Nova Scotia’s Electricity Plan – continued leadership in tidal energy

A highlight at the ICOE 2014 event was the delivery of a vision and strategy for an integrated clean energy industry development in Atlantic Canada that links Canada’s resource opportunity to a US market demand for clean electricity by EMERA CEO, Chris Huskilson.

A year later that vision has been reinforced as the Nova Scotia government releases the result of a year or more of analysis and planning in its electricity plan ( Our Electricity Future(1).pdf).

The plan provides some clarity for consumers and renewable power project developers. But perhaps the most critical building blocks are the plan’s commitment to increased coordination of the atlantic region’s power production and distribution systems and a call for a 300MW development of tidal powered electricity, in itself a driver to using hydro to make variable tidal a part of baseload, and increasing clean electricity exports.

Edited highlights of interest to our members include:

  • In the near term, the goal is to have between 16 and 22 MW of electricity from in- stream tidal in production or under active development by the early 2020s at the FORCE site near Parrsboro. This should maintain Nova Scotia’s position as one of three global leaders in tidal power development.
  • New sector research funding will be available from the Department of Energy to leverage private funds and complement funding by the Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA).
  • Progress toward large-scale development will follow the passage of the new Marine Renewable Energy Act and the establishment of a new area for commercial development – the Marine Renewable Electricity Area.
  • The province will continue to work with the federal government to support development of tidal power as an opportunity to build a new industrial sector for Canadian businesses.
  • The expansion of in-stream tidal electricity production in Nova Scotia will result in a combination of export and local use. The opening of the Maritime Link in late 2017 or early 2018 will allow excess tidal and wind power to be bundled with NL Hydro to create new export markets. Additional development opportunities, including licences and access to Nova Scotia markets, will be granted on a competitive basis.