I have long preached about the importance of communities owning and developing their own resources rather than the constant give-aways. Here is a model from Nova Scotia showing how this can be done today. This is for tidal energy but the approach is applicable to any resource.
Nova Scotia tidal energy developer seeks local investment for community projects
Westport, Nova Scotia-July 31, 2013 –Fundy Tidal Inc. (Fundy Tidal) seeks to issue a maximum of $3 million dollars in shares through the Province’s Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF) program. The investment is RRSP eligible and is only available to Nova Scotia residents who are 19 years of age or older.
Fundy Tidal is seeking investment funds to continue research and project development activities that are required to support tidal energy projects approved under the Nova Scotia (NS) Department of Energy’s small-scale tidal Community Feed-In Tariff (COMFIT) program. Fundy Tidal received approvals for several projects in Digby County (1.95 MW in Digby Gut and 500 kW in each of Grand Passage and Petit Passage) and Cape Breton (100 kW in Barra Strait and 500 kW in Great Bras d’Or Channel).
The NS Utilities and Review Board has set a rate of 65.2 cents per kilowatt hour for locally-based small-scale tidal energy projects. These projects are to be connected to the distribution electrical system and the power sold to Nova Scotia Power Inc. through a power purchase agreement created specifically for COMFIT projects. The term “small-scale” refers to projects that use tidal turbines that generate up to 500 kW of power. Depending on the maximum speed of the tidal current (considering a range of 5 to 10 knots) and turbine efficiency, the diameter of a 500 kW turbine ranges from approximately 5 to 15 meters.
Fundy Tidal was established on Brier Island in 2006 as a result of local interest to generate marine renewable energy from the tidal currents of the Outer Bay of Fundy, including Digby Gut, Grand Passage and Petit Passage. Fundy Tidal’s focus is small-scale tidal energy projects that involve community ownership and local benefits. The current Board of Directors and 57 shareholders include individuals and businesses from key communities in the Digby County area and around the province including Westport, Tiverton, Digby, Bear River, Weymouth, Meteghan, Wolfville, Halifax, Saulnierville and Yarmouth. The Northumberland Wind Field Inc., a CEDIF developing the 1.74MW Avondale Project in Pictou County under the wind power COMFIT, is also a founding shareholder of the company.
“This is a key milestone for our company to not only raise additional capital for our projects but to meet the COMFIT requirement to have a successful CEDIF offering with at least 25 investors.” says Vince Stuart, Fundy Tidal president.
For more information on the COMFIT Program see **www.nsrenewables.ca. Information on the CEDIF program can be found at **www.gov.ns.ca/econ/cedif. To learn more about tidal power in Nova Scotia see the Acadia Tidal Energy Institute’s Community and Business Toolkit for Tidal Energy Development available at **http://tidalenergy.acadiau.ca/community-business-toolkit-.html.
** Fundy Tidal does not maintain the contents of these sites and is therefore not responsible for their contents.