A Nov. 10 announcement spoke to more green energy projects coming to Antigonish.
Antigonish MLA Randy Delorey, on behalf of Energy Minister Geoff MacLellan, made the Solar Electricity for Community Building Pilot Program announcement from Antigonish town hall council chambers.
“Nova Scotia is a national leader in reducing emissions and addressing climate change,” Delorey said during the announcement and as part of the accompanying press release.
“Antigonish is fortunate to have community organizations like the Antigonish Community Energy Co-operative (ACE) and municipalities, like the Town of Antigonish, that are dedicated to making Nova Scotia more energy secure. Today’s announcement is about building on that success and helping more groups, in communities across the province, participate in a cleaner energy future.”
It’s noted, through the province’s solar energy program, the town has been approved to generate 50 kilowatts of solar electricity, which it will sell back to their electric utility through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The solar project will be done at the water treatment plant just outside of Antigonish.
“The Town of Antigonish has already demonstrated its commitment to renewable energy through investments in wind generation,” Mayor Laurie Boucher said, referencing the wind farm in Ellershouse, of which the town is a partner on with Alternative Energy Resource Authority (AREA).
“We’re excited to participate in our first solar project which will enable us to gather more knowledge and information to expand our solar options in the future.”
A second project coming to the area will be at St. F.X. which has been approved to add solar panels, that can provide 18 kilowatts of power, to the Physical Science Complex.
“It shows the leadership and commitment to a greener energy future; the innovation that is taking place,” Delorey said to reporters following the announcement.
“We know that Nova Scotia, as a province, has already achieved the 30 per cent reduction from the 2005 greenhouse gas levels; that is what Canada committed to as part of the Paris Accord,” he added.
“So we already achieved the target that is designated for 2030, we’re 13 years ahead of schedule. But what we’re showing here is, we’re committed to continuing to support a green energy future and do more than our share because, we know, with climate change, the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions is important and we’re doing our part to continue those efforts.”
Delorey took the opportunity to, once again, praise the work of ACE and he also noted the contribution of students to the St. F.X. application.
“I know, speaking to representatives there, a lot of the work on the application was done in partnership with students in the engineering program,” he said.
“So not only are we seeing the university contributing to a greener energy future, but also using this as a learning opportunity and educational experience for the students; another example of getting multiple benefits out of this program.”
Boucher noted the application for work at the water treatment plant really came from AREA.
“To be picked, to have our application accepted, is very exciting,” she said.
“We’re already at 40 per cent renewable energy so this will put us over that, and we’re looking forward to more solar projects as well.”
Boucher was asked about the plant being a suitable facility for the solar work.
“It’s wide-open and has sun on the south side all the time, so the position of it; it’s a very good candidate for the solar project,” she said.
“And, yes, we’re hoping for more solar for sure. We’re looking at the possibility of a solar farm through AREA. That’s far away but we’ll see how it goes. This is a good way to get our feet wet and see how it works to benefit our electric utility.”