To provide a method for individuals to invest in renewable energy projects through effective partnerships between communities and individuals.
To bring together citizens and organizations to create a prosperous energy industry in Ontario that benefits everyone – through education, empowerment and participation.
As a co-operative, CED Co-op is guided by the 7 Co-operative Principles, and as a renewable energy developer, the principles of socially responsible investment.
CED Co-op is championing the acceleration of renewable energy development in Ontario. We are a community of like-minded individuals working together to build meaningful and impactful projects that improve the lives of everyone.
The CED co-op is celebrating its 10th Anniversary in 2022. Over the past 10 years the Co-operative has focused on solar energy development in Ontario. Over the next decade we will be concentrating on additional initiatives such as the carbon credit market, electrification of vehicles, energy-efficient fleets, green buildings, and virtual/community net-metering energy markets.
The CED Co-op began as a team of visionaries and renewable energy experts who wanted to provide friends and family with an environmentally-friendly way to invest. Inspired by renewable energy and how it can make our world a better place, we started our story with a small handful of solar projects in our hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo. Since then, the CED Co-op has grown to host over 100 projects Ontario-wide. Our membership has grown too! We now have over 800 members supporting our renewable energy developments.
Community Energy Development Co-operative was incorporated in the Province of Ontario under the Co-op Act on October 31, 2012, as a for-profit co-operative with share capital. CED Co-op was formed in response to several market factors:
The Ontario FIT Program
The Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) developed the Feed-in-tariff (FIT) Program for the Province of Ontario to encourage and promote greater use of Renewable Energy in Ontario. The fundamental objective of the FIT Program, in conjunction with the Green Energy and Green Economy Act and Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, was to facilitate the increased development of renewable energy generating facilities of varying sizes, technologies and configurations via a standardized, open, and fair process.
FIT Program Focus on Community Ownership
Through the various versions of the FIT Program, there were several successive sets of rule changes, rate changes, and changes in the mechanisms and processes for the awarding of contracts. Many of the changes in the rules and the contract process increased the likelihood of receiving contracts for community projects structured through co-operatives.
Economic Development Model
With changing rates and rule sets, evolving technologies, and increased pressure on project economics it was, and remains, difficult for an individual Project owner to fully inform themselves of the rules and technology in order to design and construct an optimized, contracted, Renewable Energy Facility. Taking a portfolio approach to project development gives CED Co-op access to higher levels of expertise and reduced risk.
Challenging the Economics for Small Projects
Modern, free-market energy generation projects come at steep upfront costs. Residential solar projects cost anywhere between $25,000 and $40,000 depending on their location, material selection, installation method and electrical design. Federal Grants are relied upon to make them prosperous, while provincial energy subsidies (Ontario Electricity Rebate) challenge the payback. Navigating this as a homeowner can feel burdensome over the investment horizon when they just want to make a difference. The CED Coop is focused on projects at scale. Through larger projects our members and investors accelerate change.
The Co-operative is investigating new, alternative ways that green technology, such as heat pumps, can simplify and improve the economics of electrification for individuals. Projects such as solar, energy storage and electric vehicle chargers all function better with scale and create better opportunities for investing with impact.
Changing the Landscape for Energy
From the latest IESO planning report (Annual Planning Outlook 2021) all sectors including mining, transit, buildings, agriculture, etc will continue to drive heavier demand on our electricity system. For example, the advent of electric vehicles (passenger, public buses, school buses and heavy equipment) will add up to 20% demand year over year for the next decade. This is an unprecedented increase in our planned consumption of power. The CED Co-op is positioning itself to focus on technologies that support the increasingly evident challenges our province faces. We will support organizations most impacted by these systemic shifts through power purchase agreements (PPAs) or equipment leases.
We want to build on our success. In order to continue to expand our impact, we are focusing on growing our membership. The Co-operative is investing in improving our online presence to make it easier to become a member and engage. Currently in development, our modernized member services portal is designed to simplify the process of joining and investing with the Co-operative. This new securities platform will enable the Co-operative to verify and trade carbon credits, while providing streamlined self-serve investment functionality for our members.
CED Co-op is governed by our Board of Directors, comprised of industry insiders, consisting of up to 11 directors elected by the membership. The current board members are:
Dale Brubacher-Cressman is one of the founders of CED and has served in several leadership roles. He is one of the owners of solar developer Vigor Clean Tech and served as its President until May of 2016. As an engineer / executive, Dale previously spent 17 years at BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion) helping build the company from start-up to a globally recognized corporation. As a Program Manager and reporting directly to the Chief Operating Officer, Dale oversaw all aspects of product development including product and market definition, hardware and software development, quality assurance, new product introduction and manufacturing. In addition to his work in the solar industry, Dale has served on the board of directors for a number of organizations, including Kindred Credit Union, Aeryon Labs, Sustainable Waterloo Region and Lucid Energy Technologies.
Steve has an extensive background in solar PV, both technical and project development. He has built and designed his own installation from scratch and was also responsible for EPC execution of the FRV/SunEdison Apex Solar development in North Las Vegas, NV. Steve has also held several general management positions, both with ABB and with Plexal Group in Perth, Australia. At Plexal Group, Steve reported to the board of directors and interacted extensively with them including navigating the business through the Global Financial Crisis and managing cash reserves very tightly. Typically, Steve is part of the front-end development of opportunities and he brings strong risk management/mitigation skills and to ensure that once secured, the opportunity can be delivered with predictable and desired outcomes. Steve has been a licensed Professional Engineer (POE) since 1988 and completed his MBA in 2012, while working full-time. He likes the challenge of a difficult problem and brings his diverse background and collaborative nature to his assignments.