Nova Scotia has announced new energy regulations to enable the province to increase the amount of renewable electricity produced in communities in order to help the government achieve the goals it set in the province's new Renewable Electricity Plan.
The regulations follow a consultation process that determined eligible technologies and who would qualify for a community-based feed-in tariff (COMFIT) program, which involves a fixed pricing structure for renewable electricity production.
Rates will vary for developmental tidal projects and community-based projects, such as small-scale in-stream tidal, run-of-the-river hydroelectricity, and biomass combined heat and power systems.
Wind projects will also face different rates – one for projects over 50 kW and another for microscale projects under 50 kW – in order to ensure a variety of community opportunities and to support development of Nova Scotia companies.
‘The new regulations are an exciting step forward for Nova Scotia, and it should help our company build its wind turbine business both locally and globally,’ says Jonathan Barry, president of Seaforth Energy, a Nova Scotia-based manufacturer of wind turbines. ‘The ability of Nova Scotians and businesses to participate in community energy will help us to scale up our operations, research and development and manufacturing and will make us more competitive globally.’
Medium- to large-scale renewable electricity projects by independent power producers will be subject to a competitive bidding process overseen by a renewable electricity administrator who will set rates.
Talks are continuing between the province and the Mi'kmaq people to encourage the development of renewable electricity projects on First Nations. The regulations are expected to be amended to incorporate agreements reached.
The province will review and analyze the progress of the Renewable Electricity Plan, with a special focus on the COMFIT program, within 18 months of implementation to determine whether the regulations are achieving the plan's goals.
The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board will now begin the process to set rates for community-based feed-in projects, with a hearing scheduled for early next year.
SOURCE: Government of Nova Scotia