Renewables powered Nova Scotia Power to a record in 2015

Nova Scotia Power said Jan. 26 that it achieved a new record in renewable energy in 2015, with 26.6% of the electricity used by Nova Scotians coming from renewable resources.

“We’re becoming cleaner and greener,” said Mark Sidebottom, Vice President of Power Generation and Delivery for Nova Scotia Power. “Nova Scotians depend on us to provide the electricity they need for their homes and businesses every day, and they want that electricity to come from more sustainable sources.”

Nova Scotia Power’s performance on renewable energy exceeded the legislated 2015 requirement of 25% renewable electricity, and positions the company well to meet the 40% renewable requirement that takes effect in 2020. As recently as 2007, only 9% of Nova Scotia’s electricity was renewable. Also by 2020, NSP will have reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 25%, meeting the most ambitious GHG reduction regulations in North America.

“We have made remarkable progress in Nova Scotia,” Sidebottom said. “No other utility in Canada has made this rapid of a transition. In 2020, we will have a greater percentage of our electricity coming from renewables than Germany, which is often recognized as a world leader in renewable energy. Coming out of the Paris climate accord, it’s clear that we’re moving globally toward a lower carbon future.”

At the same time Nova Scotia Power is achieving new records in renewable electricity, the company is also stabilizing power rates. For most customers, rates did not increase in 2015, and have gone down in 2016.

Nova Scotia’s growth in renewable electricity has been largely through the development of wind power. There are now 294 commercial wind turbines producing electricity in Nova Scotia. Most are independently owned. At times wind power has accounted for as much as 50% of the Canadian province’s electricity. However, there are other times when almost no electricity is coming from wind, so the utility has to have other generation sources on hand for back-up to supply customers.

The Maritime Link transmission line project, delivering hydroelectricity from Muskrat Falls, will provide a firm source of renewable electricity, and help push Nova Scotia Power to more than 40% renewable electricity by 2020.

Nova Scotia Power’s electricity by source figures are:











 

 2007

 2014

2015 

2020 ESTIMATE 

Coal

76% 

60% 

55.9%

 45%

Natural Gas & Oil

13% 

15% 

13.8% 

 3%

Wind

1%

10%

14%

 18%

Hydro & Tidal

7%

9%

9.8% 

 22% 

Biomass

1%

3% 

2.8% 

 7% 

Imports

3%

3% 

3.7%  

 5%

Renewables Totals

9%

22%

26.6%

 47%

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.