Colchester rec facilities approved for provincial solar program
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.