PORT HAWKESBURY: Nova Scotians continue to add clean, renewable solar energy to the electricity grid with the support from the province, building on the recent success of the SolarHomes program.

On Monday, Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette, announced that the Nova Scotia Community College Strait Area Campus had been approved for the Solar Electricity for Community Buildings Program.

“This program gives local organizations a chance to participate in, and benefit from, Nova Scotia’s progress toward a cleaner energy future,” Mombourquette said. “Our province is already a leader in addressing climate change by reducing emissions and these projects will only build on our successes.”

The project at the NSCC Strait Area Campus involves the addition of 75 kilowatts the maximum allowance under the program, of solar electricity panels that will be installed in the field next to the fire school.

“With the addition of this solar installation, we are helping to reduce the province’s dependence on fossil fuels, while supporting the college’s nationally recognized sustainability agenda,” NSCC vice-president, college services, and chief financial officer, Monica Foster said. “This resource will not only support our sustainability goals, it will also allow for an enhanced student experience by providing a hands-on learning lab for several of our programs.”

NSCC Strait Area Campus is one of a total of 27 applications that were selected by the province. Nova Scotia will add 1,617 kilowatts of renewable electricity to the grid, if all projects are completed, which is more than double last year’s total.

The Solar for Community Buildings Program is a three-year pilot project run by Nova Scotia’s Department of Energy and enables eligible community groups and organizations to generate up to 75kW of solar electricity on their roofs or properties and sell it to their utility under a 20-year contract.

All applications were overseen by Clean Foundation, the independent procurement administrator.

This year, the average selling price for electricity generated through these projects is 25.4 cents per kilowatt hour. The impact to ratepayers is capped at 0.1 per cent, which is already built into the province’s rate stability plan.

The program will be offered for one more year and eligible organizations include; Mi’kmaq bands in Nova Scotia, registered non-profit or charitable organizations – including churches, municipalities or organizations wholly owned by a municipality, and universities or community colleges in Nova Scotia.

For more information on the program, visit: www.novascotia.ca/solar.