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Market News

 April 23, 2010
Nova Scotia Announces Renewable Electricity Plan

 Nova Scotia is charting a course to be a global leader in green energy by 2020.

Halifax, Canada -The government of Nova Scotia has released a plan  designed to increase renewable electricity supply, improve energy security, stabilize long-term prices and create opportunities for jobs and investment.

Premier Darrell Dexter announced that the province has set a goal of 40 per cent of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020, nearly four times higher than 2009 levels.

"This strategy will create hundreds of good jobs for Nova Scotians and a billion-and-a-half dollars in new investment to help grow the economy," said Premier Dexter. "Consumers can look forward to more stable electricity prices and a more secure supply of energy." 

The plan outlines an aggressive program to move Nova Scotia away from imported coal-based electricity towards greener local sources, supported by world-class wind and tidal resources.

"This strategy will create hundreds of good jobs for Nova Scotians and a billion-and-a-half dollars in new investment to help grow the economy," said Premier Dexter. "Consumers can look forward to more stable electricity prices and a more secure supply of energy."

Nearly 90 percent of the province's electricity supply comes from fossil fuels - most of it coal. Coal made more sense when it was mined in Nova Scotia, but not when bought from others.

This over-reliance on a single fuel source drains wealth away from the province and has a negative impact on both health and the environment.

With this plan, government's commitment to 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 will become law. Other highlights include:

  • equal participation by Nova Scotia Power and independent producers for medium- to large-size projects to ensure value for customers

  • a fixed price, or feed-in tariff, for community-based projects to allow broader participation

  • enhanced net metering, which credits consumers for the energy they produce with wind, solar and other renewables

  • a cautious approach to biomass, with harvesting standards and caps on generation in new and existing plants

  • feed-in tariffs for small-scale tidal projects and tidal arrays, if further development proves safe

  • encouraging further natural gas use to help balance intermittent sources like wind

Highlights

25% Renewable Electricity by 2015 - This plan commits the 2015 target of 25% renewable electricity to law

The New Goal: 40% Renewable Electricity by 2020 - By 2020, this goal means more than 500,000 homes will be running on renewable power - more than enough energy for every residential customer in Nova Scotia.

Community Projects: Fixed Price - This plan establishes a community-based feed-in tariff for municipalities, First Nations, co-operatives and non-profit groups. Businesses who operate through a CEDIF (Community Economic Development Investment Fund) also qualify.

Individuals and Small Business: Enhanced Net Metering - Projects up to one megawatt and connected to multiple meters within a single distribution zone will be eligible to use two-way meters. Excess power will be purchased at retail rates.

Large Projects: Regulation + Competition - Half of all large- and medium-scale projects will be set aside for Independent Power Producers, with bidding to take place under a competitive system. All bid processes will be managed by a new authority, the Renewable Electricity Administrator. NSPI will be responsible for the other half, with projects evaluated and approved by the NS Utility and Review Board.

Tidal Power: Small and Large Support - A feed-in tariff will be offered for small-scale and large-scale projects.

Solar: Qualifies under Net Metering - Solar will qualify as a renewable resource under the enhanced net metering program

Biomass: Proceed with Caution - Forest biomass will play a role in meeting the 2015 target but there will be caps on new generation.

The Renewable Electricity Plan is available at www.gov.ns.ca/energy 

Source: www.gov.ns.ca