Mi’kmaq Community Develops Renewable Energy Project
The Millbrook First Nation is en route to enjoying the economic and environmental benefits of generating its own renewable electricity, with the approval of the first Mi’kmaq Community Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) project application.
Energy Minister Charlie Parker announced today, Feb. 10, at the Glooscap Heritage Centre near Truro, that the six megawatt wind project is cleared to proceed to the next phase of development.
“Nova Scotia’s Mi’kmaq have long understood the powerful relationship between responsible stewardship of our natural resources and a community’s economic and social well-being,” said Mr. Parker. “This project is a model of what the COMFIT program is all about.”
Due to the project’s size, an Environmental Assessment, a Communities, Culture and Heritage Archaelogical Resource Impact Assessment and a Mi’kmaq Ecological Study are all necessary, along with continued engagement with the surrounding community.
Millbrook First Nation Chief Lawrence Paul said the project was a natural fit for the Millbrook community, which has embraced economic development opportunities such as the Millbrook Power Centre.
“Our culture is built around a profound respect for nature and a commitment to working together as a community. Renewable electricity is a 21st century expression of these values.”
The 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan introduced the COMFIT concept to help provide a secure supply of clean energy at stable prices, build support for renewable energy projects and create jobs. The program began accepting applications several months ago.
More than a dozen community groups have submitted over 90 locally-based proposals for the unique, made-in-Nova Scotia initiative that encourages community participation in renewable energy projects. The ten projects approved so far will generate approximately 31 MW of electricity.
The province is working with the remaining applicants to complete applications and build alliances among those in competition, with the bulk of applications expected to be processed by the spring.
The COMFIT application process is still open. Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the COMFIT administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org as early as possible to discuss projects.
COMFIT provides eligible groups an established price per kilowatt hour for projects producing electricity from renewable resources such as wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and run-of-the-river tidal developments. The feed-in tariff rates were established by the Utilities and Review Board in September.
Eligible groups include municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives, universities, community economic development funds and not-for-profit groups.
The COMFIT program will help the province reach its aggressive renewable electricity targets of 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020. The province expects 100 megawatts to be produced through the COMFIT.
For more information on the program and to apply, visit www.nsrenewables.ca .