BERWICK, NS – The Town of Berwick was recognized for its leading role in the province’s fight against climate change at a recent summit in Halifax.
Town mayor Don Clarke accepted the 2017 Climate Change Leaders Award from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities on behalf of Berwick at the group’s recent summit in Halifax, on Nov. 8.
The town was recognized along with Antigonish and Mahone Bay for their collective work on the Ellershouse Wind Farm, which supplies each town with green energy.
“This is a big thing for us because it shows we’re reducing costs, but also doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Clarke.
The project and its payoff
Around 25 per cent of the energy gathered by the 10 wind turbines is directed to Berwick. The energy is then sent to the Alternate Resource Energy Authority, or AREA, a group created by the three towns, and sold back to each town to be used.
The town in turn sources 40 per cent of its annual power usage from this energy.
The town also runs a hydroelectric dam in Factorydale, which supplies another 10 per cent of the town’s power.
It may sound complicated, but the results are simple, according to Clarke – clear indications that this large investment has proved worthwhile.
“We’re making money and supplementing our revenues. It’s also allowed us to keep taxes lower,” he said.
“We’re proud of the fact that we’ve done probably more than our part to mitigate global warming.”
Recognition for 20 years on council
Clarke was also recognized at the summit for his 20 years with town council, serving first as councillor and later as mayor after winning the 2012 election.
His current term will last another three years. He looks back on his years as mayor and feels confident Berwick is headed for great things.
“There are so many things happening now – it’s a good time to be mayor. We’ve had good growth and good changes,” he said.