Canada Invests in New Glasgow Renewable Energy System

News release

June 6, 2022                                   New Glasgow, Nova Scotia                                              Natural Resources Canada

Across the country, Canadians are feeling the impacts of climate change. The Government of Canada is working with municipalities and industry to implement climate solutions. By investing in renewable energy initiatives that support energy independence and economic development while lowering GHG emissions, we can keep our air clean and build strong, healthy communities for everyone to call home. 

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced a $515,000 investment in TorchLight Bioresources to study a district energy system — a heat network — that would connect over 90 percent of buildings in the community and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and heating costs for Canadians in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

The feasibility study will design a heat network that uses renewable biomass and wind energy supplies, helping to create new jobs, support sustainable Nova Scotian forestry and grow the local economy.

Biomass is proven to be a low-cost renewable fuel in many heating applications, supplying energy when and where it is needed. District energy systems are a safer, more reliable way to heat buildings and have proven to be essential to the decarbonization of similar northern countries, such as Sweden, Finland and Denmark.

The Town of New Glasgow, TorchLight Bioresources, Rathco, the Federation of Nova Scotia Woodland Owners and ACFOR are also contributing to the project, bringing the total investment to $755,000.

Federal funding for this project is provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways (SREPs) program, a four-year, $964-million program that provides support for smart renewable energy and electrical grid modernization projects. This program will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling increased renewable energy capacity that will provide essential grid services while supporting Canada’s ongoing transition to a net-zero economy by 2050 as well as Canada’s commitment to achieve a 100-percent net-zero-emitting electricity system by 2035. 

Canada’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy ensures Canada will remain a world leader in clean power. In Budget 2022, Canada committed to investing an additional $600 million over five years to the SREPs program to continue to support renewable electricity and grid modernization projects. 


“Transforming the way communities produce and use energy is key to building a prosperous economy that is aligned with our climate objectives. Today’s announcement of a feasibility study will enable TorchLight Bioresources’ district energy system project in the Town of New Glasgow. This represents our government’s commitment to collaborating with and investing in communities in pursuit of building a clean and prosperous future in Nova Scotia and across the country. ”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Minister of Natural Resources

“Growing the economy and protecting the environment are top priorities for our government. I am thrilled to see important projects that promote both of those goals go ahead right here in our own backyard. Part of the solution to lowering GHG emissions while creating and supporting good jobs across Nova Scotia, including in Nova Scotia’s forestry sector, can be achieved through the use of biomass and wind energy as a renewable energy source. Seeing this groundbreaking study move ahead right here in New Glasgow in partnership with TorchLight Bioresources should serve as a vote of confidence for our community and its place in the green economy.”

The Honourable Sean Fraser,

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Member of Parliament for Central Nova

“We are incredibly thankful to Natural Resources Canada for supporting this project and to the Town of New Glasgow for placing its trust in us. We are excited to engage with the residents and businesses of New Glasgow to determine if a biomass district heating system is the best energy option for the community. District energy systems are proven to provide significant local economic and community resiliency benefits, and we are eager to work with the Town of New Glasgow to design a system that maximizes these benefits for New Glaswegians.”

Dr. Jamie Stephen

Managing Director, TorchLight Bioresources

“The Town of New Glasgow is actively working to advance ambitious climate action to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, improve community resilience and support local economic development. Decarbonizing heating is essential to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions. This project is an exciting opportunity to explore a low-carbon pathway for community heating and to meaningfully address energy poverty through a reliable pricing model. Heating with local sustainable biomass can create new jobs, support the Nova Scotia forestry sector and grow our local economy. We are grateful for the funding support from Natural Resources Canada and look forward to working with the team at TorchLight Bioresources.”

Nancy Dicks

Mayor of the Town of New Glasgow

Associated links


Natural Resources Canada
Media Relations


Keean Nembhard
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources


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