Setting the Stage

by Robin 2. October 2009 05:45

*This post was originally published as an e-newsletter update.

In the past few months, we’ve seen some exciting progress on the renewable energy front in Nova Scotia. The provincial and federal governments have approved, with conditions, the tidal energy demonstration project in the Bay of Fundy. The Digby Neck wind farm also received approval recently. NS Power’s capital approval application for the 50.6 MW Nuttby Mountain wind farm located north of Truro has been submitted to the UARB for consideration. While the regulatory process around this request progresses, the UARB has indicated they have no objection to Nova Scotia Power moving ahead with critical aspects of the project, such as ordering the turbines.

These developments are important. When we sent out our last update, the provincial government had just announced a new target of 25 per cent of our province’s power coming from renewable sources by 2015. Right now, between 10 and 12 per cent of our electricity comes from renewable sources – a mix of mostly hydro and some wind. Although the new target is ambitious, we are confident that the 25 percent level can be achieved by 2015.

In recent weeks, the province has set greenhouse gas (GHG) emission limits for the period of 2010 to 2020. This makes Nova Scotia the first jurisdiction in Canada, to have "hard caps” for GHG emissions. The regulations require emissions to be 25 per cent below current levels by 2020. One implication of the regulations is that companies will not be able to achieve compliance by purchasing carbon credits. Public policy certainty is a good thing and we fully support both the RES targets and GHG limits. Our company is fully engaged in achieving the targets; we are collaborating with government and other stakeholders. The actions required to meet the renewable energy standard are completely consistent with what is required to achieve these new GHG targets. We are looking forward to moving ahead with investments and changes that will help us to meet both goals.

The important question “What will the cost impacts be for customers?” is often raised when we talk about renewable energy. We are working on that analysis and plan to share more details in future updates. The outcome will depend on factors such as which renewable strategy is pursued, and assumptions about the future cost of the fossil fuel generation being displaced. A significant stakeholder consultation process has been commissioned by the provincial government and we expect this process to provide guidance on the desired renewable energy strategy for Nova Scotia.


Environment | GHGs | Government

Moving Toward Cleaner Power

by Robin 14. July 2009 05:29

*This post was originally published as an e-newsletter update.

Generation MixHere in Nova Scotia, we still generate about 90 per cent of our electricity by burning fossil fuels, mostly coal.

While we have been successful in reducing sulphur, mercury, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions, we want to do more to reduce greenhouse gases. But even with these measures, the impact our thermal generating stations have on the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions is still our key challenge, and something NS Power is committed to continually improving over time.

In Nova Scotia, we release about 10 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year while generating the electricity that Nova Scotians use. We must – and we will – reduce that. But although our load has been growing steadily in Nova Scotia (by roughly 1.8 per cent each year) we have been successful in stabilizing our carbon emissions. We have achieved this by procuring wind energy and by increasing our use of natural gas.

Historical Load

Our next step will be to work to reduce our carbon emissions. The government of Nova Scotia is setting ambitious, but achievable, reduction targets. We expect to be required by law to reduce carbon emissions by 25 per cent over the next decade. We fully support these expected reductions and have given ourselves the challenge of trying to beat them.

We appreciate that Nova Scotians want and expect us to do better, and we're committed to making the required transformation.

For more information on renewable energy and greenhouse gas management targets, visit the provincial government's Renewable Energy Standards and Climate Change Action Plan websites.


Environment | Government | GHGs

Robin McAdam

A Cleaner Megawatt is Nova Scotia Power's company blog. Most posts are from Robin McAdam, Executive Vice President, Strategic Business & Customer Services, though other leaders within NS Power offer their own insight into issues relevant to Nova Scotians with additional posts on the blog.

We’ve created this blog to share and discuss news, thoughts and ideas on renewable energy with you. Please feel free to provide comments or feedback related to the topics discussed. Note that comments which are significantly off-topic or contain offensive language, personal attacks, or spam may be removed.

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