Nova Scotia’s Breezy Idea Puts Communities First

November 20, 2012

Tour the rolling countryside of Nova Scotia in the fall and it’s like driving right into a post card. The undulating hills are redolent with bright oranges and reds with the odd evergreen to change it up.

Head west of Truro and not only do you get this scenic drive but you’ll find Nuttby Mountain wind farm — the turbines popping up into view quite unexpectedly. It turns out those beautiful, treed hills also mean you don’t see wind farms from miles away.

I am here with Austen Hughes of Natural Forces, a community wind energy developer. We are here to stand in the shadows of wind turbines to talk about Nova Scotia’s community feed-in-tariff program. A program that supports smaller community scale wind and other renewable energy projects throughout Nova Scotia.

The transformation in Nova Scotia from burning dirty, unhealthy coal to cleaner, greener forms of energy has been remarkable. Since coming to power, the NDP government of Darryl Dexter has reduced coal-fired electricity from about 85 per cent of the electricity mix to 56 per cent today. A 75 per cent increase in coal costs was a motivator, but local jobs and investment and positive effects on the environment were the icing on the cake.