Janice Ashworth

Janice Ashworth, Operations Manager, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op.
Janice Ashworth

Operations Manager, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op
Ottawa, Ontario

Schools are a perfect location

What the Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-op has learned since we started out—about growing renewable energy in Canada—is that schools are a perfect location for renewable energy projects because they are community hubs. The projects immediately attract attention from the general public, teachers, students, parents and the media. School boards also make great partners because they tend to have a long term perspective.

A deeper understanding of a low carbon future

Another benefit of partnering with schools is that the green energy projects provide an ongoing learning experience for students. Our projects are ultimately an educational tool that allow for a deeper understanding of a low carbon future. We’ve seen science teachers make a connection between the energy our projects generate, the students’ personal energy consumption and the school’s consumption. We’ve also seen schools display photos of rooftop solar panels beside real-time production data in the lobby for everyone to see.

The uplifting impact of collective action

Many Canadians tend to suffer from analysis paralysis when it comes to the environment; we are given so much information, we don’t know the best place to start. I believe the way to overcome this challenge is through collective action. We have seen the uplifting impact of collective action first hand through our members and their reaction to seeing the projects they have enabled.

OREC partners with local property owners to use their land or rooftops for community-owned renewable power projects—benefitting the land owners, co-op members and the environment. Bullfrog provides OREC funding to help the co-op continue to build community support.

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