As a 100% municipally-owned company formed in 2014 by the towns of Antigonish, Berwick and Mahone Bay, we believe in the strength of collaboration. The development of the 10-turbine, 23.5 MW Ellershouse Wind Farm in Winsor-West Hants is proof that when municipalities collaborate, they transform their communities. Today, the Ellershouse Wind Farm provides over 40% renewable energy to our owner-towns and the Riverport Electric Light Commission, making them the only Utilities to meet the original design of Nova Scotia’s 40% Renewable Electricity Standard in 2020. Not only did we achieve this standard, but we also did it two years early, in January 2018.
The Ellershouse Wind Farm development has enabled us to deliver clean energy and financial benefits to our owner-towns and additional financial benefits of over $550,000 to date to the West Hants and Ellershouse communities through Wind Farm tax annual donations.
AREA has been developing solar photovoltaic projects in Nova Scotia since 2017, starting with 1.5 MW of commercial solar for 20 municipalities across the province through the Solar for Community Buildings Program. These 20 projects deliver revenue to rural communities and allow them to participate in renewable energy.
Inspired by the opportunities presented through community solar and the experience we gained through these projects; we launched the development of our own Community Solar Gardens. Cumulatively we will build 9MW of Community Solar in the towns of Antigonish, Berwick and Mahone Bay. These Community Solar Gardens will unlock opportunities for people to participate in solar, without needing a roof and at a financial level of their own choosing.
With our projects and customer programs, AREA’s mission is to create a realistic path towards net zero in the supply and end-user sides of electrical power.
It takes everyone in a community to make the transition to a greener future, and at the heart of it lies teamwork. Our successful collaboration with municipal partners, government, industry, and customers has resulted in financial benefits to our communities and a clear path to net zero.