The rising costs of energy in Nova Scotia and a world in desperate need of moving towards green energy are the basis for bringing together three municipalities to create a new partnership and the Ellershouse Wind Farm.
The Towns of Antigonish, Berwick and Mahone Bay have partnered together, creating the Alternative Resource Energy Authority (AREA), which proposed building a wind farm to combat rising power costs and to achieve green energy targets proposed by the province of Nova Scotia.
The wind farm was developed in Ellershouse, Nova Scotia. Infrastructure had to be developed in addition to the turbines, including the roads, substations and electrical connections. The AREA group proposed building the wind farm at the cost of Twenty-Four Million dollars through a Development Agreement with West Hants. Eight different provincial sectors reviewed the costs of building the farm, including each of the three Town’s Auditors, Department of Energy, Department of Environment, Dept. of Economic Development, Dept. of Municipal Affairs, and the Municipal Finance Corporation. The funding was guaranteed by the three towns and financed through the Municipal Finance Corporation. Ellershouse Wind Farm began construction in summer of 2015, using top quality gearless turbines from Enercon. These particular turbines came with fifteen year warranties and an estimated life span of twenty-five years. All four turbines were working by the end of January 2016. Construction came under budget and performance exceeded expectations!
With the addition of this wind farm as a new power source, the municipal utilities are able to stabilize power rates for customers, any profits made from the sale of this green energy resource will stay among the AREA members, West Hants will receive taxes from the wind farm, and most honourable of all, the green energy targets set by the province will be met!
The success of this multi-million dollar energy source has prompted the AREA members to proceed with the addition of three more turbines. These turbines are currently under construction and should be supplying power by 2017.