County to harness solar energy

Staff ~ The Record
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By Raissa Tetanish
The Record
UPPER NAPPAN - The municipal council is soon on its way of installing a solar beam concentrator at its E.D. Fullerton Building.
During Cumberland County's final council meeting of 2009, a motion was passed to install the equipment. It came following the results of an energy audit and recommendations by Shawna Eason from the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association.
"We looked at a few things but this stuck out for a few reasons," Eason said before council. "It's built and designed here in Cumberland County. Solar thermal energy, as a renewable energy source, is one of the ones that has been proven technology. It works, it's not disputed."
Another reason why the recommendation was coming before council for the concentrator was the short turnaround time.
The county can apply for funding for more energy efficient measures, but applications have to be completed by Jan. 31. Installation of the project would need to be completed by March 31.
The solar beam concentrator has been designed by Edward Herniak of SolarTron Energy Systems Inc. He's been working on the concentrator for the past three years.
"It concentrates the sun into one little square area and then that heats up water," said Eason, noting it was similar to a solar panel on a house except it looked like a satellite dish.
The county could get a lot of the concentrator funded through provincial and federal governments, as well as EcoTrust Nova Scotia, said Eason, which would give the county a better payback than estimated.
"The equivalent of the solar beam concentrator working for an entire year would offset about 30 barrels of oil, and is also equivalent to 2.7 cars running all the time on the road."
Council passed the motion unanimously.

Organizations: E.D. Fullerton Building, Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association, SolarTron Energy Systems

Geographic location: Cumberland County, UPPER NAPPAN

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