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Plymouth Community Centre going to cash in on the sun

County Coun. Andy Thompson stands outside the Plymouth Community Centre that will soon be heated by solar panels.
County Coun. Andy Thompson stands outside the Plymouth Community Centre that will soon be heated by solar panels. - Sueann Musick

Things will soon be heating up at the Plymouth Community Centre.

The centre is currently fundraising to have 72 installed on the roof of the building which will decrease its energy costs so revenue to can directed to building upgrades and programming in the future.

“It was one of those things where you use it or lose it,” said Pictou County Coun. Andy Thompson, adding the building is operating seven days a week with rentals from community groups including the Golden Glen Seniors which is the oldest seniors club in the county. “There are summer day camps here for kids five to 12. It has become a hub for people in the area. The whole idea behind the solar project was that we have building here, but you can’t run a building on love so we need to figure out how to operate it since our biggest expense is energy. “

The total cost of the project comes in at $55,000 and thanks to donations from local businesses and the community, there is about $20,000 left to raise, Thompson said. He said work on the building will involve removing the furnace and oil tanks because it will run on electricity.

“Work hopefully start this year,” he said. “It is about a six-day installation.”

The Plymouth Community Centre is one of six buildings approved under the province’s Solar Electricity for community Buildings Program.

The total projects approved include:

-- Cumberland County, Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre, 75 kilowatts

-- Colchester County, Rath Eastlink Community Centre, 75 kilowatts

– Colchester County, Don Henderson Memorial Sportsplex, 75 kilowatts

– Plymouth Community and Recreation Association, Pictou

County, 21 kilowatts

– Town of Amherst, Amherst Stadium, 75 kilowatts

– Fundy Ocean Research Center for Energy, Cumberland County, 25 kilowatts

This year, a total of 27 applications were selected from across the province. If all projects are completed, Nova Scotia will add 1,617 kilowatts of renewable electricity to the grid. That's more than double last year's total.

All applications were overseen by Clean Foundation, the independent procurement administrator.

The average selling price this year for electricity generated through these projects is 25.4 cents per kilowatt hour. The impact to ratepayers is capped at 0.1 per cent, which is already built into the province's rate stability plan.

The program is for Mi'kmaw communities, registered non-profit or charitable organizations, municipalities or organizations owned by municipalities, universities or community colleges in Nova Scotia.

The program will be offered for one more year. For more information on the program, visit www.novascotia.ca/solar .

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