November 8, 2004

NS Electricity Act to ensure renewable energy supply; 17 new projects proposed

Nova Scotia's newly-passed Electricity (2004) Act will ensure that more of the province's electricity comes from renewable resources. The legislation requires resellers of electricity to ensure that a minimum portion of the supply comes from renewable resources. Regulations to be made under the act will state that, by 2010, 5% of Nova Scotia's electricity supply must come from renewable resource generating capacity that was built after 2001.

Energy Minister Cecil Clarke said the act will make renewable sources of energy more attractive to developers. "Nova Scotia offers many excellent locations for using the wind to generate electricity," he said. "The new act will ensure a predictable market for developers who want to use this resource."

The act implements four of the recommendations of the Electricity Marketplace Governance Committee. In 2003, the joint government- industry committee made 89 recommendations on how the province could implement the electricity provisions of Nova Scotia's Energy Strategy.

The act also requires Nova Scotia Power to establish a tariff or toll for carrying power from other generators over its transmission system. The tariff would be subject to approval by the Utilities and Review Board, which has already received an application for the tariff from NS Power.

Because of the new act, six municipally operated electrical companies will now be able to buy power from generators other than NS Power. "This act advances the commitment we made in our Energy Strategy to ensure Nova Scotians have a secure, reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity supply," Clarke said.

More information is available from John Perkins at the Nova Scotia Department of Energy, 902/424-1757, E-mail perkinje@gov.ns.ca.

Meanwhile, a call for proposals by NS Power seeking 20 megawatts (MW) of power from renewable energy sources proved so successful it was over-subscribed. As a result, the corporation has accepted all 17 projects totaling 28 MW stretching from the French Shore to Cape Breton. Together, these projects will displace the equivalent of 80,000 tonnes of CO2 or 31,000 tonnes of coal, using sources such as wind energy, landfill gas and wood waste to generate power.

"We are very delighted with the both the level of interest shown by independent renewable energy producers, and by the mix of renewable energy producers' projects submitted," said Bob Johnson, NS Power's senior manager, renewable energy development. "We are accepting all 17 projects in order to accelerate development of energy from renewables."

The 17 project proposals were submitted by eight businesses. Most of the projects are wind turbines, generating around two MW per turbine. Biogas projects will generate two MW, while biomass projects will generate one MW.

Wind energy proponents include Renewable Energy Services, Vector Wind Energy, Black River Hydro, Cape Breton Power, Eskasoni Power & Energy and 3093398 Nova Scotia.

Highland Energy will use methane-rich landfill gases to generate two MW of power, while Comeau Lumber plans to make surplus power, derived from wood wastes from its lumber manufacturing operation, available over the provincial grid.

More information is available from Margaret Murphy at NS Power, 902/428-6436, E-mail Margaret.Murphy@nspower.ca, Web site www.nspower.ca.

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