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About Us

Alternative Resource Energy Authority, or AREA, is a partnership between the Towns of Berwick and Mahone Bay. Other members of the Municipal Electric Utilities of Nova Scotia Cooperative may join in the future.

The purpose of the Authority is to provide for the following, which are municipal services: production of electrical energy; the purchase from, sale to, and management of electrical energy and services involving municipal electric commissions in Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia municipalities which operate electric utilities, and other customers eligible under the Open Access Transmission Tariff or other enabling legislation; and the ownership of physical facilities to provide these services.

The towns all operate electric utilities and distribute power to customers within their service areas.

Berwick Electric Commission

This community has operated a hydroelectric generating system on the South Branch Annapolis River since 1921, prior to its incorporation as the Town of Berwick in 1923. Previously, dams upstream from the present day headpond in Factorydale had been constructed and used for log driving. There was a sawmill at the Factorydale site until 1919 or so, operated by the Easson family. In the period 1919 to 1921, the Town acquired this property from the Eassons and converted the millpond to a hydro headpond. The upstream dams were used to impound water for later generation, as well as using run of river. The first generator was a 125 kW machine. In the early 1920s, Berwick supplied electricity to residents of the Town, and to local distribution companies in Morristown, Aylesford, and Somerset. Subsequently, the Avon River Light and Power Company built a 22kV transmission line along the Dominion Atlantic Railway and began buying up local distribution companies, and selling power to Berwick and other communities which retained their utilities.

The Utility operates the distribution system serving the Town and some adjacent areas of Kings County. Staff undertakes line construction and maintenance, meter installations and meter reading, hydro control and maintenance, and standby duty and trouble calls. Operationally the BEC employs three Powerline Technicians who conduct meter work and hydro operations as well. The Commission operates one fully capable double bucket truck, a digger derrick for pole setting, a van for general transportation and a diesel 4x4 and a tracked vehicle for hydro operations. They also exchange aid with other town departments and support special events such as Gala Days.

Mahone Bay Electric Utility

The Town of Mahone Bay supplies electricity to approximately 725 customers located within the Town, as well, 26 customers residing near the Town limit in the Maders Cove.

The Town purchases electricity from Nova Scotia Power Inc., and distributes it to its customers from the electrical substation located on Pond Street. The Town’s Electrical Department is staffed by two Powerline Technicians.






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