Delivering Reliable, Affordable And Clean Energy
100% renewable energy for our communities is achievable and in our sights. To meet our social, environmental, and legal obligations, we continue to move away from coal-based electricity and towards cleaner and affordable sources. The Ellershouse Wind Farm was the first project in our pursuit to achieve a greener electricity supply to our communities; now, we’ve set our sights on Community Solar.
Ellershouse Wind Farm
We built the Ellershouse Wind Farm over four years and three different construction phases. Each phase was carefully evaluated for investment risk and environmental impact, resulting in a total cost of $51 million. Finally, in 2018, the 23.5MW, ten-turbine Ellershouse Wind Farm was finished on time and on budget. Since then, the Wind Farm has consistently met the financial performance expectations set at the time of the investment decision by the partnering municipalities.
Today, the wind farm supplies 40% of our customers’ electrical needs. The 40% was an outstanding achievement, but we aren’t prepared to stop there. There is more to accomplish, and we are just getting started.
AREA has been actively developing solar photovoltaic projects in Nova Scotia since 2017. We began with 1.5 MW of commercial solar for 20 rural municipalities across the province through the Solar for Community Buildings Program. These 20 projects deliver cash flow positive revenue to rural communities through a 25-year power purchase agreement with Nova Scotia Power.
In 2020 we leveraged our commercial solar experience to develop the most significant community solar project in Canada. Across our three partner towns, we are building 9 MW of community solar gardens. These projects will unlock new and more equitable opportunities for residents and businesses to participate in solar energy regardless of their income or renting or owning their homes.
AREA and its partner towns’ municipal electric utility customers have migrated the balance of their electricity supply to the wholesale market to reduce costs and emissions further.
The migration to the wholesale market and our continued transition away from coal-fired generation has resulted in AREA achieving a more than 84% clean electricity profile in Canada’s third dirtiest provincial power system.