The Solar Panel Hosting Company in Colorado is part of a team developing a subscriber organization based on the Toronto Renewable Energy Cooperative to support at least 13 solar gardens around the state.
Imagine a low-risk bond with a return of 5 percent. Now imagine that bond supporting the development of local solar projects. That's what TREC Renewable Energy Cooperative did when it created SolarShare Community bonds.
The return rates of the $1,000 (Canadian) bonds are made possible because of Ontario's feed-in tariff (FiT). The FiT has created a low-risk environment, which means higher payments for photovoltaics and equipment made in the province.
"When you secure a feed-in tariff, it's a 20-year power-purchase agreement," said TREC spokesperson Rebecca Black. "The SolarShare bond is really unique and really ground breaking in a number of ways."
Bonds dividends are paid out biannually over the bond's five-year life. At 5 percent interest, each bond will yield $250 (Canadian) more than its original value.
The bonds, which were first offered in May 2011, are only available to residents and local businesses, according to Black.
After the five-year term, [the bondholder] can either cash it out or roll it over into a new bond," Black said.
The project already is supporting 18 community solar projects producing more than 600 kilowatts in the province.
Joy Hughes, Founder, Solar Gardens Institute http://www.solargardens.org
CEO, Solar Panel Hosting LLC http://www.solarpanelhosting.com