April 3, 2023
Renters in an affordable housing community in Sydney will soon have lower energy bills thanks to a new community solar garden.
Combined with other upgrades, the solar panels will make Pine Tree Park Estates the province’s first net-zero, affordable housing community.
Affordable Energy in Pine Tree Park Estates
“This project reimagines what affordable housing looks like in Cape Breton and in Nova Scotia,” said Pat Dunn, Minister of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage, on behalf of Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. “In addition to affordable rent, these residents will have lower energy bills and emissions because they’re using less energy and it will be almost entirely renewable.”
The Province is contributing $475,000 to help New Dawn Enterprises, which owns Pine Tree Park Estates, install the solar garden. It is expected to meet the community’s electricity needs and eliminate 680 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
New Dawn has already made other energy efficiency upgrades to the community’s homes and buildings, including conversion from oil heat to heat pumps, with electric heat as backup.
“Erika Shea, CEO and President, New Dawn EnterprisesThis investment is going to fundamentally change Pine Tree Park. It will remove all fossil fuels from the property and make energy costs both more affordable and more predictable for our residents. The project – one of the largest solar installations in Nova Scotia – also enables future opportunities for expanding this vibrant, healthy, sustainable community.“
Our homes and buildings are where we live, work, study and gather. They are important to our well-being, to our economy and as a space for social interaction — but they are also Canada’s third-largest source of emissions. That is why the Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) are investing in decarbonizing the buildings sector to meet Canada’s 2030 climate target and achieve a net-zero economy by 2050.