News release

New Renewable Plan To Create Jobs, Stable Electricity Prices, Cleaner Environment

NOTE: A social media release with hi-res downloadable photographs, audio and video clips is available at http://gov.ns.ca/news/smr/2010-04-23-wind.asp. More photos and clips will be added after the event.

Nova Scotia is charting a course to be a global leader in green energy by 2020.

The province released a plan today, April 23, designed to increase renewable electricity supply, improve energy security, stabilize long-term prices and create opportunities for jobs and investment.

Premier Darrell Dexter announced that the province has set a goal of 40 per cent of electricity coming from renewable sources by 2020, nearly four times higher than 2009 levels.

"This is about making the right decisions for our economy and our environment," said Premier Dexter, speaking at the recently opened Dalhousie Mountain wind farm in Pictou County. "We are putting our energy future where it belongs, back in Nova Scotians' hands."

The plan outlines an aggressive program to move Nova Scotia away from imported coal-based electricity towards greener local sources, supported by world-class wind and tidal resources.

"This strategy will create hundreds of good jobs for Nova Scotians and a billion-and-a-half dollars in new investment to help grow the economy," said Premier Dexter. "Consumers can look forward to more stable electricity prices and a more secure supply of energy."

With this plan, government's commitment to 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015 will become law. Other highlights include:

  • equal participation by Nova Scotia Power and independent producers for medium- to large-size projects to ensure value for customers
  • a fixed price, or feed-in tariff, for community-based projects to allow broader participation
  • enhanced net metering, which credits consumers for the energy they produce with wind, solar and other renewables
  • a cautious approach to biomass, with harvesting standards and caps on generation in new and existing plants
  • feed-in tariffs for small-scale tidal projects and tidal arrays, if further development proves safe
  • encouraging further natural gas use to help balance intermittent sources like wind

"Nova Scotians see the importance of adding renewables to our future energy supply," said Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks. "But in the short term, we also want to keep power bills as low as possible. I believe this plan strikes that balance."

The plan is expected to support up to $1.5 billion in investment. It will create jobs in construction, supply, manufacturing and maintenance, generating an estimated 5,000 to 7,500 person-years of employment in urban and rural areas.

"Nova Scotia has taken a national leadership role today in cleaning up its electricity supply; setting the bar for Canada's other provinces that still rely heavily on coal power," said Tim Weis, director of renewable energy and efficiency with the Pembina Institute, a not-for-profit think tank focused on developing innovative sustainable energy solutions.

"It is commendable to see a real emphasis on developing community-based renewable power systems through a feed-in tariff as an important element of this plan."

Reuben Burge, president of the RMSenergy, said the plan will be a boost for efforts like his Dalhousie Mountain wind farm.

"It takes a lot of work to get renewable projects approved, financed and built," said Mr. Burge. "This plan provides important support for locally produced renewable energy and projects like ours. We are very pleased to be able to contribute to Nova Scotia's longer-term green-energy strategy."

"For Springhill, this plan will provide new opportunities to attract businesses and be more competitive through our own renewable energy development plans," said Springhill Mayor Allen Dill.

The Renewable Electricity Plan is available at www.gov.ns.ca/energy .

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia is on its way to becoming a global leader in green energy by 2020.

Premier Darrell Dexter released the province's renewable electricity strategy at a wind farm today (April 23rd).

The plan will move the province away from imported, coal-based electricity, toward world-class wind and tidal power and green local sources.

It sets a goal of 40 per cent green energy by 2020, nearly four times higher 2009 levels.

Premier Dexter says the strategy will create hundreds of jobs and a billion-and-a-half dollars in new investment to help grow the economy. He says consumers can look forward to more stable electricity prices and a more secure supply of energy.

You can check out the Renewable Electricity Plan online, at w-w-w dot gov dot n-s dot c-a slash energy.

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Media Contacts:

Janet Lynn McNeil
Premier's Office Cell: 902-237-4287 E-mail:
Matt Lumley
Department of Energy Cell: 902-497-3414 E-mail:
Reuben Burge
RMSenergy 902-771-0322 E-mail:
Tim Weis
Pembina Institute Cell: 613.601.6519 E-mail: