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CBU: Renewable Energy could be the Next Big Industry in Cape Breton

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Cape Breton is surrounded by natural beauty and resources, the ocean, the Bras d'Or Lakes and it has wind in abundance. The Verschuren Centre, an independent research arm of Cape Breton University is working on unlocking these natural resources sustainably and responsibly to see if renewable energy could be the next big industry in Cape Breton. 

Beth Mason, interim CEO thinks that it is a big possibility, “We’ve got that asset base . . . we could produce so much more than we require and that’s the principal of export. It’s being shown globally that renewables do enhance economic development. They do create jobs. It’s got to be one of the foundations we build on what we do here.”

The Verschuren Centre, which was opened in 2011 works together with Cape Breton University and shares resources at times and some CBU students use the labs in the building. Its team comprises of 22 scientists from around the world and renewable/clean energy is one of the four focus areas of the Centre. Originally conceived to continue the research on remediation, the focus has now shifted to find a greater value-add piece for the community of Cape Breton, for Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada as a whole and Dr. Mason believes that Cape Breton has the potential to fuel the Island and the rest of Nova Scotia with renewable energy.

The Verschuren Centre already shows the benefits renewables can have on a building. The hot water comes from solar collectors, a greywater system collects roof runoff for toilets and irrigation, geothermal heats and cools the rooms and a living wall improves air quality inside the building.

To read the full article in The Chronicle Herald, click here.

Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash