Province Explores Options for Cleaner Power Grid

Energy

February 12, 2009 10:00 AM

By 2020, Nova Scotia plans to deliver more clean power through a stronger electricity grid.

The province is funding a $300,000 study to examine options to strengthen Nova Scotia's transmission system, acting on a commitment made last month in the 2009 Energy Strategy to encourage a greener grid.

"Nova Scotians want more clean energy, and a stronger power grid can help deliver it," said Energy Minister Barry Barnet. "Also, stronger grid ties to our neighbours would help everyone to better balance variable energy sources like wind. This study will help Nova Scotia move towards a greener future."

The work builds on a recent wind study that found that Nova Scotia's ability to surpass 2013 renewable targets will depend greatly on grid connections inside and outside the province.

"Nova Scotia's new targets for 2020 will mean at least 25 per cent of all our electricity will come from renewable sources like wind, tidal, hydro and biomass," said Mr. Barnet. "To get even more green power, we'll need to strengthen the power grid connections that bind our province and region together."

Canadian engineering firm SNC-Lavalin will conduct the new study, examining opportunities to expand the grid, and better integrate it with the rest of the Atlantic region, allowing greater access to renewables, large hydro, and other options.

Also, the study will look at different system operator alternatives, such as a single regional operator able to balance electricity demand among several provincial partners.

Other potential benefits of a stronger grid include:
-- reducing dependence on foreign fuels
-- increasing system stability and reliability
-- cutting greenhouse gas emissions

The study is expected to be complete later this year.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province is funding a $300,000 study of the power grid,

looking at ways to use more clean energy inside the province and

around the Atlantic region.

     Energy Minister Barry Barnet says at least 25 per cent of

the electricity Nova Scotians use will come from renewable

sources by 20-20, but meeting that target may depend on stronger

grid connections that bind the province and region together.

     He says stronger grid ties to neighbouring regions would

mean everyone would be better able to balance variable energy

sources like wind.

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Media Contacts: Matt Lumley
                Department of Energy
                902-424-0794
                E-mail: lumleymw@gov.ns.ca

                Myles Godfrey
                SNC-Lavalin
                461-201-5939
                E-mail: Myles.godfrey@snclavalin.com