday June 22, the academy visited the Gunn's Hill Wind Farm, the first project completed by the Oxford Community Energy Cooperative. Participants were overwhelmed with excitement at the opportunity to visit Ontario's first community-owned wind farm. Joined by our partners from Prowind Canada and supported by Six Nations of the Grand River, OCEC shared the story of Gunn's Hill with IREA members. 

    The inaugural year for the academy was a tremendous success, OCEC is very proud to be a partner in learning with; 


    For more information on the International Renewable Energy Academy, click here
  • Thursday, February 02, 2017 3:09 PM | Anonymous

    Ontario's first community wind farm powers almost 7,000 homes 

    By Gideon Forman, climatechange policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation

    Miranda Fuller looks over the 10 turbines on Gunn's Hill Wind Farm in southern Ontario's Oxford County, a lush region of farmland and small cities between London and Kitchener. "They're magical!" she says.

    The project, which started running late last year and now produces enough electricity to power some 6,700 local homes, is Ontario's first community-sponsored wind farm. If the word "magical" is not wholly accurate — the turbines are no illusion, after all — it does capture some of Gunn's Hill's uniqueness. From many points of view, it's an extraordinary undertaking.

    Fuller, 24, grew up in Oxford and, after studying environmental ethics at nearby Wilfrid Laurier University, became communications director at the Oxford Community Energy Co-operative, one of the organizations that gave Gunn's Hill life. (Other key partners were the Six Nations of the Grand River and project developer Prowind Canada Inc.)

    She tells me the co-op of just 180 members raised a staggering $9 million — much of it from investments of $1,000 to $10,000 by individuals living in the county. Ron Seftel, CEO of investor Bullfrog Power says, "Local folks put in a ton of work" to make Gunn's Hill possible. Today, almost half its bonds and shares, 49 per cent, are in the hands of Oxford residents and businesses. Community-based yet wonderfully ambitious, it is the largest renewable energy co-op project to gain approval in Ontario. It's also Canada's first wind initiative to feature both co-op and Indigenous ownership.

    Beyond its significant size — it will supply an impressive 15 per cent of Oxford's 100 per cent renewable electricity goal — the project creates a bond between citizens and their power generation. "Too often, people are cut off from their power supply," Fuller says. "It's important to see your energy source. Seeing the turbines helps you connect with the energy you're using." Living close to the windmills — and in some cases gaining employment from them — gives locals a stake in the system and makes them more likely to support pro-renewable public policy.

    Gunn's Hill also helps conserve agricultural land. Fuller tells the story of one landowner family that joined the co-op because they've run a farm for six generations and want to protect it from development for as long as possible. With 20-year contracts underwriting the turbines, putting them on property means it can't be paved for at least two decades, if not longer.

    The project wasn't without obstacles. During its development, Fuller recalls, "Some locals didn't support it. But since it was built, we're not seeing much pushback. People fear what they don't know. So you need to give people factual information. There's been a shift in attitude since the project became operational." One piece of information that diminishes opposition is the fact that windmills offer residents income. "Local people's investment in winddoes ease contention," Fuller says.

    In a phone interview with the David Suzuki Foundation, Fuller explains why windspeaks to her personally. "I absolutely worry about climate change. Denying it would be foolish. Windis one of the technologies that can help us get off fossil fuel. It helps us become energy-independent."

    She doesn't hesitate to offer advice to other municipalities contemplating local power projects: "Be prepared to be surprised by the community's passion for renewables. Keep moving forward — the end is worth it. They're magical, the wind turbines. They bring a lot of hope."

    link to article click here 


  • Wednesday, December 21, 2016 12:14 PM | Anonymous
    Thanks to the incredible work of our partners, members, investors and supporters the Gunn's Hill Wind Farm has reached Commercial Operation as of November 14, 2016. The Gunn's Hill Wind Farm is a milestone achievement for OCEC and would not have been possible without the right partners. We would like to thank Prowind Canada and Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation for their assistance and support in making this project a possibility. 


    Moving forward OCEC is excited to bring new investment opportunities in renewable generation to the residents of Oxford and continue to be your local renewable energy co-op in 2017. 

  • Wednesday, December 23, 2015 5:44 PM | Helmut Schneider (Administrator)

    On behalf of the Oxford Community Energy Co-operative and our President Helmut Schneider, I extend our congratulations to Mayor Molnar on his participation and support in the excellent video.  His supporting comments regarding economic development in Oxford County and the positive impact for the community of Tillsonburg show excellent, progressive community leadership.  It is refreshing to see a Mayor who states the facts surrounding an issue and supports initiatives taken by industry that benefit their community.  The Oxford Community Energy Co-operative very much appreciates his permission to link the Renewable Energy video to our website.  We feel that collective positive energy regarding the topic of renewables is supportive to what communities in Oxford County and Canada are thinking and wanting.

     

     https://www.siemens.ca/WEB/PORTAL/EN/ABOUTUS/TRUSTED-PARTNER/Pages/Tillsonburg.aspx

  • Thursday, October 22, 2015 10:03 AM | Christine Koenig

    The OCEC is very happy to let their members, investors and supporters know that the appeal to the Renewable Energy Approval for the Gunn's Hill Wind Farm has been dismissed. Construction has started and the turbines will be up and running in summer 2016.

    For more information click here to download our latest press release on this.

  • Friday, October 16, 2015 1:31 PM | Christine Koenig

    OCEC is proud to announce that a total of 3.68 MW of solar projects across Oxford County have been submitted under the current FIT 4.0 procurement window. The capital expenditure for these projects, should they all be awarded contracts, is anticipated to be in the range of $10 -11 million.

    We expect to learn from the IESO if and how many of our project applications are successful in summer or 2016 latest.


  • Friday, October 16, 2015 1:04 PM | Christine Koenig

    On October 3rd 2015 Woodstock Hydro, Arntjen Solar, Ecamion, Fanshawe College, Ryerson University, Oxford Community Energy Co-op, Oxford County and the City of Woodstock met with close to 200 guests, politicians and media during a ‘Passport Station Tour’ theme to learn about sustainable energy development in Woodstock Ontario.

    Watch the video of the event or read what the media had to say or view more

    photos in the SNAPD.


  • Monday, October 05, 2015 6:10 PM | Christine Koenig

    Here's a link to the full speech Mark Carney gave in London on September 29th at an insurers' meeting:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=25&v=V5c-eqNxeSQ


    "For Carney's audience at a Lloyd's of London black tie dinner, the issue is not a matter of left or right politics, but a matter of profit and loss.

    Insurance companies often pay the bills when storms and flooding do their damage. Climate change is likely to make those insurable crises worse.

    But perhaps more important, against those potential losses, insurance companies hold trillions of dollars in assets invested in all kinds of stocks and bonds. And Carney said those assets were threatened. Carney warned that oil, gas and coal companies may be worth far less than their current book value would suggest.

    That's because a big part of their assets includes fossil fuel resources discovered but not yet extracted. Fears about climate change could render the vast majority of reserves "stranded," said Carney. In other words, the reserves would be left in the ground and unextractable.

    The other part of Carney's warning was the danger that climate change would mean the entire global economy would become less productive, shrinking the future value of certain investment holdings.

    "In the fullness of time, climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer-term prosperity," Carney said in his speech. "While there is still time to act, the window of opportunity is finite and shrinking."

    writes CBC reporter Don Pittis about Carney's speech

  • Wednesday, September 30, 2015 2:30 PM | Christine Koenig

    OCEC's Director Christine Koenig was invited by the World Wind Energy Association to provide insights into community wind projects in Canada at the international HUSUM WIND tradeshow and congress on September 15th in Germany. She was further invited to join the panel discussion on the effects of tenders on the ability of renewable energy co-operatives and SMEs to participate in the wind energy developments of the future.

    Christine's presentation "Sharing the Wind in Canada" can be downloaded here!

    A link to the event and a summary is provided below:

    http://www.wwindea.org/community-power-husum-wind/

  • Monday, June 15, 2015 1:24 PM | Christine Koenig

    Follow the link below to get a snap shot of how other Canadian communities are harvesting the benefits from wind energy:

    http://ourpower.ca/2015-06-11-wind-energy-blows-close-to-home-for-these-communities/

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