The province launched its first community renewable energy projects today, March 19, as part of its plan to ensure the lowest, fairest power rates for Nova Scotia families and businesses.

Premier Darrell Dexter joined Energy Minister Charlie Parker, representatives from Seaforth Energy and municipal officials in Stellarton to mark the event. The province commissioned six 50-kilowatt turbines, including three in Goldboro, two in Tatamagouche and one in New Glasgow.

"This is clean power produced in Nova Scotia, by Nova Scotians," said Premier Dexter. "Our community feed-in tariff program is the only one of its kind in the world, so this is a big first for Nova Scotia."

The energy produced from these wind turbines will be sold to the electricity grid and used in the communities where it was generated. The wind projects will also create jobs and help the environment.

"We are pleased to play a role in increasing the use of green energy in Nova Scotia," said New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan. "The wind turbine at our Forbes Lake Water Treatment facility will produce energy efficient electricity that will be purchased by Nova Scotia Power. This will allow us to reduce our costs and invest these savings back into our water treatment plant.

"Leading environmental stewardship has been a priority for our town for many years and this successful partnership allows us to continue to achieve these goals for the betterment of our community."

All of the wind turbines coming online today were built, and will be operated, by Seaforth Energy, a Nova Scotia company that manufactures wind turbines in the province and ships them worldwide. The company is also a world leader in the installation and maintenance of wind turbines.

"Seaforth Energy is proud that the first electricity produced under the Nova Scotia community feed-in tariff program will be generated using Nova Scotian technology, in the form of our AOC 15/50 wind turbine," said Mike Morris, CEO of Seaforth Energy. "We encourage other communities to participate in the Nova Scotia Community Feed-in-Tariff program."

These wind projects will provide their communities with a renewable power source at a stable rate for 20 years. In total, the projects will produce more than 600,000 kwh of energy in the next year. That is enough to power up to 120 homes.

"The days of double-digit rate increases are over," said Premier Dexter. "By working together with partners like Seaforth and municipalities across the province, we are taking control of Nova Scotia's energy future. This is an affordable, made-in-Atlantic-Canada approach to a problem that has been around for more than a generation."

COMFIT is a made-in-Nova Scotia initiative. The province expects 100 megawatts to be produced through COMFIT programs like these turbines.

For more information on the program, visit WWW.NSRENEWABLES.CA.

March 19, 2013, Nova Scotia