More than 60 community groups apply for Nova Scotia's community-based renewable energy FIT program on its first day; projects can include wind, biomass, in-stream tidal, run-of-the-river hydro

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia , September 20, 2011 (press release) – On the first day of applications, more than 60 community groups applied for a unique, made-in-Nova Scotia initiative to encourage community participation in renewable energy projects.

The Community-Based Feed-in Tariff (COMFIT) concept was introduced in the 2010 Renewable Electricity Plan to help reduce green-house gas emissions, provide a secure supply of clean energy at stable prices and create jobs. The program began accepting applications Monday.

"It's exciting to see this kind of response for these community green energy projects," said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. "These projects will reduce our dependence on coal and get communities involved in innovative partnerships and opportunities. It allows for broader participation in renewable energy, resulting in projects that benefit, and are rooted, in communities."

Almost 100 community projects are registered with the department from a variety of eligible groups. All projects must pre-register to be checked for eligibility.

COMFIT allows eligible groups to receive an established price per kilowatt hour (kWh) for projects producing electricity from certain renewable resources. The feed-in tariff rates were established by the Utilities and Review Board in September.

Projects can include wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and run-of-the river tidal developments. Eligible groups include municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives and not-for-profit groups.

Hundreds of interested parties have attended information sessions across the province, or participated in an online seminar.

The COMFIT program will help the province reach its aggressive renewable electricity targets of 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 and 40 per cent by 2020. The province expects 100 megawatts to be produced through the COMFIT.

For more information on the program and to apply, visit www.nsrenewables.ca .

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