Regulations Require More Renewable Electricity
Nova Scotia Power will be using more sustainably harvested biomass over the next three years under a new renewable electricity standard.
The new standard, in the Renewable Electricity Regulations under the Electricity Act, requires the utility to purchase 135,000 megawatt hours of readily available renewable energy in 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Biomass is likely to be the only readily available option during that time. It is available due to the closure of the Northern Pulp mill and damage from hurricane Fiona.
“Biomass is renewable, readily available and burns cleaner than coal,” said Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables. “Adding more sustainably harvested biomass for a few years is a small thing we can do in the short term to bring more renewables onto the grid while longer term solutions are built.”
The regulations prohibit cutting whole trees to generate electricity. They only allow biomass in the form of low-quality residual wood and chips that are leftover from sustainable timber harvesting and primary processing.
Suppliers will have increased costs for fuel or to restart operations. Therefore, the utility will be required to pay suppliers an additional $30 per megawatt hour beyond existing contracts. However, the utility has a limit of $4.05 million per year from 2023 to 2025 to avoid creating a burden for ratepayers as the Province encourages the use of more renewable energy.
- renewable electricity standards require a specific amount of electricity to be produced from renewables sources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydro
- the current standard requires Nova Scotia Power to generate at least 40 per cent of electricity from renewables
- due to delays with the Maritime Link, the standard was adjusted to an average of 40 per cent from 2020 to 2022; data will be reviewed early in 2023 to determine whether that target was met
- the utility will likely reach about 70 per cent renewables by 2026 with reliable hydro electricity through the Maritime Link and new onshore wind projects
- the renewable electricity standard will increase to 80 per cent in 2030
Amendment to the Renewable Electricity Regulations: https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/2022-338-ELEC-Renewable_Electricity.pdf