Statement: Nova Scotia’s priority on jointly managed waters for offshore wind development will help ensure sustainable growth of the industry

(November 22, 2023) Today, the Province of Nova Scotia announced its intention to pause consideration of offshore wind development in provincial waters until the framework for jointly managed federal-provincial areas is in place.  Marine Renewables Canada (MRC) supports this decision as it will help ensure that a clear regulatory regime is established and considers input from the Regional Assessment of offshore wind process that is underway.  

“Marine Renewables Canada is supportive of this thoughtful approach, which prioritizes offshore wind development in jointly managed waters falling under the amended Accord Acts” said Elisa Obermann, Executive Director of Marine Renewables Canada. “The regulatory framework for jointly managed waters will help to provide certainty for industry and promote responsible and sustainable development that carefully considers ocean-user coexistence. Starting with the familiar and existing federal-provincial framework makes sense before designing and establishing a regulatory framework for offshore wind development in provincial waters.” 

Offshore wind in jointly managed federal-provincial waters will be governed by the Act to amend the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Atlantic Accord Implementation Act and the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act (Bill C-49) and associated regulations. Bill C-49 amends the existing Accord Acts, which governed offshore oil and gas development in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, to include the regulation of offshore renewable energy like offshore wind. The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons in May 2023 and is currently being considered by the Standing Committee on Natural Resources. Bill C-49 is expected to enter into force in 2025, in time for the Province of Nova Scotia’s projected first offshore wind lease auction.  

Related Links 

Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables’ News Release: Offshore Wind Projects in Jointly Managed Waters to be Regulated First 

Bill C-49 

Regional Assessment for Offshore Wind Development in Nova Scotia  

About Marine Renewables Canada

Marine Renewables Canada is the national association for tidal, offshore wind, wave and river current energy, representing technology and project developers, utilities, researchers, and the energy and marine supply chain.  

Since 2004, the association has worked to build the sector by advocating for supportive policies, identifying domestic and international business development opportunities for its members, facilitating collaboration amongst its membership and broader ecosystem, providing education and outreach, and disseminating market intelligence. As part of its focus on developing the sector, Marine Renewables Canada is active in catalyzing opportunities for how marine renewable energy can contribute to achieving net-zero goals through production of green fuels such as hydrogen, as well as displacement of diesel in remote communities and marine industries. 

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Media contact

Lisen Bassett 

Marine Renewables Canada