Bathurst backs Naveco Power wind farm bid

The City of Bathurst is working with renewable energy company Naveco Power in hopes of building New Brunswick’s first community-owned wind farm.

Bathurst city council recently passed a resolution to support Naveco’s bid to construct a 20-megawatt wind project through NB Power’s Locally Owned Renewable Energy Small-Scale (LORESS) program.

The plan includes five wind turbines installed in the Grande-Anse area capable of powering more than 9,000 homes in the region.

“It is an innovative approach for a municipality to be involved in a clean energy project,” Paolo Fongemie, Mayor of Bathurst, said in a news release. “This could mean the development of projects such as trails and public transit linking northern communities. That is quite interesting to us.”

In a release, Amit Virmani, founder of Fredericton-based Naveco Power, said the project aligns perfectly with NB Power’s search for “cost-competitive solutions compared to other power-generation sources found in New Brunswick that create long-term jobs for fellow New Brunswickers.”

“This project will generate 9,000 homes’ worth of electricity. There are about 12,000 people living in Bathurst — this project could be equal to taking all the homes in Bathurst off the grid,” Virmani said.

He noted the project is expected to create 100 jobs during construction and 10 direct and indirect long-term jobs to maintain the turbines.

Naveco will submit the project proposal to NB Power on behalf of the City of Bathurst. The provincial government recently extended the deadline for LORESS submissions to June 30 at 3 p.m.

NB Power will review submissions this summer and fall.

Projects like this bring us one step closer to replacing our outdated power-generating facilities such as the Belldune generating system (NB Power’s last coal-fired facility) with equally cost-effective clean energy options that also support local job creation.