NEW GLASGOW – Three wind turbine projects in Pictou County have been approved by the province’s energy department.
Pictou West MLA Charlie Parker, Nova Scotia’s energy minister, announced this week that one three-megawatt project near Pictou and one six-megawatt project near Trenton, both owned by Affinity Renewables has been granted approval under the Community Feed-In Tariff.
One 4.6-megawatt project, owned by Wind4all Communities near Merigomish, has also been approved.
“We are very pleased with the collaborative approaches being taken by our applicants,” said Parker. “Once constructed, these projects will generate and distribute clean, green power close to home, providing economic development opportunities in the communities they serve.”
Now that the applicants have received approval, they must secure financing, complete a grid-impact study and obtain the required federal and provincial environmental assessments and approvals.
Affinity Renewables Inc. is a limited liability company formed by the Nova Scotia Society for the Protection and Care of Animals.
Reuben Burge, owner of RMS Energy, which has wind turbines on Dalhousie Mountain, is working with the SPCA to develop a sustainable wind energy business to provide a reliable annual income for the charity.
The SPCA currently donates a percentage of its earnings to other charities. The intention is that this practice will continue under Affinity and that other charities in need may qualify for a share of the annual income generated.
The Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) concept was introduced in the 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide a secure supply of clean energy at stable prices and create jobs. The program began accepting applications in September 2011. Almost 100 locally based proposals have been received from more than 20 community groups for this unique, made-in-Nova Scotia initiative to encourage community participation in renewable energy projects. The Community Feed-in Tariff allows eligible groups to receive an established price per kilowatt hour (kWh) for projects producing electricity from certain renewable resources. Rates were established by the Utility and Review Board in September. Projects can include wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and run-of-the-river hydroelectric developments. Eligible groups include municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives, universities and not-for-profit groups. The COMFIT program will help the province reach its renewable electricity targets of 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 program.