Nova Scotia to open bidding on 100 MW of larger-scale renewable power projects, aims for 25% green energy by 2015, 40% by 2020, helped by generous FITs for 100 MW of small-scale projects; Nova Scotia Power to provide additional 100 MW

LOS ANGELES , October 6, 2011 () – In its push to increase renewable power to provide 25% of its total electricity by 2015, Nova Scotia is opening a competitive bidding process this month on 100 megawatts (MW) of larger-scale green energy projects, reported Reuters on Oct. 4.

Under the province’s feed-in tariff (FIT) program, rates for wind-generated power will be slightly below those paid in Ontario.

However, communities developing small wind projects under Nova Scotia’s ComFIT program qualify for 20-year tariffs of C$0.499 per kilowatt hour (kWh), nearly four times the Ontario rate.

Only 100 MW of power will be awarded by Nova Scotia under its ComFIT program, which also pays C$0.652/kWh for small-scale, in-stream tidal energy tied to small power plants.

The province’s highest FITs are available only to small community-based projects owned by municipalities, First Nations and cooperatives under its ComFIT program.

Another 100 MW of renewable energy projects are being developed by Nova Scotia Power.

A total of 300 MW of new wind-generated power would be needed to meet the province’s 2015 goal, said Jean-Francois Nolet, a policy manager at the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

A challenge, though, is located enough land with “solid wind regimes that are attached to significant transmission build-out,” said Mike Magnus, CEO of Shear Wind Inc., owner of Glen Dhu, the largest wind farm in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia’s FIT program, which is focused on promoting small-scale projects, would be hard to replicate in bigger provinces “where the scale is too great,” said Nolet.

Nova Scotia wants to raise the portion of its green power to 40% of total electricity consumption by 2020. The province is the only one in Canada that has its renewable portfolio standard written into law and the only one that imposes fines for noncompliance.

The targets are “some of the most aggressive in North America,” said Nova Scotia Energy Minister Charlie Parker in an interview with Reuters last week, adding that he was “confident” that the goals would be met.

Currently, nearly 90% of Nova Scotia’s energy comes from coal-fired power plants, which have become expensive to run as the province has to import all of the coal since its mines closed.

The primary source of this article is Reuters, London, England, on Oct. 4, 2011.

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