Tuesday March 19, 2013 was a joyous day for Colchester-Cumberland Wind Field. This was the date the provincial government celebrated the start-up of the first wind turbines approved under the Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) program, and CCWF was part of the celebration with its two 50 kW turbines.
As the government press release put it, “The province launched its first community renewable energy projects today, March 19, as part of its plan to ensure the lowest, fairest power rates for Nova Scotia families and businesses.”
The official part of this journey began December 16, 2011 with the announcement that five applicants, led by CCWF, were the first approved COMFIT projects. “These applications reflect significant community ownership,” said Energy Minister Charlie Parker at that time. “Once constructed, they will stand as testaments to the spirit of innovation and self-reliance that characterizes rural Nova Scotia, while contributing to local jobs and strengthened economies.” The five approvals were among 88 applications submitted since September 2011.
David Swan expressed his appreciation of the COMFIT approval: “It’s great to get this news. With this approval in place, we hope to be able to begin construction of our project this summer.” As the photos and commentary on the website show, construction got underway quickly in 2012 under David’s direction and the two 50 kW turbines were ready to produce electricity by the early fall. Indeed, the turbines were the first ones ready to meet the Department of Energy’s published timetable of fall 2012 for all studies, public consultations and capital requirements being complete.
Celebrations were held in two places on March 19th. Premier Darrell Dexter joined Energy Minister Charlie Parker, representatives from Seaforth Energy and municipal officials in Stellarton to mark the commissioning of three turbines in Goldboro and one in New Glasgow. At the same time, MLA Lenore Zann represented the Energy Minister in Earltown for the CCWF celebration along with Craig Whitman of Seaforth Energy and Bruce Cameron from the Department of Energy.
“This is clean power produced in Nova Scotia, by Nova Scotians,” said Premier Dexter. “Our community feed-in tariff program is the only one of its kind in the world, so this is a big first for Nova Scotia.” All the energy produced by these wind turbines is used in the communities where it is generated.
All of these 50 kW wind turbines were built by Seaforth Energy, a Nova Scotia company that manufactures them in the province and ships them worldwide. “Seaforth Energy is proud that the first electricity produced under the Nova Scotia community feed-in tariff program will be generated using Nova Scotian technology, in the form of our AOC 15/50 wind turbine,” said Mike Morris, CEO of Seaforth Energy. “We encourage other communities to participate in the Nova Scotia Community Feed-in-Tariff program.”
The turbines celebrated on this occasion will provide their communities with a renewable power source at a stable rate for 20 years. In total, they are expected to produce more than 600,000 kWh of energy in the next year – enough to power up to 120 homes. Premier Dexter expressed appreciation of partners Seaforth, CCWF and municipalities across the province, which are taking control of Nova Scotia’s energy future.