Originally published on the ECOreport
Nova Scotia has made some impressive strides towards adopting more renewable energy. Less than a decade ago, fossil fuels produced 85% of its electricity, and now it is obtaining 24% from renewables. The former carbon junkie now has a report that explains how Nova Scotia will become a green powerhouse.
Nova Scotia’s Electricity Plan 2015-2040
Though no large scale generation projects are needed before 2030, the crucial decisions that shape the province’s energy future will be made.
“Too often, renewable power is produced when demand is low. Nova Scotian consumers will benefit more if demand and supply of electricity can be aligned. Development of technologies that report when renewable electricity production is high and the carbon footprint is low will be supported. Such technology can open opportunities for consumers to shift their electricity use – manually or digitally– to times when renewable power is more plentiful.” – Our Electricity Future
An Atlantic Energy Loop
One of the central components of this plan is an Atlantic region energy loop.
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have a power sharing agreement, whereby both utilities can gain access to the lowest cost power. Thus NS Power’s coal fired electricity can flow east in the winter and the direction changes during the spring when NB Power has abundant hydro.
By late 2017 or early 2018, the Maritime Link will open up the prospect of obtaining electricity from Newfoundland or New Brunswick or even Hydro Quebec.
Newfoundland and Labrador are both seen as significant sources of hydro-electricity, especially after Quebec Hydro’s contract with the 5500 MW Upper Churchill project expires in 2041.
Developing More Renewable Resources
In terms of domestic generation, coal will continue to be used until at least 2042, but Nova Scotia will increasingly move towards renewables.
As of 2016, NS Power will no longer have a monopoly on the province’s power supply. Consumers will be given the option to “go green for electricity” and access to online tools to make their choice easier.
Legislation is being introduced to enable community solar.
A crucial component of increasing Nova Scotia’s renewable adoption is battery solutions.
Two Nova Scotia companies are pioneers in this field. Neothermal, the outgrowth of a lab at Dalhousie University, is currently exploring heat storage for residential applications. The LightSail project, in Queens County, has “an innovative approach to storing wind energy in colder climates through compressed air.”
Nova Scotia’s utilities could be carbon free before 2050.
All illustrations taken from Our Electricity Future: Nova Scotia’s Electricity Plan 2015-2040.