Province Reviews COMFIT Program
The province is asking for feedback on how to improve a program that encourages community participation in renewable energy projects.
The Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) program was introduced in the 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan and officially launched last September. Since then, more than 45 projects have been approved and dozens more are finalizing business plans.
"From the beginning, we committed to continual improvement of the program and a review once we had some experience under our belt," said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. "We consider this a tune-up to ensure the program is meeting its objectives and is aligned with operational realities."
The review was announced during the Canadian Clean Energy Conferences Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Forum in Halifax today, September 24. It will include public consultation and discussions with those in the program and will examine applicant eligibility, geographical distribution, eligible technologies, quantity of energy being offered, community engagement and support, things learned from previous projects and administration.
"We are very proud of the success of this made-in-Nova Scotia program that is the first of its kind in the world," Mr. Parker said. "It is an important part of our overall energy strategy to build a diverse, secure, sustainable and affordable electricity supply for Nova Scotia. At the same time, we are creating good jobs in communities and growing the economy, making life better for all Nova Scotians."
COMFIT provides municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives, not-for-profit and other eligible groups an established price-per-kilowatt-hour for projects that produce electricity from renewable sources, such as wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and run-of-the-river hydroeletric developments.
During the review, the department will not accept applications for wind projects of more than 50 kilowatts. Projects already in the application system will be processed.
COMFIT power is generated and used in local areas, providing economic development opportunities in these communities. The program is one of a number of initiatives to help the province reach 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020. The province expects 100 megawatts of electricity to be produced through the COMFIT.