News release

Province Can Meet Wind Targets, Will Be Challenges, Study Says

Get ready for more green energy in Nova Scotia.

The Nova Scotia Wind Integration Study says Nova Scotians are going to be using more renewable electricity over the next five years.

Energy Minister Richard Hurlburt said the study estimates that Nova Scotia's green electricity is expected to jump to 22 per cent, from about 10 to 12 per cent today. Wind power is expected to make up most of the increase -- and wind turbines are expected to grow from 60 units to more than 300 in 2013.

"The more we move away from fossil-fuel-generated electricity, the more we protect our environment -- a key priority for this government," said Mr. Hurlburt. "This study gives us confidence that with appropriate management techniques, wind can help meet most of our 2013 renewable electricity targets."
"We believe that wind energy will play a key role in Nova Scotia's energy future," said Sean Whittaker, vice-president, policy, Canadian Wind Energy Association. "This study indicates that new wind capacity between now and 2013 can be integrated at a reasonable cost while providing a host of economic and environmental benefits to the province."

Mr. Hurlburt said Nova Scotia is expected to produce up to 581 megawatts of renewable electricity by 2013 -- the equivalent of green electricity for about 175,000 homes, or taking about 240,000 cars off the road.

The study looked at the possible impacts of integrating large-scale wind power into Nova Scotia's electric power system, for the 2010, and 2013, time-frames set by the province's renewable energy standard. The standard requires renewable energy increases of five per cent to the total supply by 2010, and 10 per cent by 2013, on top of renewables already in the electricity system as of 2001. While the targets will be met, the study found there will be challenges as well.

To compensate for wind's variability, grid operators will need to consider techniques, such as importing electricity, use of backup power sources and potential wind curtailment, to meet the 2013 target.

"There will be some challenges as Nova Scotia approaches higher and higher levels of wind," said Robert Griesbach, study manager for Hatch Ltd., the consultant hired to lead the study. "Right now, Nova Scotia's electricity system has limited interconnection with neighbouring provinces, and limited quick-response ability.

"This gives Nova Scotia less flexibility to deal with large amounts of wind energy."

Some of the study's key findings were:

2010 estimates:

  • renewable supply target can be met without significant concerns
  • 311 megawatts of wind supply (about 90,000 homes)
  • 550 kilotonnes emission reduction (equal to taking about 100,000 cars off road)

2013 estimates:

  • renewable supply target can be met, but possible transmission upgrades and new operational demands may increase costs
  • 22 per cent total electricity supply from renewables
  • 581 megawatts of wind supply (about 175,000 homes)
  • 1,300 kilotonnes emission reduction (equal to taking about 240,000 cars off road)
  • greater system demands, requiring actions such as: imports of electricity, starting and stopping slow-response thermal units (units may take days to shut down and re-start), management of interruptible load, and curtailment of wind generation

Beyond 2013 estimates:

  • may be significant infrastructure costs; study said further experience and study required
  • system stability and costs will depend greatly on how the system evolves in the next several years, particularly Nova Scotia's interconnections to neighbouring regions
  • factors influencing stability and costs will include: location of new projects system upgrades 2008 to 2013 regional interconnections (including N.B., N.L., and U.S.A.) back-up supply issues technological innovation
"Nova Scotia has tremendous wind potential, and the next few years will see that potential realized in a significant way," said Mr. Hurlburt.

"This study gives us confidence that we can effectively manage the wind farms coming onto the system by 2010," said Mike Sampson, Nova Scotia Power's system operator. "Looking out to 2013, Nova Scotia Power is adding roughly 580 megawatts of variable wind power on an electrical system that will only total around 2,500 megawatts.

"That is a lot of wind energy, and its full implications won't be clear without more study, and more operating experience."

The report is on the Department of Energy's website at www.gov.ns.ca/energy .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Get ready for more green energy.

A new study says Nova Scotians are going to be using more renewable electricity over the next five years.

Energy Minister Richard Hurlburt says Nova Scotia's green electricity is expected to jump to 22 per cent, from about 10 to 12 per cent.

Mr. Hurlburt says that is the equivalent of green electricity for about 175,000 homes, or taking about 240,000 cars off the road.

Wind power will make up most of the increase -- and wind turbines are expected to grow from 60 today to more than 300 in 2013.

The study looked at the possible impacts of integrating large-scale wind power into Nova Scotia's electric power system, for the 2010, and 2013 time-frames set by the province's renewable energy standard. While the targets will be met, the study found there will be challenges as well.

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Media Contacts:

Matthew Lumley
Department of Energy 902-424-0794 Cell: 902-497-3414 E-mail:
Sean Whittaker
Canadian Wind Energy Association 613-234-8716 (ext. 226) E-mail: