Alternative Resource Energy Authority, or AREA, is a partnership between the Towns of Antigonish, Berwick and Mahone Bay. The towns each operate electric utilities and distribute power to customers within their service areas.
AREA decided to use wind turbine generators, located at the Ellershouse Wind Farm, to provide clean energy for the three towns and the Riverport Electric Light Commission. Wind turbines produce electricity without the use of fossil fuels and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our carbon footprint. Wind power is a clean, domestic source of energy that helps increase the energy security of Nova Scotia.
At the Ellershouse Wind Farm AREA operates 10 Enercon wind turbines near the community of Ellershouse, Nova Scotia. The maximum output of the farm is 23.15 MegaWatts. The Ellershouse Windfarm supplies 40% of the annual energy requirements for the municipal electric utilities of Berwick, Mahone Bay and Antigonish and the Riverport Electric Light Commission.
With significant project development assistance from Minas Energy, AREA developed the Ellershouse Wind Farm in three stages:
Phase 1: commercial operation of the first four Enercon Turbines in December 2015
Phase 2: commercial operation of the next three Enercon Turbines in December 2016
Phase 3: commercial operation of the final three Enercon Turbines in December 2017
The project location is ideal for wind energy because it has a favourable wind resource, a very strong electrical grid interconnection and can be effectively integrated with the local community and environment. These factors combine to make this a model site for a small municipal wind farm.