Co-Op Meeting Notes December 18, 2018

Athabasca Renewable Energy Co-op

Initiators Meeting

Present: Harvey Scott, Rosemary Neaves, Robert Chernish, Wayne Brehaut, Jean Brehaut, Lisa Allan, Penny Joseph, Rusty Bellamy, Mike Gismondi, Bruce Jackson, Lori Claterhout

The meeting was held on Treaty 6 territory, the traditional lands of many Indigenous and Métis peoples, in the Train Station, Athabasca, AB.

Discussion with Seth Leon, Alberta Community and Co-operative Assoc. (ACCA) via teleconference.

  • “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
  • Community members own something together to meet a need and share the risk. What is the need? What is the scope? Who are your members?
  • Make a work plan to understand the need, members, scope and feasibility.
    • Committee could be formed
    • Need to understand regulations, competition, customers
    • Talk to specialists if possible
    • Identify potential partners in the community

        • Municipalities
        • University
        • School Board
        • Private Businesses
        • Rural property owners
    • Research available grants and funding opportunities
  • Create your “pitch”

Items to be considered for vision statement:

  • There should be no net carbon produced by the renewable energy.
  • Membership shares should be affordable and membership means 1 member, 1 vote.
  • Consideration should be given when taking arable/productive land out of use for projects. Is this the highest and best use for this land?

Discussion was held on the following:

  • Why renewables for Athabasca and region?

    It will benefit the community in multiple ways:
      • energy security
      • reducing carbon footprint
      • job creation
      • local investment
      • local ownership of essential services
  • What would be the most likely projects be?
    • Community scale solar installation close to high volume user (water treatment plant, airport, industrial, farm/rural community, University grounds)
    • Rooftop solar installations on municipal or commercial buildings
    • Consumer level installations – co-op owns equipment and leases to members
    • Solar installation company
    • Investment co-op (PACE funder)
  • What other renewables could be considered?
      • Geothermal
      • Hydro
      • Biomass/Biogas
      • Wind
  • Who would be the most likely partners?
    • Athabasca County
    • Town of Athabasca
    • First Nations
    • Rural property owners
    • Athabasca University
    • school division
    • private businesses
  • What’s Next?
    • Create committee to build business plan “pitch”. Includes feasibility study, research grants and funding, confirm and understand regulations and pricing.
    • Meet with possible partners to deliver pitch and share information on how renewable energy could benefit them.
    • Start process to make co-op official.
    • Create communication tools to build interest (Website, Facebook page, newsletter, posters).
    • Collect information via surveys & workshops.

Next Meeting:

  • January 22, 2019 6-8 pm, Train Station, Athabasca, AB


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s