Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Power seeks subscribers for 4,500-panel 'solar garden'

Nova Scotia Power is looking for 200 to 400 subscribers to the province's first community "solar garden," a project involving 4,500 solar panels set up in an industrial park in Amherst, N.S.

Solar panel array located in Amherst, N.S., industrial park

The Nova Scotia Power solar garden in Amherst, N.S., is shown. (Submitted by Nova Scotia Power)

Nova Scotia Power is looking for 200 to 400 subscribers to the province's first community "solar garden," a project involving 4,500 solar panels set up in an industrial park in Amherst, N.S.

The pilot project has received financial support from Ottawa, the Nova Scotia government and the town.

A solar garden means people who cannot install solar panels on their homes, or those who live in apartments or condos, can buy alternative energy and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"It makes us a more green community," said Amherst Mayor David Kogan. "We're cutting edge, I think."

People who subscribe to the community solar garden will pay about $3 a month, on top of their power bills, in the first year and then the cost declines over the next six to 10 years.

A vice-president with Nova Scotia Power said there are plans for other community solar gardens across the province.

"Opening up the door for 200 to 400 Nova Scotians to subscribe is pretty exciting," said David Landrigan. "But it would be better to have more available for more Nova Scotians."

Power from the Amherst solar garden is expected to start going into the utility's grid in early January.

According to Nova Scotia Power, 30 per cent of its electricity now comes from renewable energy. In 2022 it will be 60 per cent and by 2030 will be over 80 per cent.

The Nova Scotia government recently passed legislation enshrining in law the goal of supplying 80 per cent of the province's electricity using renewables by 2030.

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