Tax Legislation Will Promote Wind Energy
Legislation that sets the tax level for wind turbines in Nova Scotia is an important step in promoting the growth of renewable energy in Nova Scotia said Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.
Mr. Muir introduced the Wind Turbine Facilities Municipal Taxation Act, in the House of Assembly today, Nov. 6.
"On behalf of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities and key stakeholders in the renewable energy industry, I'm pleased to bring this legislation forward," said Mr. Muir.
"This legislation is the result of give and take by everyone involved. It has the endorsement of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities, major wind energy producers, and the Department of Energy. This shows how well we can work together for a shared vision."
The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities played a leading role in negotiations, while Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations acted as the facilitator for the process that began in May of this year.
"The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities is happy to do its part in helping protect our environment by encouraging a new industry -- renewable energy," said Russell Walker, president of the union. "At the same time we've lived up to our responsibility to ensure fair taxes for everyone who lives and works in our municipalities."
Charles Demond, president of Nova Scotia's largest wind energy producer, Pubnico Point Wind Farm Inc., and president of leading developer Atlantic Wind Power Corporation participated in the discussions and endorsed the legislation.
"The legislation provides a very attractive stream of predictable tax revenue and is a first step for the viability of wind farm development in Nova Scotia," said Mr. Demond adding the legislation is a sensible balance between the financial needs of rural communities and those of developers.
"I think Nova Scotians expect this kind of co-operative and conciliatory effort from all of us when it comes to critical issues impacting our environment," he said.
The Pubnico Point facility cost more than $50 million to construct and generates up to 30.6 megawatts at full capacity -- roughly enough electricity for 10,000 - 13,000 average homes.
The tax system in the legislation is a hybrid that combines the standard rate times assessment for land and building with an additional payment of $5,500 per megawatt based on the total capacity of the turbine or turbines at a facility that is commercially producing electricity for sale on the grid.
Facilities already in production, or those that already have signed a Power Purchase Agreement with Nova Scotia Power and are in the planning and construction phase will pay a tax rate of $4,500 per megawatt. The province through the Department of Energy, will provide for a payment to the affected municipal units of $1,000 per megawatt. This payment will continue for the life of the existing contracts up to a maximum of 20 years.
The legislation also establishes a level playing field for the industry by setting the hybrid as the base for all future taxation of windmills including any built by Nova Scotia Power.
"This is an important commitment to green energy and helps establish a fledgling industry that has both social and economic benefits," said Mr. Muir. "Nova Scotia will be a little cleaner and a little greener thanks to this first step."
FOR BROADCAST USE:
A number of parties committed to wind energy are supporting tax legislation for wind turbines.
Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Jamie Muir introduced the Wind Turbine Facilities Municipal Taxation Act in the House of Assembly today (November 6th).
This legislation will set the tax level for wind turbines in Nova Scotia.
Mr. Muir says the legislation is an important step in promoting the growth of renewable energy in Nova Scotia.
Mr. Muir says Nova Scotia will be a little cleaner and a little greener thanks to this first step.