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ACE Co-op garners praise as new community solar pilot announced

Community Online First

ANTIGONISH – Supporters of solar power and clean energy gathered this morning outside the Antigonish County Municipal Building for the official launch of the provincial Department of Energy’s Solar Electricity for Community Buildings Pilot program.

Under the program, non-profit organizations will be able to bid on contracts to produce solar power and sell it back to the grid at a profit. The eligible groups are Mi’kmaw bands, municipalities, non-profits and colleges and universities. Groups can apply between May 31st and July 7th for contracts that will run for 20 years.

In light of the Co-op’s own lobbying and promotional activities around solar, the Co-op is delighted to see this program come into force.

“After the loss of the highly successful COMFIT program and the amendment of the Energy Act, which provides for NSPI to charge a tariff to solar investors, our members and supporters joined us in raising our voices to support solar and clean energy: by signing our petition to Premier McNeil, by writing in during the budget consultations, and by contacting their MLAs,” notes David Morgan, ACE Co-op president.

“We thank them for their efforts,” continues Morgan, “and we applaud this step and encourage future governments to aggressively expand support for solar, wind and other viable clean energy, to get Nova Scotia on 100 per cent renewables as quickly as possible.”

The ACE Co-op garnered praise from Energy Minister Michel Samson who said the Antigonish Co-operative has shown “leadershipin your community.”

Antigonish County Warden Russel Boucher went further, proclaiming, “The ACE Co-op and the ACE planning group are leaders in creating and enabling an environment for community members and organizations to make solar part of their energy reality. Their work, and the support they offer, is to be commended. I am looking forward to seeing the advancement in solar energy that this program makes possible here at home and across the province.”

The ACE Co-op is prepared to organize a special group buy for program applicants in their coverage area, which encompasses Cape Breton as well as Antigonish, Guysborough, Pictou and Colchester counties. The Co-op recommends that applicants in these areas take advantage of its group-purchases to help drive down capital investment costs, thereby making their bids more competitive.

For further info on the Community Solar Pilot program visit: https://novascotia.ca/solar/.

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