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NS introduces community feed-in tariff program

ENERGY NEWS

NS introduces community feed-in tariff program

New energy regulations announced in mid-October 2010 enable Nova Scotia to increase the amount of renewable electricity produced in communities across the province.


October 22, 2010
By NS Department of Energy

Oct. 22, 2010 – New energy regulations announced in
mid-October 2010 enable the province of Nova Scotia to increase the amount of
renewable electricity produced in communities across Nova Scotia. This will
help achieve the goals the government set in Nova Scotia's new Renewable
Electricity Plan.

The Renewable Electricity Regulations follow a consultation process that
determines eligible technologies and who qualifies for a community-based
feed-in tariff (COMFIT) program, which involves a fixed pricing structure for
renewable electricity production. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board will
immediately begin the process of setting rates for community-based feed-in
projects, with a hearing in the new year and a decision expected by spring
2011. An on-line application and approval system is scheduled to be in place in
spring 2011. A website and preliminary guide detailing how to participate is
available at www.nsrenewables.ca.

Rates will vary for developmental tidal projects and community-based projects
such as small-scale in-stream tidal, run-of-the-river hydroelectricity, biomass
combined heat and power systems, and wind projects. This ensures a variety of
community opportunities and supports development of Nova Scotia companies. The
new regulations provide opportunities for combined heat and power projects in
which a proponent has direct access to a biofuel source such as sawmills,
farms, and greenhouses.

The regulations put the Renewable Electricity Plan into action and put Nova
Scotia on course to reach its target of 25% renewable electricity supply by
2015 and a goal of 40% by 2020.

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Talks are continuing between the province and the Mi'kmaq to encourage the
development of renewable electricity projects on First Nations. The regulations
are expected to be amended to incorporate agreements reached.

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.

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 its goals.


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