Solar Investment Opportunities
The WSC's Solar Investment Opportunity Program (SIOP) offers a way for WSC members to invest in renewable energy projects that reduce carbon emissions and earn dividends.
For as little as $1,000, WSC members can purchase shares in SIOP projects the co-op initiates with companies or organizations that own buildings or property and are looking for ways to lower their carbon footprint.
Working with the WSC allows these companies to be environmentally responsible without investing valuable company capital.
The WSC signs long term agreements with building owners to install solar panels on their roofs or property. The capital required for the solar installations is raised though share sales to co-op members. . The WSC then earns revenue from the solar installations by collecting a fee from the owners roughly based on the power the installations produce.
These funds are used by the WSC to cover the costs of maintenance for the project and generate a dividend for shareholders. Over the term of the project, the shares pay out dividends. Initial member investments qualify for RRSP & TFSA tax benefits.
Because the WSC generally builds larger projects (over 100 panels) the co-op is able to secure better pricing for its projects. Projects only proceed once they are fully funded so there are no associated borrowing costs.
Agreements with partners are set so as power rates increase, the co-op fee also increases.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the SIOP please call John at 306.584.8259 or Susan at 306.552.8528.
Partnering with Wascana Solar Co-op
Saskatchewan companies and organizations looking to reduce their carbon footprint without spending large amounts of capital can partner with WSC by offering roof or property space for solar installations.
Working through the WSC’s Solar Investment Opportunity Program, our co-op raises financing for solar installations through share offerings to our members. Our partners provide a space for the solar installations and gain valuable community standing for lowering their carbon emissions while actually spending little in capital investment..
It is integral to our operating mandate we work with partners in the community who have an awareness of the issue of climate change and are willing to act in the interests of environmental sustainability.
How it Works
The way the program works is WSC would pay for the capital costs of the solar Installation and our partner would agree to pay us a management fee roughly based on the power produced by the solar panels. Basically, our partner lends us the use of their roof or property and we bill them the amount the solar panels would save them on their SaskPower bill. This arrangement must be approved under SaskPower’s Net Metering Program.
To ensure this arrangement operates effectively (if we are using a roof) there are a few requirements needed to see if the building is "Solar Ready". First, we need an engineer’s report confirming that the weight of the system and wind load and uplift are compatible with the structural integrity of the building. This assessment is done prior to any signed agreement as without a proper structure the project can't go ahead. This engineering report can be performed by any P.Eng with suitable qualifications either hired from an outside engineering firm or if the partner organization has in house engineering expertise that is willing to review and sign off on the project that is also acceptable.
Secondly we like to see a condition assessment of the roof. As our solar systems are designed to last 25+ years we want to ensure the roof it is sitting on will have a similar remaining life span. As an example if the roof is 20 years old and has deteriorated then in 5 - 10 years our system would have to be removed so that the roof can be replaced. There is added cost to your roof system replacement because all the panels and equipment would have to first be taken down and then replaced again after the roof work is completed.
If the roof has been recently replaced then this is the best case scenario as the design life of the newer roof will align with that of the new solar system.
In some cases where the roof system is still in good shape but is in the middle of its life span we can established an agreement that the extra cost to remove and replace the solar system will be born by the building owner.
Lastly a quick review of the electrical system is done to ensure there are no large additional upgrades required in order to integrate the solar system. The electrical work to connect the solar system to the building is covered under by our project.
Benefits of partnering with WSC and having an SIOP project installed on your building or property include the ability to have a solar system installed at no capital cost, as WSC members pay for the solar system through a share offering. There is no increase in power costs to your company or organization to go green. You pay the approximate net total for your power bill you would have without the system installed. The only change is that the credited amount of power produced by the system through the SaskPower Net Metering Program is paid to WSC.
Your company can also gain community recognition for doing something to improve the climate. Your organization and your clients will be able to see in real time how much green energy you are producing and how much you are reducing carbon emissions. Your marketing efforts can take advantage of your green initiative.
For further information about partnering with Wascana Solar Co-op please call John at 306.529.9350 or Susan at 306.552.8528.
Wascana Solar Co-op (WSC) will be holding our third Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Wednesday, May 27 starting at 7:30 pm. Due to the restrictions of COVID 19 this will be an online meeting. All members currently holding a Class A member share can participate.
SaskPower announced Thursday that the program has now reached the 16MW cap and will no longer be accepting applications until further notice.