Community energy or community solar in our context is a solar photovoltaic installation located within the target community, ideally installed at the roof of a civic owned building if not ground mounted. The system is financed by the community members, individuals, businesses and organizations. In other words, the community pools financial resources to build a co-owned generation asset. Once the system is up and running, the value of the generated electricity is returned back to community investors. A group of people are uniting to meet their economic & social goal, sounds familiar?
Crowdsourcing is a collective effort by people who network and pool their funds together. Essentially it is a financing solution which can substitute traditional sources by removing the hurdles such as cost of capital and collateralization. We have seen internet’s power of raising funds and eliminating distance-related economic frictions, initially with Kickstarter and then with 2018’s Initial Coin Offering wave.
Crowdsourcing is known to create unique social cooperation and network effects and our goal has been implementing a co-ownership model since day one. We believe in creating opportunities, sharing, equality and we are hoping to create such positive effects within the community.
Co-operative is an association of people gathered to meet and work towards a common social, environmental and economic growth & development need. By its nature coops are autonomous and transparent, coops are often associated with concepts such as democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. Co-op model is widely used in joint ownership models e.g community housing and renewable energy co-ops.
The term opportunity development co-op as in use in Alberta, is defined as a for-profit co-operative, qualifying as a Community Economic Development Corporation. Enerjee’s opportunity development co-op will be responsible of collecting local funds – but not only local funds – by selling membership and investment securities to community members in order to develop renewable energy infrastructure.