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Bill 150 includes a a series of amendments to the Co-operative Corporations Act to encourage communities to set up renewable energy cooperatives. Cooperatives are a special sort of organizations structured for mutual benefit, with many advantages for community groups over conventional corporations. Ontario’s leading renewable energy cooperative is Windshare.ca, the group of public-spirited citizens who own the wind turbine at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. (This turbine has recently begun turning out a record amount of power, after repairs resolved longstanding technical problems.) However, few other renewable energy cooperatives have followed Windshare’s lead. One of the challenges has been the legal requirement that cooperatives must sell only to their members. This can’t easily work for the generation of electricity which most economically be sold into the public power grid. Bill 150 will now remove this restriction, allowing renewable energy cooperatives to sell all their power into the grid, and will allow them to share the resulting income in accordance with their own bylaws.

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