News release

Island Renewable Energy Projects Get Go-Ahead

Renewable electricity projects in two Cape Breton communities are among those receiving approval today, Feb. 14, to proceed to the next phase of development.

Energy Minister Charlie Parker announced at the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University in Sydney, that five applications had satisfied the initial criteria for advancement under the province's Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) program.

"These projects show the breadth and depth of proposals we are receiving from communities around the province," said Mr. Parker. "The level of engagement we are seeing tells me that Nova Scotians understand the connection between doing something good for the environment and good for the local economy as well."

One of the applications in Cape Breton is a 5.4 megawatt large-wind project, jointly owned by Cape Breton University and Cape Breton Explorations Ltd. near Sydney.

"Wind energy is one of the fastest growing sources of electricity in Canada," says John Harker, president, Cape Breton University. "This project is a testament to CBU's commitment to foster innovation and offer unparalleled research opportunities and hands-on training for students interested in renewable energy technology."

The other proposals are:

  • a 3.5-kilowatt wind project owned by the Lemoine Development Association, the Harbour Authority of Grand Etang and SuGen Research Inc. in Grand Etang, Inverness Co.
  • a 50-kilowatt small-wind project on Brown's Mountain in Barney's River, Pictou Co., owned by Northumberland Wind Field
  • a 4.6-megawatt large-wind project owned by Watts Wind Energy and the Mi'kmaq Rights Initiative (Kwilmu'kw Maw-klusuaqn) in Ketch Harbour, in conjunction with Brookfield Asset Management and Katalyst Wind
  • a 500-kilowatt tidal project in Petit Passage, Digby Co., proposed by Fundy Tidal to be financed through an upcoming Community Economic Development Fund offering.

In some cases due to project size, an environmental assessment, archaeological resource impact assessment and a Mi'kmaq Ecological Study may be necessary, along with continued discussions with the surrounding community.

The 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan introduced the COMFIT concept to help provide a secure supply of clean energy at stable prices, build support for renewable energy projects and create jobs. The program began accepting applications several months ago.

More than 20 community groups have submitted over 90 locally-based proposals for the unique, made-in-Nova Scotia initiative that encourages community participation in renewable energy projects.

The 15 projects approved so far will generate about 42 megawatts of electricity.

The province is working with the remaining applicants to complete applications and build alliances among those in competition, with the bulk of applications expected to be processed by the spring.

The COMFIT application process is still open. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the COMFIT administrator at as early as possible to discuss projects.

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 tidal developments. The feed-in tariff rates were established by the Utilities and Review Board in September.

Eligible groups include municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives, universities, community economic development funds and not-for-profit groups.

The COMFIT program will help the province reach its aggressive renewable electricity targets of 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020. The province expects 100 megawatts to be produced through the COMFIT.

For more information on the program and to apply, visit www.nsrenewables.ca .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Renewable electricity projects in two Cape Breton communities are among five in the province receiving approval today (February 14th), to proceed to the next phase of development.

Minister of Energy Charlie Parker announced today that Cape Breton University's 5.4 megawatt wind project and a 3.5 kilowatt wind project in Grand Etang, Inverness County are among those approved as a part of the province's Community Feed-in Tariff program.

Other projects are in Barney's River, Pictou County, Ketch Harbour, Halifax Regional Municipality and Petit Passage, Digby County.

More than 20 community groups have submitted over 90 locally based proposals for the plan, which encourages community participation in renewable energy projects.

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Media Contact:

Jackie Van Amburg
Department of Energy 902-424-0794 Cell: 902-233-7685 E-mail: