May 10, 2004

NS Power receives approval for gas-fired turbine at Tufts Cove

Nova Scotia Power has received an Environmental Assessment (EA) approval to install a natural gas-fired combustion turbine at its Tufts Cove Generating Station in Dartmouth. Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash noted that the Class 1 EA conducted on the proposed project led to several terms and conditions being placed on the approval.

"We heard from some organizations that had environmental concerns about the increased generation of electricity, so we've restricted the use of the new turbine to meeting peak power demands only," he said.

NS Power applied for approval to install the new turbine in order to address large electricity peaks, like the ones seen last winter, and to meet future electricity needs of the province. If the facility exceeds a 20% capacity factor (measured on an annual basis), the utility will be required to convert the new # 5 turbine, as well as the existing #4 turbine, to a combined-cycle operation. This will both improve the overall efficiency of the turbines and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Other terms and conditions on the project include the installation of new air quality and emission monitoring systems. NS Power will be required to install a continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) for Nox on the #5 stack, in accordance with a commitment set out in its permit application. The approval also mandates participation by NS Power in future airshed management programs as required by the department.

The approval further stipulates that the new additions must not exceed current noise levels. NS Power must submit a noise management plan, detailing measure for noise monitoring and mitigation, for review and approval by department officials. Noise mitigation measures committed to in the application must be carried out, such as the installation of noise-reducing equipment.

The Class 1 EA conducted on the project also included a rigorous technical assessment by Environment and Labour Department staff. As well, the application was released for public comment. Information gathered during the government and public review period allowed the minister to determine whether the project should proceed and under what conditions.

The decision is available at any Environment and Labour office or on the department's Web site, www.gov.ns.ca/enla/.

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