Colch­ester rec fa­cil­i­ties ap­proved for pro­vin­cial so­lar pro­gram

Truro Daily News - - Colchester County - BY HARRY SUL­LI­VAN

Two recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties in Colch­ester County have been ap­proved for in­clu­sion un­der the prov­ince’s So­lar Elec­tric­ity for Com­mu­nity Build­ings Pro­gram.

Rath-eastlink Com­mu­nity Cen­tre (RECC) in Truro and Don Henderson Memo­rial Sport­splex in Brook­field have each been granted ap­proval to pro­vide 75 kilo­watts of so­lar-gen­er­ated power to the Nova Sco­tia Power elec­tric­ity grid.

e ap­provals were among ve an­nounced this week in Brook­field by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Karen Casey, on be­half of En­ergy and Mines Min­is­ter Derek Mom­bour­quette.

“ is is a piv­otal time in Nova Sco­tia’s push to­ward our cleaner en­ergy fu­ture, and this pro­gram of­fers lo­cal groups the chance to par­tic­i­pate in, and bene t from, our po­ten­tial,” Casey said, in an emailed news re­lease.

“To­gether we are re­duc­ing emis­sions and build­ing on Nova Sco­tia’s suc­cesses as a leader in ght­ing cli­mate change.”

Colch­ester Mayor Chris­tine Blair, who was present at the an­nounce­ment, said the ap­provals are an op­por­tu­nity for both fa­cil­i­ties to gen­er­ate ad­di­tional rev­enue while also sup­port­ing the mu­nic­i­pal­ity’s com­mit­ment to green en­ergy and re­duc­ing the car­bon foot­print.

“I think it’s a good thing, ab­so­lutely,” she told the Truro News. “Be­cause it pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to cut the costs of elec­tric­ity.”

e county has two years to put a plan of ac­tion to­gether if it is to pro­ceed un­der the pro­gram.

That would in­volve in­stalling so­lar pan­els at each fa­cil­ity to gen­er­ate elec­tric­ity over a 20-year pe­riod that would then be sold to the pro­vin­cial grid at a rate of 24 cents per kilo­watt hour.

Mu­nic­i­pal se­nior Plan­ner Paul Smith said the es­ti­mated com- bined cost to in­stall the pan­els at both fa­cil­i­ties ranges be­tween $175,000 and $190,000.

But the pay­back for the county, af­ter those costs have been elim­i­nated, he said, would be far greater.

“Over that 20 years, we are pro­jected to gen­er­ate be­tween $100,000 to $140,000 net pro t for each fa­cil­ity,” Smith said.

And af­ter the 20 years is up, the so­lar pan­els are ex­pected to have a fur­ther 10-year life ex­pectancy dur­ing which they would be used to re­duce the elec­tric­ity costs at each fa­cil­ity.

At a rate of 75 kilo­watts, each fa­cil­ity would be ca­pa­ble of gen­er­at­ing ap­prox­i­mately 85,000 kilo­watts of elec­tric­ity, or enough to power about 10 homes for a year.

is year, 27 ap­pli­ca­tions were se­lected from across the prov­ince. If all projects are com­pleted, Nova Sco­tia will add 1,617 kilo­watts of re­new­able elec­tric­ity to the grid, more than dou­ble last year’s to­tal.

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