Nova Scotia ignores utility scaremongering and goes for 10% renewables

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Nova Scotia has moved ahead with mandatory renewable energy targets despite objections from the Atlantic province's major utility, Nova Scotia Power, which argues they may be too expensive and not technically achievable (Windpower Monthly, February 2007). The province is requiring that by 2010 all distribution utilities acquire 5% of their electricity from renewable energy plant built after 2001 and 10% by 2013. Combined with existing hydro, biomass and tidal power, the mandate means almost 20% of Nova Scotia's electricity will come from renewables in six years, says energy minister Bill Dooks. Utilities that fail to meet the targets will be fined up to C$500,000 a day. Although Nova Scotia Power can build its own renewable projects after 2010, the first target must be met by seeking bids from independent power producers (IPPs). "This is excellent news," says Luciano Lisi of Cape Breton Power, which has developed nearly 16 MW of wind in the province. It will create economic growth for IPPs as well as environmental benefits and stability in power supply, he adds. The government is allowing Nova Scotia's six municipal distribution utilities to buy power directly from IPPs starting February 1. Until now, they have had to buy electricity through Nova Scotia Power. Dooks says he is also looking at other options for IPPs to sell directly to other customers.

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