Communities looking for ways to provide green, cost-effective power for their residents need look no further than Nova Scotia where three towns are setting an international example for energy collaboration and cooperation.

Mahone Bay, Antigonish and Berwick came together in 2013 to meet green energy targets while fighting rising power costs. They created the Alternative Resource Energy Authority which now owns and operates the 10-turbine, 23.5 MW Ellershouse Wind Farm in West Hants. It provides renewable energy to four municipal electric utilities in Nova Scotia.

The wind farm supplies 40 per cent of the energy for the three municipal utilities and the Riverport Electric Light Commission. As well, the three communities have reduced their carbon footprint by about 30,000 tonnes a year.

The community projects were highlighted recently in a commentary by Aaron Long, director of business services with the authority, highlighted by Saint John Energy.

Saint John Energy is working to develop that city’s first wind energy project. The Burchill Wind Project, anticipated to be operational in 2022, will feature a site with up to 10 large turbines and generate enough electricity to satisfy the power needs of more than 15 per cent of the utility’s customers.