News release

Affordable Housing Community in Cape Breton to Reach Net-Zero Emissions

Renters in an affordable housing community in Sydney will soon have lower energy bills thanks to a new community solar garden.

Combined with other upgrades, the solar panels will make Pine Tree Park Estates the province’s first net-zero, affordable housing community.

“This project reimagines what affordable housing looks like in Cape Breton and in Nova Scotia,” said Pat Dunn, Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, on behalf of Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. “In addition to affordable rent, these residents will have lower energy bills and emissions because they’re using less energy and it will be almost entirely renewable.”

The Province is contributing $475,000 to help New Dawn Enterprises, which owns Pine Tree Park Estates, install the solar garden. It is expected to meet the community’s electricity needs and eliminate 680 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

New Dawn has already made other energy efficiency upgrades to the community’s homes and buildings, including conversion from oil heat to heat pumps, with electric heat as backup.


This investment is going to fundamentally change Pine Tree Park. It will remove all fossil fuels from the property and make energy costs both more affordable and more predictable for our residents. The project – one of the largest solar installations in Nova Scotia – also enables future opportunities for expanding this vibrant, healthy, sustainable community. Erika Shea, CEO and President, New Dawn Enterprises

Quick Facts:

  • Pine Tree Park Estates has 28 residential units and five buildings; tenants include the Elizabeth Fry Society, Cape Breton Curling Club and a private residential care facility
  • net-zero means greenhouse gas emissions and reductions are equal
  • the project supports the government’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050

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