Green Toolbox - Announcements (April 2012)

CUMBERLAND ENERGY AUTHORITY IS THE FIRST IN NOVA SCOTIA

The Municipality of the County of Cumberland and the Towns of Springhill and Parrsboro recently finalized an historic inter-municipal agreement to create a new entity - the Cumberland Energy Authority.  Keith Hunter, Warden of the Municipality of the County of Cumberland, Springhill Mayor Allen Dill and Lois Smith, Mayor of Parrsboro formally signed the agreement at an official signing ceremony held on April 17. The Authority, believed to be the first of its kind in Nova Scotia, will be responsible for attracting and promoting renewable energy development within Cumberland County and will be the single point of contact for developers.

The municipal units, along with the Cumberland Regional Development Authority, have been partners in the Cumberland Energy Office for the past four years. In 2010, the partners adopted a Regional Energy Strategy which identified investment and attraction opportunities within the County and the towns of Springhill and Parrsboro that would increase renewable and alternative energy capacity.  Cumberland County has an abundance of renewable energy resources and has already seen significant investments in areas such as wind, tidal, mine water geothermal and solar.
The municipalities have been working towards formalizing the Cumberland Energy Authority for over a year with all three municipal councils recently agreeing to sign-on.

The objectives of the Cumberland Energy Authority include the implementation of the Regional Energy Strategy; the promotion, attraction and development of renewable/alternative energy sources; the planning, development, construction, and operation of renewable/alternative energy projects; and the establishment of the Municipalities as leaders in renewable energy use, energy efficiency, and conservation.

For more information, contact Shawna Eason, Energy Officer at the Cumberland Energy Authority (902 667-3638 or ).

COMMUNITY FEED-IN TARIFF (COMFIT) PROGRAM ANNOUNCES NEXT ROUND OF APPROVED APPLICATIONS

Fourteen communities from across Nova Scotia are closer to enjoying the benefits of clean, green renewable electricity generated in their own backyards as the Province announced the next round of approved ComFIT projects in Guysborough on April 16.  Among the approvals, the following two municipal projects were announced: 

MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF GUYSBOROUGH
The Municipality has been approved to install four 50 kW small wind projects. The projects will be located in Melford and Goldboro.

MUNICIPALITY OF THE DISTRICT OF SHELBURNE
The Municipality of the District of Shelburne has received approval to install a 50 kW small wind project in Shelburne.

The ComFIT concept was introduced in the 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide a secure supply of clean energy at stable prices and create jobs. The program began accepting applications in September 2011.  Almost 100 locally-based proposals have been received from more than 20 community groups (including municipalities) for this unique, made-in-Nova Scotia initiative to encourage community participation in renewable energy projects.  The ComFIT program will help the Province reach its renewable electricity targets of 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020. It expects 100 megawatts of electricity to be produced through the program. 

For more information, visit:  www.nsrenewables.ca.

NEW SOLAR LEGISLATION

Amendments introduced on April 2 to the Municipal Government Act will give municipalities the authority to finance energy-efficient equipment, including solar panels, on private property through property taxes. 

"Nova Scotians want to do what they can to save money and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell. "Municipalities throughout Nova Scotia are looking to help citizens live greener through this program, and the province is pleased to support the initiative."

The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities asked for the change to legislation.

"We are pleased the government is bringing these amendments forward as they will provide an opportunity for municipalities and citizens to help achieve energy conservation savings in an affordable way," said Jimmy MacAlpine, president of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. "This is good news for municipalities interested in supporting homeowners with initiatives that help the environment."

Previously, HRM received provincial approval to amend its Charter to allow the municipality to provide financing for individual homeowners for solar improvements. The Solar City Initiative is a proposed pilot program and this amendment will allow program participants to be billed for the installation of solar panels for heating domestic hot water as part of their annual tax bill.  Between 500 and 700 homeowners will participate in the program resulting in the installation of approximately 1000 solar panels in HRM.

 

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