Canada announces support for first net-zero energy community in Nova Scotia

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

July 12, 2021 · Sydney, Nova Scotia · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)

Clean technology solutions are playing a bigger role than ever in our economy – creating new business opportunities, and helping communities and businesses reduce their carbon footprint. That is why the Government of Canada is supporting Atlantic Canadian organizations in their important work to reduce pollution and create a cleaner, stronger and more competitive economy.

Making the places people live more affordable by cutting energy waste

Today, the Government of Canada announced approximately $1.8 million in funding to New Dawn Enterprises and the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment to help produce clean electricity and energy savings for residents of Pine Tree Park Estates. The announcement was made by Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, and Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

The funding will allow New Dawn to build a community solar garden and update related energy and heating infrastructure at Pine Tree Park Estates. It will also support the Verschuren Centre’s role as project manager and the collection and analysis of data to inform and improve similar projects in the future. The solar garden will meet 100% of the energy needs of the Estates, emitting zero greenhouse gases. As the first net-zero energy community in Nova Scotia, this collaboration will serve as a model for clean growth across Atlantic Canada.

Canada’s strengthened climate plan proposes steps to deliver emissions reduction across the country. These initiatives will help to make the places we live and gather more affordable by cutting energy waste. The Government of Canada will continue to bring forward new and enhanced climate action measures to exceed our 2030 target and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. Today’s announcement demonstrates how investing in Canadian innovation and community development is an investment in the future.

Quotes

“As we continue to address the impacts of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is laying the groundwork for an inclusive recovery for all Canadians, one that supports innovative clean technologies in growing a greener economy.”

– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“The Government of Canada supports innovative projects that reduce emissions, and create good jobs. Today’s announcement highlights some of the important work that organizations like the Verschuren Centre are doing to help build a cleaner and healthier future. This kind of leadership and strategic project such as the one announced today will help Canada exceed its target and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“We have to be looking generations ahead when mapping out our region’s economic and ecological legacy. A low carbon economy is essential to achieving Nova Scotia’s goals for clean growth to fight climate change, and I’m proud that this visionary collaboration between a social enterprise and research institute is happening right here in Cape Breton.”

– Jaime Battiste, Member of Parliament for Sydney-Victoria

“Now more than ever, technology is changing the way rural Nova Scotia businesses and researchers can participate in the clean tech economy and engage with one another. I’m always proud to see the progressive work that comes out of New Dawn and the Verschuren Centre, and I know these organizations will be extremely successful in their collaboration.”

– Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso

“Partnering with the Verschuren Centre on this initiative is going to fundamentally change Pine Tree Park, the former Department of National Defense radar base property. It will eliminate greenhouse gas emissions for 28 residential units and 5 community buildings. It will make energy costs both more affordable and more predictable. With one of the largest solar installations in Nova Scotia powering the homes and buildings at Pine Tree Park, what other green or sustainable interventions do we want to make to create a modern, healthy, vibrant community here?”

– Erika Shea, President and CEO of New Dawn Enterprises

“This project brings immediate benefit through energy savings from the combined retrofit and renewable combination to those tenants of Pine Tree Park. Additionally it paves a path to decarbonizing communities in a manageable and affordable manner, creates direct local employment, and contributes to reducing in Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

– Dr. Beth Mason, CEO, Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment

Quick facts

  • New Dawn Enterprises, founded in 1976, is a social enterprise that develops community-based solutions to local challenges and opportunities, including initiatives such as housing, at-home senior care, meal delivery, and immigration settlement.

  • The Government of Canada is making a combined investment of up to $1.8 million toward the project:

    o $979,000 is being provided to New Dawn Enterprises Limited through the

    Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency‘s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) to install a 700 kilowatt

    (kW) community solar garden to meet 100% of the electricity demand of Pine Tree Park Estates.

    o $818,000 is being provided to the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment through

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) Low Carbon Economy Challenge Partnerships stream to the

    same community solar garden as well as other energy efficiency measures including heat pumps.

  • Over the lifetime of this project, there will be a cumulative reduction of about 14,300 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions-equivalent to removing approximately 4,400 passenger cars off the road for one year.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund, which includes the Partnerships stream, is an important part of Canada’s climate action plan, helping put Canada on a path to meet and exceed the Paris Agreement target for 2030.

  • The Low Carbon Economy Fund is supporting energy efficiency projects in provinces and territories across Canada, which will help Canadians and businesses save money by lowering energy bills. Additionally, support is available for industries to put in place clean technologies that will help them be more efficient and innovative, creating jobs and savings across Canada.

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