Below is a list of various exciting energy projects throughout Cumberland County that range from ‘in development’ to ‘completed’.
Sprott Wind Farm (Under Construction)
Developer: Sprott Power Inc.
Location: Cumberland County, along the Trans Canada 104 Hwy between exits 2 and 3.
Nameplate Capacity: 31.5 MW
Number of Turbines: 15
Type of Turbines: 2.1 MW, Suzlon S97
Investment: $61 million
Customer: Nova Scotia Power Inc. 25 year power purchase agreement.
Completion Date: March 2012 (anticipated)
Environmental Assessment: Approved May 26, 2008. Extension approved June 11, 2010. (attach link to ‘May 26, 2008’ http://www.gov.ns.ca/nse/ea/amherst.wind.energy.project.asp )
Towers were manufactured at DSME Trenton Ltd. (Trenton, N.S.)
It is estimated that this Wind Farm will produce enough electricity to power 10,000 homes.
SolarBeam Concentrator Pilot Project (Completed)
Company: SolarTron Energy Systems Inc., located in the Amherst Industrial Park
Device: SolarBeam Concentrator
Installation Site: E.D. Fullerton Municipal Building
Heat Provided: ~61MMBTUs (~18MWh) a year
Carbon Emissions Saved: ~8 tonnes eCO2 per year
Estimated Savings: ~ $2,300 per year of energy costs
Payback Period: less than 3 years
Funding Provided by: ecoNova Scotia for Clean Air and Climate Change Fund
Details: The SolarBeam Concentrator is an innovative product, it is 262% more energy efficient that conventional hot water panels. This energy efficiency is achieved through the use of a parabolic curve surface to concentrate the solar energy, as well as a celestial tracking system that follows the sun during the day. At the Municipal Building it uses the energy of the sun to heat hot water that will be feed into the boiler system thus offsetting the amount of heating oil consumed.
Potential COMFIT Projects in Cumberland County
COMFIT – “Community-based Feed-in Tariff” Is an established price per kilowatt hour (KWh) for projects producing electricity from qualifying renewable resources (i.e. Wind). It is intended to encourage and support the development of renewable electricity projects by community-based groups such as municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives and not-for-profit groups. The focus on community-based projects is designed to ensure that projects are rooted in the community and investment returns remain there.
These projects will be connected to the grid at the distribution level (voltages less than 69kV, typically less than 6MW). The province’s current COMFIT capacity is roughly 200MW. Each distribution connection has its own capacity that is set by the size of the electricity demand or load that it serves.
The Feed-in Tariff rates have been set by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. There are 5 different rates set for various renewable energy sources:
i) with a capacity over 50kW; and
ii) with a capacity of 50kW or less;
b) a combined heat and power biomass facility;
c) small-scale-in-stream tidal; and
d) run-of-the-river hydroelectricity.
Currently, there are several developers that have applied to the Department of Energy for COMFIT approval on projects to be located in Cumberland County. They include 4 Wind Projects:
- Watts Wind Energy / Eon Wind Electric – 6MW
- Wind4All Communities / Wind Prospects Inc. – 6MW
- Kwilmu’kw Maw-klusuaqn/Community Wind Fields Inc. – 6MW
- Watts Wind Energy / Sprott Power Inc. – 6MW
For a project to be eligible for COMFIT, 51% ownership of the project must be held by a community group (i.e. a Municipality, Co-Op, University, non-profit, Mi’kmaq bank council, or a CEDIF.
CEDIF – “Community Economic Development Investment Fund” is a pool of capital, formed through the sale of shares (or units), to persons within a defined community, created to operate or invest in local business. It cannot be charitable, non-taxable, or not-for-profit, and must have at least six directors from their defined community. This program is for economic development, and the project must have a measurable, financial return.
Investors receive several benefits to buying shares in a CEDIF:
- Receive a 35% non-refundable provincial income tax credit on your investment
- Investment is RRSP eligible; this tax deduction is in addition to the Nova Scotia Tax Credit
- Shares must be held a minimum of 5 years
- Investors have input into investment decisions by the fund through the board of directors.
A CEDIF is managed by a board of directors, which is elected by shareholders. The return on investments is determined by the performance of the business(es) in the fund. The fund will provide shareholders with financial statements and hold an annual general meeting.