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Nova Scotia’s First Community Solar Garden is Open for Applications

Nova Scotia Power customers can now apply to take part in the province’s first community solar garden.

Located in Amherst, the pilot project is an important step in making solar energy more accessible to more customers and helping to build a green economy in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Power customers can now apply to take part in the province’s first community solar garden. Located in Amherst, the pilot project is an important step in making solar energy more accessible to more customers and helping to build a green economy in Nova Scotia.The community solar garden is an example of the power of collaboration and is one of the ways the company is working with partners, communities and customers to help power a greener Nova Scotia, together. The garden will be connected to the electricity grid and will be accessible for our customers to benefit from – even those who wouldn’t be able to install solar panels, like customers living in apartments, condos, or in a shaded location.

The new community solar garden will produce approximately 2700 MWh of electricity a year – enough to power about 240 homes or 700 battery powered electric vehicles. Customers can now apply for the program. Those eligible will be able to subscribe to kilowatt (kW) blocks of power for a subscription fee and in return, will receive a monthly credit on their bill based on their share of the power produced.

The community solar garden is a partnership between Nova Scotia Power, the Town of Amherst, Nova Scotia-based company Natural Forces Solar, as well as both the federal and provincial governments. The solar garden is one of four components planned to test clean energy technologies and their benefits to customers as part of the Smart Grid Nova Scotia project. Other pilots include the testing of batteries at three commercial sites, 135 residential battery storage systems, 100 electric vehicle smart chargers and up to 20 bidirectional chargers.

The Smart Grid Nova Scotia Project brings these technologies together to help show the possibilities for the future in a real way. Individually, these technologies can offer some benefit, however, when integrated effectively with the electrical system it unlocks their full potential, providing value that can be shared amongst all customers in the province. The focus is on creating a smarter, cleaner and more resilient grid, while ensuring affordable electricity for Nova Scotia families and businesses.

Smart Grid Nova Scotia is part of the $90M Smart Grid Atlantic initiative that will include three community-scale projects within New Brunswick and this Project in NS. This initiative is receiving funding support from Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada, Natural Resources Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia.

NS Power Amherst Solar Garden 4

Quick Facts

  • It takes about 8 kilowatts (kW) to power the average home
  • Customers in the pilot will pay $6.86 for each kW they sign up for.
  • Nova Scotia Power is anticipating anywhere from 200 to 400 customers to take part.
  • There are 4,550 solar panels in the new community solar garden.

Additional Information:


“The Government of Canada is a proud partner of this project. It aligns perfectly with our strengthen and climateagenda, which spotlights green innovation and renewable energy projects to help us reach net zero emissions by2050. Our agenda also positions local community initiatives.” Andy Fillmore, Nova Scotia MP

“I am very pleased to see the launch of the province’s very first solar garden in Amherst,” said Tory Rushton,Minister of the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables.“This solar garden is asubstantial investment in renewable energy for this community, that will help the community meet its energy needs in more efficient and environmentally-friendly ways, while helping us achieve our goal of being carbonneutral by 2050.”

“The Town of Amherst is excited to be a partner with Nova Scotia Power, Natural Forces Solar, the Governmentof Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia in this milestone project that will help our community and Novascotia build a greener economy. Our involvement in this project, which gives Nova Scotia Power customers theopportunity to enjoy the benefits of solar power, even if they cannot or prefer not to install solar panels on theirroof or property, is a further sign of our commitment to making the Town of Amherst the greenest community itcan be.” Mayor David Kogon, Town of Amherst

“As part of the Smart Grid Nova Scotia project, the community solar garden pilot in Amherst is the perfectexample of the power of collaboration and the ability to make a positive impact on climate action and help buildthe green economy, right here at home in Nova Scotia. We’re forecasting to reach 60% of our electricity comingfrom renewable sources by 2022 and working towards 80% renewable energy by 2030. This means that whenyou plug in your appliances, heat your home using electricity, or switch to an electric vehicle, you’re plugginginto a grid that's getting greener over time. A huge thank you and congratulations to everyone on this project.We’re excited to continue on the path to powering a green Nova Scotia, together.” Dave Landrigan, VPCommercial, NSP

“Bringing renewable energy to communities is paramount to the mission of Natural Forces Solar. We aredelighted to be a part of this project to make renewable energy accessible to all Nova Scotians, and look forwardto further projects that allow Nova Scotians to take part in the clean energy revolution.” Roby Douglas, VPOperations, Natural Forces