Wednesday, 20 January 2016

AMBER Energy Co-operative - Renewable Energy Initiatives in Elgin County

The AMBER Energy Co-operative (Aylmer, Malahide, Bayham, Elgin Region) is named for the communities in which it got its start, acquired its first projects, and completed the construction of these projects.

Founder Jamie Kent has over 10 years of experience working in the North American renewable energy sector and is the co-founder of Kent Brothers Renewable Energy (KBRE).

The purpose of the AMBER Energy Co-operative is to work with participants in rural areas to find locations for small renewable energy systems, earn renewable energy contracts, and develop and operate these systems for the term of the contracts (20 years). These renewable energy systems include solar panels, biogas and biomass generators, and small wind turbines (turbines are approximately the size of a hydro pole and used to power on-farm operations).

Contracts for these systems are obtained through the Independent Electrical Systems Operator (IESO) FIT (Feed-in-Tariff) Program. The IESO is the provincial organization that directs what power is being generated in Ontario and where it goes. AMBER Energy Co-operative is classified as a community group under the rules of the IESO FIT Program and since its inception it has received 1.7 megawatts of solar contracts under the IESO FIT 2 program, 1.5 megawatts of solar under the IESO FIT 3 program, and an additional 1.5 megawatts in biogas contracts under the IESO FIT 3 program. These contracts are scheduled to begin construction in the fall of 2015.

The co-operative operates as a partnership between land owners who lease their land for renewable energy systems, Kent Brothers Renewable Energy (KBRE) who operates, oversees and manages all renewable energy systems on behalf of AMBER Energy Co-operative, and other co-operative members who provide feed stock and farm waste to operate biogas generators.

Biogas is generated with a unique mix of livestock manures, additional on farm waste (corn silage, rotten apples, potatoes), waste from other processing operations (vegetable food processors, corn/soya oils) and bio diesel waste. Biogas is used to operate a generator that creates electricity that is then sold onto the electrical grid as part of the contract system or used on-farm to generate heat for livestock barns, houses, and swimming pools.

In addition to overseeing and operating renewable energy systems on behalf of AMBER Energy Co-operative members, KBRE offers power management systems to agricultural clients. The company will bring in an engineering team to audit an agricultural operation’s current power usage and identify opportunities for savings. In some cases a farmer may be able to reduce his or her electrical bills by 50% as a result of power factor correction and the implementation of energy saving technologies. Most farmers see a return on investment in less than 4 years.

For more information about KBRE visit or to learn about joining AMBER Energy Co-operative visit


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  2. Thanks for posting this. Your blog is so interesting and very informative. Thanks for circulating such cooperative details and figures in your blog. great post.