SolarShare: 5-Year Solar Bonds

SolarShare ○

Offering Description

SolarShare is the largest renewable energy co-op in Canada in both membership and investment received. We are a non-profit cooperative with a mission to grow community-based renewable energy generation in Ontario to enable a faster transition to a low-carbon economy. SolarShare seeks to create a community of individuals and organizations who are knowledgeable and supportive of renewable energy, facilitating a faster transition to a low-carbon economy. Established in January 2010, SolarShare was created in order to improve the environment by purchasing, owning, and operating solar PV installations in the Province of Ontario. Ontarians, through SolarShare’s co-operative model, can now enjoy financial benefits from investing in co-operative owned commercial-scale solar PV installations through the purchase of Solar Bonds.

Capital raised figures include amounts raised both on and off platform

Investment Highlights

NOTE: SolarShare offers Solar Bonds with both 5-year and 15-year terms. This offering is for the 5-year bonds. 15 year bonds with a minimum investment of $10,000 are also available - Please click here to see that offering 
 

Investment: $39.2 million in Solar Bonds (Minimum investment: $1,000 for 5 year bonds)

Use of Proceeds
SolarShare has raised construction financing from separate sources to construct its solar projects. Once projects are built and are commercially operational, and generating revenue, they are re-financed with a combination of debt financing and Solar Bonds. Solar Bond holders thereby, are subject to no construction risk. By purchasing a Solar Bond, members will earn interest, which comes from the sale of renewable energy into the electricity grid. All proceeds of this offering will pay for the development and installation costs of the solar photovoltaic projects and the operations of SolarShare.  As of late 2017, SolarShare owns and operates 45 solar PV sites that have reached commercial operation and are generating electricity. Another 2 sites are currently in development with other opportunities in their pipeline.

Investment Structure
SolarShare Bonds are relatively simple debt instruments offering semi-annual interest payments.

Investment Opportunity
SolarShare is offering investors Solar Bonds available for 5-year and 15-year terms. 5-year bonds receive 5% fixed interest, maturing April 30, 2021. Interest is simple and paid twice yearly in June and December. 5-year bonds are RRSP and TFSA eligible. 15-year bonds receive 6% fixed interest maturing 2032. Interest is self-amortizing and is paid twice yearly six months from after the date of purchase of the bonds. 15-year bonds are RRIF eligible.

 If you are interested in 15-year bonds - Please click here to see that offering 

Please note that this is not a complete investment summary.  Investors should read all associated documentation including the offering memorandum and associated securities agreements before making any investment.

Competitive Advantage

There are many private companies competing for rooftops and land space in Ontario. However, they employ the traditional model of private finance, whereas SolarShare’s value proposition and competitive advantage comes from community investment and the use of the co-op model. There are two strategic advantages to this approach:

  • The FIT rules give priority to community-owned FIT projects.
  • Landlords benefit from SolarShare branding through grassroots community engagement.

SolarShare is established as a reputable owner and operator of solar installations in Ontario. Bond holders are not exposed to construction or development risk. When the solar projects are built and generating revenue, they are re-financed by bond holders. Additionally, operational risk is spread as bond holders are invested in all systems. The importance of community ownership of renewable energy assets cannot be overstated. In Germany, for example, close to half of all investment in renewable energy (over $14 billion) has come from individuals, co-ops and communities. This democratization of energy production has been described as one of the key reasons that the people of Germany are willing to pay more for electricity as coal and nuclear generating facilities are closed. By owning their renewable energy assets, citizens are earning more income while also reducing their future energy uncertainty.

Impact Narrative

SolarShare seeks to create a community of individuals and organizations who are knowledgeable and supportive of renewable energy, facilitating a faster transition to a low-carbon economy. By owning their renewable energy assets, SolarShare asserts that citizens are able to earn more income while also reducing their future energy uncertainty. In addition to the reduction of emissions compared with traditional sources of energy, SolarShare contributes to the impact objectives of the Green Energy Act which seeks to end the use of coal for its contribution to climate change and domestic job creation.

SolarShare's work directly supports the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy).

Impact Metric

SolarShare’s impact is threefold and includes environmental impact, social impact and economic impact.

Environmental: All of SolarShare’s projects have live monitoring of electricity generation, which can be viewed online via the SolarShare website (solarbonds.ca). As of October 2017, we have generated over 27,200,000 kWh from clean energy. Approximately 7 million kWh of clean electricity is generated annually, powering over 1,600 homes. Distributed energy improves grid efficiency and resilience while reducing greenhouse gases

Social: 50,000 people annually, through public events and 1,500 investors are engaged in renewable energy education and initiatives

Economic: Community generated power improves local economic impact by 50%. For each dollar invested into a feed-in tariff contract, two dollars are returned to the community.

Traction

To date, SolarShare has a completed portfolio of 47 solar projects with over 13 MW of installed capacity which is valued at over $55 million. The revenue model for the solar photovoltaic installation is reasonably predictable given the Ontario government’s (feed-in-tarriff) FIT contracts that pays a set price per kWh for 20 years.

Since our establishment in 2010, SolarShare has financed the building of solar photo-voltaic projects by raising up to $15 million in construction financing; secured $16 million in long-term debt from an insurance company and has raised over $32 million in Solar Bonds to refinance the completed projects. Over $2.4 million in interest payment have been returned to investors.

Risks

All private securities listed through online investment platforms and Exempt Market Dealers (EMDs) like SVX are likely to carry more risk than those available on the public markets. Our goal it to make you aware of those risks before making an investment. For further details on the risks in the private markets, refer to the SVX Risks section. Some of the risks have been identified below with additional risks included in the Offering Statement:

Liquidity Risk
This investment is illiquid given the stage of the venture and given that the financing arrangements for the invested capital are going out in the form of loans.  Investors could not expect to access their principal before the end of the proposed term of investment (5-15 years). 

Underlying Asset Risk
This investment relies on the performance of a set of underlying assets: loans to clean energy projects for energy efficiency or new/existing projects.  There is a risk that these projects may fail.  SolarShare has carefully reviewed all of their assets and have identified risk mitigation strategies to reduce the chance of a reduction in efficiency and profitability.

Political Risk
Some, although not all, of the projects are subject to the provisions of the Ontario Feed in Tariff (FIT) program.  

Business Risk
SolarShare is an early stage venture with a relatively short operating history.  There is a risk that they will not be able to achieve their business objectives, including their revenue and investment targets.  The costs of operating an investment platform and associated regulatory requirements are significant.  However, SolarShare has completed a portfolio of over 6 MW of installed capacity which is valued at over $35 million. 

This type of investment has substantial risk. Investors should make an investment only if they are prepared to not receive any return on their investment and/ or to lose their investment in its entirety.

Management Team

Mike Brigham

Mike Brigham

President

Mike plays a strong management role in the daily activities of SolarShare. Mike Brigham is a Toronto-based small business owner with a passion for renewable energy. In 1985, Mike designed and installed his first off-grid solar electric system at his island cottage north of Toronto. Since then he has designed, installed and helped maintain other off-grid systems for friends and neighbours. Mike is a Director and past chair of the TREC Renewable Energy Co-operative and is both co-founder and president of the SolarShare Co-operative. He was previously a consultant to the Green Energy Act Alliance on the topic of Feed-In Tariffs and sits on board of the Community Power Capital Fund. Mike has been on the TREC Board of Directors since 2007, and the Community Power Capital Fund and SolarShare boards since their inception in 2010.

Chris Caners

Chris Caners

General Manager

Chris is the general manager of SolarShare, a renewable energy co-operative with more than 1,500 members and over 12 MW of solar projects built or under construction in Ontario.

 

Prior to joining SolarShare in May 2016, Chris was a Senior Manager with ICF, an energy and environmental consultancy. Chris is a professional engineer with more than a decade of experience in renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions verification and management, energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability. He has also worked with M-KOPA Solar (Kenya) and was the Manager of the University of Toronto Sustainability Office. Chris was a past director of the Clean Air Partnership, and a former member of the Residual Waste Working Group of the City of Toronto and the Grants and Special Projects Committee of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund. 

Jennifer Bryan

Jennifer Bryan

Community Investment and Marketing Manager

Jennifer manages Solar Bond sales, communications, and member recruitment at SolarShare Co-operative. She loves doing work for causes and has over 14 years of not-for-profit sales, marketing, event management, and communications experience. Jennifer has a keen interest in socially responsible organizations that make a positive impact on people’s lives.

$9,037,000.00

Raised Of $39,200,000.00 Goal*

Days Remaining 150
Hours 10
Mins 43
$9,037,000.00
 
Community Bonds Offer. Structure
5% Valuation
5 Years Term
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*Capital raised figures include amounts raised both on and off platform. Amounts raised off platform or committed have not been independently verified by SVX.