There would be three classes of Green$hares: residential, commercial/institutional and industrial, with the latter two involving greenhouse gas reduction credits. Kelly envisages the Green$hare programme as part of a wider market of greenhouse gas reduction options.
Green$hares would be administered by an independent board of directors and encourage competitive, cost-effective project selection. While the concept is still developing and requires government approval, Green$hares could be launched for the whole province as soon as next September -- with the 65 MW request for proposals -- and could run until 1999.
Kelly cited recent consumer market research to test the Green$hares concept. Surveys of all customer classes found that: wind and solar powered generation are considered the two most environmentally friendly methods of electricity generation; given the opportunity nearly one in two residential, agricultural and commercial customers would very likely choose electricity generated from renewable technologies; many customers would be prepared to pay green premiums; and most non industrial customers would pay a 5% premium and about one in three would pay 10%.
These and other poll results showed "extraordinary" levels of interest in the programme concept, according to Kelly. In one scenario, if one-half of 3.3 million residential customers of Hydro or the municipal utilities it regulates made monthly contributions of $13.30, an annual income of $247 million would be available to the green fund. "There are exciting opportunities with Green$hare to expand the RETs [renewable energy technologies] programme," said Kelly.