More Community Renewable Energy Projects Move Forward
Four communities and one university in the province are closer to enjoying the benefits of clean, green renewable electricity generated in their own backyards.
Energy Minister Charlie Parker announced today, July 9, that five projects have received approval under the Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) program.
The projects are:
-- two 800-kilowatt wind projects in Barney's River, Pictou Co., owned by Northumberland Wind Field.
-- a four-megawatt wind project in Barrachois, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, and a 2.3-megawatt wind project in Gaetz Brook, Halifax Regional Municipality, owned by Wind4all Communities.
-- a 50-kilowatt wind project on the campus of Université Ste-Anne in Church Point, Digby Co.
-- a 4.8-megawatt project in Kemptown, Colchester Co., owned by Affinity Renewables, a not-for-profit organization owned by the Nova Scotia SPCA.
-- a 1.99-megawatt project in Marion Bridge, Cape Breton Regional Municipality, owned by Celtic Current.
"We're pleased that these community groups, including one university, are taking advantage of the COMFIT program to develop local renewable electricity projects," said Mr. Parker. "They are demonstrating leadership by participating in the COMFIT program in order to meet their energy needs and reduce their environmental footprint."
"This approval completes another step in Université Sainte-Anne's drive to be Canada's greenest university," said Allister Surette, president and vice-chancellor, Université Ste-Anne. "Along with our biomass furnace and 118 solar panels, this wind turbine with COMFIT will further contribute to reducing greenhouses gases and operating costs to the university."
The 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan introduced the COMFIT concept to help provide a secure supply of clean energy at stable prices, build community support for renewable energy projects and create jobs.
"Developing renewable energy projects throughout the province will help us move away from our dependency on costly imported coal and reach our legislated goal of 40 per cent renewable energy by 2020," said Mr. Parker. "COMFIT is an important piece of the renewable energy mix for Nova Scotia."
Project applications are examined by a committee, including several provincial department representatives. The group evaluates each application according to criteria including community benefits and support, financing, and implementation planning. Projects competing for distribution capacity are evaluated according to criteria under a separate review process. Information on project requirements as well as the decision-making process can be found at the COMFIT Key Documents page.
More than 25 community groups have submitted over 100 locally based renewable energy development proposals under the COMFIT program thus far. The COMFIT program is still accepting applications for qualifying renewable energy projects. Community members can learn more by visiting our approved applicants page.
COMFIT provides eligible groups an established price per kilowatt hour for projects producing electricity from renewable resources such as wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and run-of-the-river hydroelectric developments. The feed-in tariff rates were established by the Utility and Review Board in September 2011.
Eligible groups include municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives, universities, community economic development investment funds and not-for-profit groups. The province expects 100 megawatts to be produced through COMFIT.
More COMFIT news can be found in the COMFIT Progress Bulletin.
You can also view this press release in French.