On a brisk November day, a curious crowd visited a recently completed 500 kilowatt solar power project in the heart of Alfred.

This project is the first of its kind in Canada thanks to the innovative partnership between the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative and the Keewaywin First Nation.

Francis Drouin, MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell; Jean-Pierre Cadieux, deputy mayor of the Township of Alfred-Plantagenet; and members of the co-operative learned about the project’s technical aspects and community benefits from Vadim Belotserkovsky, a member of its board of directors, and David Mazur-Goulet, its communications manager.

The Township of Alfred-Plantagenet will receive a percentage of the project’s annual revenue for the use of the land at 66 Du Moulin Street. Furthermore, this solar power system will feed 890,000 kWh of clean electricity into the Ontario grid annually for the next 20 years. This is equivalent to the power necessary to continuously power 100 homes for a year.

Hundreds of individuals invested as little as $2,500 to finance the project, making it the first community-owned solar power project in Prescott-Russell. Residents of Eastern Ontario will have the opportunity to invest in this project along with the entirety of the Co-operative’s portfolio this coming January.