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News Release

Community Solar Project to Move Forward

(February 8, 2011) - Regional Council voted tonight to approve the next step in developing the Community Solar Project. Specifically, Council formally accepted the results of the community consultation sessions and agreed to ongoing consultation with industry as the program moves forward. The decision also gives approval for the proposed principles and conditions that will be used to develop the business model, and directs staff to move forward with applications for funding solutions in support of the program.

An initiative of HRM’s Sustainable Environment Management Office (SEMO), the Community Solar Pilot Project is designed to help residents take advantage of the municipality’s significant solar energy potential without having to become an expert in the technology or navigate the technical and financing options.

Mayor Peter Kelly said he was pleased by the public’s positive response to the pilot project and proud of HRM’s leadership role in promoting renewable energy. “Residents have shown overwhelming support by attending information sessions and signing up for the Community Solar Project,” the mayor said. “This unique and innovative program has the potential to make HRM Canada’s first solar city.”

Staff will now move forward with next steps to secure funding for the program and complete a detailed financial model. This is expected to be presented to Council in late spring. If approved, a solicitation process will take place to identify proposed vendors for Council approval. If all approvals are granted, installations could begin taking place in the fall.

“We have had excellent response to the proposed pilot program,” said Richard MacLellan, manager, Sustainable Environmental Management Office. “Our focus now is to ensure we apply due diligence in the next project development phase in order to fully benefit HRM residents.”

Through the program, approximately 1,000 HRM homeowners would be eligible to have two solar hot water panels installed on their property. They would repay the cost for panels and installation as a supplement to their tax bill.

More information can be found online at halifax.ca/solarcity .

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Mayor Peter Kelly
490-4010

Richard MacLellan
SEMO
490-6056

Julian Boyle
Infrastructure and Asset Management
476-8075