Athabasca Renewable Energy Co-op
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
- 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?
- 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.
- January 22, 2019 6-8 pm, Train Station, Athabasca, AB