Community-based Wind Power for Nova Scotia

Eskasoni Band Council and Nova Scotia Power have signed a joint working agreement to pursue the development of additional wind power generation in Nova Scotia. The agreement will see both parties work together with a goal of placing more wind turbines on the ground while furthering economic development in this First Nations community.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – May 12, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “This project is a dream come true, for myself and for our community” said Chief Blair Francis of the Eskasoni First Nation. “Not only will it provide an environmentally-progressive source of electricity for own community, but it will also result in the direct transfer of knowledge and skills to Eskasoni. Today we are taking a giant step towards building a sustainable business which can go on to provide renewable energy solutions and services to other First Nations, and beyond. Since this is a first-of-its-kind partnership it may also serve as a model for additional projects either here in Nova Scotia or elsewhere in Canada.” An important first step was taken over two years ago when the Eskasoni Band Council initiated a program of wind testing and site prospecting locally which led to the formation of Eskasoni Power & Energy, the community agency tasked to explore and pursue such opportunities. Its first Chairman, Greg Johnson, is a long-time advocate of both wind energy and community generated power. “In looking around what was going on in the rest of the world, I noticed that countries in Europe, notably Denmark, were way ahead of us in turning to wind power,” Johnson said. “What really interested us is that most of the work had been done by community co-ops, who govern and operate their own communities in a very hands-on way, much like our own. The first project expected to be undertaken within the agreement is the construction and operation of three commercial wind turbines. The electrical energy from the turbines is to be generated within the Eskasoni community. It will be sold to Nova Scotia Power under a Power Purchase Agreement, which will increase the overall portion of power from renewables carried over the provincial grid to meet general power demands. “Nova Scotia Power is actively pursuing several strategies to bring more power from renewable sources into homes and businesses. The Eskasoni project will continue to move us forward by expanding the role for renewables to supply some of our daily energy requirements,” said Nova Scotia Power’s Chief Operating Officer, Ralph Tedesco. “We expect to form a new business relationship and we are excited to be working together.” Under the agreement, it is expected that Eskasoni Power & Energy will provide turbine site development, construction and operation of the project and that NSPI will act as the strategic commercial partner as well as providing technical expertise and direct investment. Nova Scotia Power currently has two wind turbines providing energy to the provincial grid and will purchase more wind power from a 17-turbine wind farm in Pubnico Point, Yarmouth County that is under construction. In Nova Scotia, 9 percent of the electricity comes from renewable sources including hydro, tidal and wind power.

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