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How Nova Scotia Will Become A Green Powerhouse

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

It is called Our Electricity Future: 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.

Nova Scotia also intends to develop tidal power. Its immediate goal is “between 16 and 22 MW of electricity from in- stream tidal in production or under active development by the early 2020s at the FORCE site near Parrsboro.” Over the course of the next decade, they hope to have 300 MW of tidal power.

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.

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Written By

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.


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