Tap­ping into a new en­ergy source

First Na­tions com­mu­ni­ties on the front­line of so­lar power adop­tion

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COMMUNITY - BY COLIN CHISHOLM WWW.HANTSJOURNAL.CA

Glooscap First Na­tion, along with nearly a dozen other in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, will soon be har­ness­ing the power of the sun to help power their build­ings.

Kings South MLA Keith Irv­ing an­nounced that 11 Mi’kmaq or­ga­ni­za­tions had their So­lar Elec­tric­ity for Com­mu­nity Build­ings Pro­gram ap­pli­ca­tions ap­proved by the prov­ince on Oct. 15.

“From wind to en­ergy ef­fi­ciency, Mi’kmaq com­mu­ni­ties have led the way on in­no­va­tion and adopt­ing new en­ergy tech­nol­ogy, and the re­sult has been jobs and busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties through­out the prov­ince,” Irv­ing said dur­ing the an­nounce­ment. “To­day, the Mi’kmaq are pro­duc­ing more elec­tric­ity from wind than they use in their com­mu­ni­ties, and adding so­lar en­ergy projects will only build on their suc­cesses.”

Irv­ing said the three-year pro­gram, now in year two, tar­gets com­mu­ni­ties, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and or­ga­ni­za­tions that are in­ter­ested in pur­su­ing so­lar projects.

There has been a to­tal of 27 suc­cess­ful pro­gram ap­pli­cants so far this year.

“First Na­tions com­mu­ni­ties have done a tremen­dous job, all of the Mi’kmaq com­mu­ni­ties are al­ready net zero right now,” he said. “They’ve done a huge amount of wind projects. So, they’re gen­er­at­ing more elec­tric­ity than they use, and these so­lar projects will com­pli­ment that.”

The Glooscap ap­pli­ca­tion in­cludes a 70-kilowatt so­lar panel in­stal­la­tion on their seafood plant in Yar­mouth.

Glooscap Chief Sid­ney Peters said they’re also in­stalling so­lar pan­els on their Glooscap Land­ing fa­cil­ity off of High­way 101.

“We, as Glooscap, are in­no­va­tive and want to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties and we see an op­por­tu­nity there,” Peters said.

“It’s just an­other al­ter­na­tive en­ergy re­source that we should be tap­ping into,” Peters said. “It’s new to us and I think we can take ad­van­tage of that for the bet­ter­ment of the com­mu­nity.”

In part­ner­ship with Beaubassin Mi’kmaq Wind Man­age­ment, the prov­ince an­nounced the fol­low­ing ap­proved projects:

•Mem­ber­tou First Na­tion, Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity: 72 kilo­watts

•Pic­tou Land­ing First Na­tion: 72 kilo­watts

•Bear River First Na­tion, Annapolis and Digby coun­ties: 48 kilo­watts

•Pot­lotek First Na­tion, Rich­mond County: 72 kilo­watts

•Wag­mat­cook First Na­tion, Vic­to­ria County: 72 kilo­watts

•Aca­dia First Na­tion, Yar­mouth County: 72 kilo­watts

•Paqtnkek First Na­tion, Antigo­nish County: 72 kilo­watts

•Mill­brook First Na­tion, Colch­ester County: 72 kilo­watts

•Eskasoni First Na­tion, Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity: 72 kilo­watts

•Annapolis Val­ley First Na­tion, Kings County: 72 kilo­watts

•Glooscap First Na­tion, Hants County: 72 kilo­watts

If all 27 ap­proved projects are com­pleted, Nova Sco­tia will add 1,617 kilo­watts of re­new­able elec­tric­ity to the grid, which is more than dou­ble last year’s to­tal, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease.

All ap­pli­ca­tions were overseen by the Clean Foun­da­tion, an in­de­pen­dent pro­cure­ment ad­min­is­tra­tor.

The pro­gram will be of­fered for one more year. For more in­for­ma­tion on the pro­gram, visit http:// www.no­vas­co­tia.ca/so­lar.

COLIN CHISHOLM

Kings-South MLA Keith Irv­ing and Glooscap First Na­tion Chief Sid­ney Peters chat dur­ing an event at the new Glooscap Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. Irv­ing re­cently an­nounced the ap­proval of so­lar projects at 11 First Na­tion com­mu­ni­ties, in­clud­ing Glooscap.

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