News

AGRIS Solar Gardens Update

memberupdate

Dear Members

This Member update is solely to update our Members with the current status of the production of the solar gardens. Since our last update on July 1st, a few Members have called for a clearer understanding of the process involved with getting the solar gardens connected to the system.

AGRIS Solar Gardens

As previously mentioned the pre mobilization site specific work has been completed. This includes all the following:

  1. Field Surveys,
  2. Ground Resistivity Testing
  3. Field Geotechnical Structural Analysis
  4. Site Layouts
  5. Issued For Construction Site Drawings/Layouts
  6. Site Specific Electrical Safety Authority Drawings
  7. Major Equipment Procurement

Connection

As described before, these are 7 ½ acre, 500 kW power plants. The energy generated from just one (we are 10) of the gardens has a crucial impact on the daily mix the Ontario Power Generation (OPG) need to deal with in conjunction with the nuclear, wind, hydro and other power producing sources across Ontario. As such, this process is very different from connecting one unit constructed behind the barn to the closest transformer or meter. We are now connecting to the high power distribution lines feeding transformer stations across Ontario.

The most critical factor to determining when the project will be connected is the project’sIn Service Date. The In Service Date is a date supplied by Hydro One based on their ability to connect projects to the grid. The process begins with a “kick-off” meeting at which the technical specifications and local resources are assessed to determine the timeline for connection. At the kick-off meeting a tentative date is set. Hydro One then follows up and sets an official In Service Date. To date, we have had 6 of our 10 required “kick-off” meeting with Hydro One to determine the timing for connection of the projects we have currently tentative received 6 of our 10 dates. We estimate that 6 dates will be confirmed for this year.

Construction Process

With this in mind we have started construction on the 8 Timiskaming, Ontario sites now and will begin construction of the 2 Picton sites by the end of the month. Keeping in mind we do not have official In Service Dates we will only continue to construct to a point until it is more prudent to stop and wait for the In Service Dates. The construction process to date has been very smooth, although we have had a few municipal issues it is nice to report that it has been full speed ahead. As mentioned above these are small 500kW power plants and are required to have the local municipally and community embrace these projects. We are very happy to report that the locals are extremely pleased with our development plans and we have completed the process of obtaining 911’s for all the properties and access roads have been approved and built.

Although all the sites are at various stages of completion stages that have been completed are:

  • Clearing
  • Electric Houses, solar panels and trackers have all been procured
  • Perimeter Fencing
  • Construction Equipment Staged

Over the next 30-45 days the following will be completed:

  • Security Systems
  • Trenching and laying of the DC conductors

Our goal is to get as many of the task completed without any risk to the Co-op if the tentative dates of connection are moved out by Hydro One. We are not expecting delays but and the same time we will always proceed with minimal risks.

We are working on setting up a place on the website that will provide pictures and updates through the process. Please stay tuned.

As you know the process has been long and in the past it always felt like with every two steps forward the next day was one step back. It is very gratifying that daily we are taking one step forward with a finish line clearly in sight.

Direct Deposit

Just another reminder, we are changing to direct deposit in 2015 (December 31, 2014 cheques). If you have not sent a VOID cheque in to the address below, please do so. If we do not receive your VOID cheque we will assume the current mail option is your preference.

As always we appreciate the calls or emails from Members when you notice issues with the units, please keep sending them into Jackie Flynn at Jackief@sparksolar.ca or call 1-877-247-4701.

Please call or email with any questions.

Thank you,

AGRIS Solar Co-operative Inc.

sean_signature

Sean Kelly

Director Member Services, Government Relations
Spark Solar
1315 North Service Road East, Suite 300
Oakville, Ontario L6H 1A7
Tel: (905)829-3336 x141
Mobile: (416)919-1890
Email: seank@sparksolar.ca

News

Member Update

memberupdate

Dear Members

I am pleased to announce that we have received all the FIT contracts from the OPA that are required to proceed with the AGRIS Solar Co-op project. Although this now guarantees our $0.802 price and our connection the next steps are to submit our Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) to Hydro One. This will give us our cost to connect and provide us with a key component in getting our Notice to Proceed (NTP) from the OPA. This process should take 70-80 days which would have us start construction in mid March 2014.

Agris solar Co-operative Gardens

As mentioned above “The Gardens” are 50 – 10kW projects combined into 1 – 500 kW power plant that is located on 1 – 7 ½ acre plot of land. The following diagram is a engineering drawing of what one would look like:

 garden

The Garden also has the capabilities of having an overbuild of 20% which would bring the capacity of each Garden to 600 kW.

Please note that we will be changing to direct deposit in 2014 and would appreciate if everyone coul mail me a VOID cheque to the address below over the next 60 days.

The team at Spark Solar would also like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

We always appreciate the calls or emails from Members when you notice issues with the units, please keep sending them into Jackie Flynn at 1-877-247-4701.

Please call with any questions.

AGRIS Solar Co-operative Inc.

Sean Kelly
Director Member Services, Government Relations
AGRIS Solar Co-operative
Tel: (905)829-3336 x141
Mobile: (416)919-1890
Email: seank@sparksolar.ca

News

Member Update

memberupdate

Dear Members

I would first like to apologies for not submitting an update last month, the last 60 days has gone by very quickly and it seemed every day during this period the progress with the AGRIS Solar Co-operative project was changing. I am pleased to announce that we have started to receive our FIT contracts from the OPA. The first one came in last week and we expect another 3 soon. As a reminder the reason this is such a huge milestone is that it cements the future of this program and allows us to build and get to final completion. As a reminder this process allows the Co-op to transfer 50 individualmicroFIT conditional offers into 1 FIT contract all at $0.802 / kW.

Agris solar Co-operative Gardens

As mentioned above “The Gardens” are 50 – 10kW projects combined into 1 – 500 kW power plant that is located on 1 – 7 ½ acre plot of land. The following diagram is a engineering drawing of what one would look like:

garden

The Garden also has the capabilities of having an overbuild of 20% which would bring the capacity of each Garden to 600 kW.

 

20 Year Payments

I have recently been asked by a few Members the following question; “How does the delay effect my payments”.

 

All current Members who have been receiving lease payment (7 ½ % returns on their initial $20,000 investment) will receive 20 years of Lease Payments and 20 years of Preferred Share Payments when the Preferred Payments begins. If you were to review the original Offering Statement, the payments went out until 2031, this will now increase by the number or years we have been delayed or approximately 2035/2036.

 

Please note a NEW Member starting in 2014, would only receive payments for 20 years from the time they sign up. Their Membership has no affect on the original Members other than they would contribute to absorbing the cost of the Co-op over more Members.

 

We understand that it has been a longer delay then originally planned. We have managed through many obstacles over this delay and we feel that we have come out ahead of where we originally all planned to be. The next two months will involve the final signoff by Hydro One and the Ministry of Environment that the properties we have chosen to build the Solar Gardens can get connected (this is called the CIA or Connection Impact Assessment) and pass all environmental requirements (this is called the EASR or Environmental Activity and Sector Registry).  Please note that if one of our properties do not pass either the CIA or EASR the OPA will allow us to move to a new property. We are very confident that we have done our diligence on each of the properties and do not see any issues.

 

I will update everyone again in December, at this time we will have all our contracts and be much further ahead on the above mentioned process.

 

We always appreciate the calls or emails from Members when you notice issues with the units, please keep sending them into Jackie Flynn at 1-877-247-4701.

Please call with any questions.

AGRIS Solar Co-operative Inc.

Sean Kelly
Director Member Services, Government Relations
AGRIS Solar Co-operative
Tel: (905)829-3336 x141
Mobile: (416)919-1890
Email: seank@sparksolar.ca

News

Member Update

Dear Members

Although a short update, things are moving forward!

We receive our DRAFT Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) from the OPA and have been in negotiations/discussions over a few issues and should have the actual PPA by the end of the month. We have been in constant communication with the OPA, the Ministry of Energy and the Premier office discussing the progress of our contracts for all the constrained conditional offers the Co-op holds. The discussions are very positive and based on past progress the speed in which items are now being addressed is much quicker.

We have been able to submit all our new properties for transmission testing and will next have the distribution testing completed. The short form of the environmental testing will be happening over the fall and at the same time of connection impact assessment.

It is very clear that all levels of the government are working towards having us complete our construction as soon as possible and getting connected. It has been a long road, but the path is much clearer and we are moving forward.

Maintenance / Service

To address Members who have units installed on their properties and have been seeing some issues with rotation of the unit. We are currently replacing the boards and will address the units we feel are having the largest impact on production first.

Those that might have issues but are not having an impact will be serviced as we do our regular annual maintenance. We always appreciate the call or emails from Members when they notice issues with the units and please keep them coming.

All Members should have received their July payments. If you have not, please contact me. We hope everyone is having a great summer and we look forward to reporting more progress in getting the remainder of the co-op and the future Members units installed on the AGRIS Solar Co-operative Gardens.

Please call with any questions.

AGRIS Solar Co-operative Inc.

Sean Kelly
Director Member Services, Government Relations
AGRIS Solar Co-operative
Tel: (905)829-3336 x141
Mobile: (416)919-1890
Email: seank@sparksolar.ca