At least two projects have been officially shelved as part of a review of the recently cancelled COMFIT program.
Energy Minister Michel Samson announced Aug. 6 that the province’s community feed-in tariff program, which encouraged local ownership of small renewable energy projects, would no longer accept new applications.
Samson had committed to review unapproved extensions and lapsed permit renewals within 60 days, a process that concluded Tuesday.
Two projects put forward by Halifax Water – wind turbines generating 11.5 megawatts of electricity at Lake Major and a 4.6 megawatt project in North Preston, near Long Lake – are no longer going ahead.
“And that’s OK because we weren’t really going to proceed with the projects anyway,” said utility spokesman James Campbell.
The projects were approved in 2011 and 2012, respectively, with an anticipated in-service date of February of this year. But the utility asked the Energy Department for an extension in July 2014, citing additional environmental studies.
“We were doing environmental reviews around the Lake Major watershed, and since then we’ve determined now that it’s really not viable because with the environmental risk, we decided not to go ahead,” Campbell said.
“So I guess it’s kind of serendipitous that the Nova Scotia Department of Energy has decided not to give us an extension and cancel our COMFIT designation.”
However, a 10-megawatt project proposed by Chebucto Wind Field Inc., located on Halifax Water land 25 kilometres north-west of Halifax, is still part of the program and could be fully operational next year.
How many projects had extension applications denied by the deadline is unknown.
“Most of the minister’s decisions for outstanding requests under COMFIT have been made. However, there are a small number yet to complete,” said Energy Department spokeswoman Sarah Levy MacLeod in an email.
“Each request has been considered on its own merit, and the department is notifying proponents before speaking to the details.”
The department will release a final report in the “coming weeks,” she said.
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