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Cumberland County powers up with solar power


SPRINGHILL, N.S. – Nova Scotia just helped planet earth get a little greener.

Deputy premier Karen Casey was in Springhill Monday morning to announce solar energy funding from the Solar for Community Building program.

The three solar power panel projects will provide 75 kilowatts of power at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre, 75 kilowatts at Amherst Stadium, and 25 kilowatts at the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), located just outside of Parrsboro.

“Over the last decade Nova Scotia has reduced their total emissions by more than 30 per cent from the 2005 levels and, as a government, we are trying to meet our legislative target of 40 per cent of our electricity generated by renewable resources by 2020,” said Casey during the announcement.

Casey said that, except for PEI, Nova Scotia has installed more wind power per capita than any other province in Canada.

“We have worked to reduce emissions by 840,000 tons per year in Nova Scotia,” said Casey.

County warden Al Gillis, spoke on behalf of the county.

“The Municipality of Cumberland has the goal of being the greenest municipality in the province and to be an example of sustainable planning worldwide,” said Gillis.

Amherst mayor David Kogon said municipalities have a significant role to play in the shift to a clean-energy economy.

“We recognize the clean energy shift as a significant economic development opportunity, which is why this program and other community energy initiatives are part of Amherst Town council’s strategic priorities,” said Kogon.

Sandra Currie, FORCE facilities manager said, “Today’s announcement will enable us to demonstrate another technology at our facility and to further contribute to Nova Scotia’s clean future.”

Ray Hickey, executive director for the county, said that a study by Efficiency Nova Scotia and other partners found that the community centre in Springhill uses up to 50 per cent less energy than arenas using traditional heating and cooling methods.

“The installation of solar panels with reduce our energy demand that much further and make our carbon footprint that much smaller,” said Hickey.

This year, a total of 27 applications were selected for the solar program from across the province. If all projects are completed, Nova Scotia will add 1,617 kilowatts of renewable electricity to the grid.

Other projects approved include Truro’s Rath Eastlink Community Centre and the Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex in Brookfield for 75 kilowatts each, and the Plymouth Community and Recreation Association in Pictou County for 21 kilowatts.

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