Wednesday, July 28, 2021

More renewable energy projects on the horizon

  • July 14 2021
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH – The provincial government announced on July 10 that a request for proposals (RFP) will be issued to attract low-cost and innovative solutions to supply 10 per cent of the province’s electricity from renewables, such as wind and solar.

The proposals drawn by this announcement are expected to “create 4,000 jobs, mostly in rural Nova Scotia, and generate more than $550 million in construction activity in wind-rich areas, such as Guysborough, Pictou, Antigonish, Hants, Cumberland and Colchester counties.”

The Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG) is ready for this opportunity with several applications for renewable energy projects already submitted.

MODG warden Vernon Pitts told The Journal that the municipality has, “an application into the provincial government and it’s for $9 million … that’s for the landfill [Waste Management Facility on Highway 16], the methane gas we’ve been collecting. We’re looking at converting that into electricity and selling the excess to Nova Scotia Power.

“We also have an application into the same funding pot for $1.2 million and that allows us to install solar panels on most municipal buildings. That would include the arena in Canso, the CLC [Chedabucto Lifestyle Complex], the municipal buildings and buildings at our waste facility,” said Pitts, noting that the municipality has solar panels at “our two pools and so far, to date, those are saving us about 80 per cent in energy cost over the last number of years.”

If funding is received from provincial and federal governments for these projects, Pitts said, “We’re looking at saving 50 per cent plus in combined energy savings for all of our facilities and what that equates to approximately $100,000 a year, which is substantial.

“If we get approval, we’ll put a shovel in the ground immediately. These [projects] are pretty much ready to go,” he added.

The provincial news release stated, “This call for proposals will help the province get closer to the 80 per cent target and support the province’s goal of achieving a 53 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and net-zero by 2050.”

Green innovation in the MODG is poised to play a significant part in the province’s plan.