Dexter touts wind program3/20/2013
Promising an end to the days of double-digit power rate increases, Premier Darrell Dexer launched the province’s first community renewable energy projects during an announcement in Stellarton on Tuesday.
Through its COMFIT program, the province commissioned six 50-kilowatt turbines, all of which were built and will be operated by Seaforth Energy, a Nova Scotia company that also ships turbines worldwide. Three are in Goldboro, Guysborough County, two near Tatamagouche and one outside New Glasgow.
“This is clean power produced in Nova Scotia, by Nova Scotians,” Dexter said in a news release.
“Our community feed-in tariff program is the only one of its kind in the world, so this is a big first for Nova Scotia.”
Energy produced by the six turbines will be sold to Nova Scotia Power and used in the communities in which it’s generated, providing a renewable power sources at a stable rate for 20 years and producing enough energy each year to power 120 homes.
Seaforth CEO Mike Morris said the program has helped the company expand its business opportunities back home after some success in the international market.
“We like to think of ourselves as the homegrown local player,” Morris said in an interview.
The company, based in Woodside, employs 20 people. Morris said the COMFIT program creates an incentive for communities to get involved with wind energy in an affordable way. Because the company’s turbines are on the smaller side — sitting atop 36.5-metre-tall towers — Morris said it also helps with communities’ comfort levels as they learn about renewable energy.
New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan said program has helped the town build on its commitment to renewable energy. The town’s turbine is located at its Forbes Lake water treatment facility and Nova Scotia Power will purchase the electricity.
MacMillan praised the COMFIT program and said it was a positive way for municipalities to break into the green energy sector.
(The Chronicle Herald)