Community Power Fund (CPF) has announced the approval of six new grants to communities across Ontario. The projects include a First Nations small-hydro project in the northwestern Ontario, a solar/wind project at a mosque in Maple, a co-operatively owned wind farm west of Kitchener, a solar/geothermal project at the Buckhorn Community Center, a Toronto housing co-operative solar thermal initiative, and a First Nations biomass cogeneration plant near North Bay.

The approval of these six applications represents an investment of over $179,000 in sustainable community development.

It is wonderful to see these projects moving forward given all of the barriers communities face when they pursue a renewable energy project in Ontario, CPF’s Program Manager Meghan MacLennan said. The projects represent a cross section of Ontario and reflect how community power can be harnessed by all Ontarians.

This grant will enable us to determine the best course of action that is both feasible and environmentally responsible, said Director of the Buckhorn Community Centre, Sean Flanagan. Without the CPFund grant, we would not have been able to explore the feasibility of doing a renewable energy project in our community.

While these projects are a good model for other community efforts, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Ontario needs legislation that will help remove barriers and level the playing field for community power, CPF Executive Director Deb Doncaster said. The Green Energy Act will be the seminal piece of legislation providing support for Community Power in Ontario.