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Nova Scotian Renewables Advocates Call for Feed-In Tariffs

Article by: Peggy Cameron


For more information please contact:

Peggy Cameron (902- 258-3354) p.cameron@ns.sympatico.ca
Bob Leth (902-458-2451) robert@bretonwindworks.com
Gay Harley (902-449-4167) harley@fourthgeneration.ca


Renewable Energy Industry Association of NS calls for Immediate Adoption of Standard Offer Contracts

(Halifax)- The Renewable Energy Industry Association of Nova Scotia (REIANS) is calling for Premier Rodney MacDonald and his Government to immediately implement Standard Offered Contracts (SOC) for Renewable Energy from wind, solar, small hydro, biomass and other sources. SOCs offer pre-fixed and fair “Feed-in Tariff” prices to be paid by all utilites for renewable energy and are the model that has led to the successful expansion of renewable energy in Germany, Denmark, Ontario and PEI. SOCs are but another direct implementation mechanism to support government renewable energy policy initiatives, like Renewable Portfolio Standards and Open Access Transmission Tariffs.

In March 2006, Ontario adopted SOCs for projects under 10 MW of installed capacity that offer 20-year rates of 11 cents/kW for wind power and 45 cents/kW for solar for either commercial or domestic projects. REIANS is calling for the rates of pay for Nova Scotian SOCs to be equal to or greater than what is being paid in Ontario.

Standard Offer Contract use is growing in Europe, China and several US states. In France and Ireland, the recent approval of SOCs with a fixed and fair price schedule was in response to market demand for a move a way from competitive tendering while also protecting consumers by imposing fixed prices. Quebec has renewable energy policies that ensure similar rates to Ontario, while PEI has adopted SOCs and Manitoba is looking into the model.

In its letter to the Premier of August 27th, REIANS notes that without the immediate adoption of SOCs, Nova Scotia little hope of attracting manufacturers of Renewable Energy products to the province. Jurisdictions that are the first to adopt SOCs are where the manufacturers locate because that is where there is a steady uptake of the equipment in the marketplace. Manufacturers don’t make decisions on where to locate twice: they do it once. REAINS is encouraging Premier MacDonald and his government to recognize the economic opportunities and local benefits for job creation, capital investment and related spin-off benefits that SOCs would foster.

Currently Nova Scotia has no coherent renewable energy policy. Rates paid are completely and solely determined ad hoc by Nova Scotia Power Inc. Renewable energy producers believe that government has ignored the 1990 URB decision that it must play a role in determining prices paid to independent power producers (IPPs). This policy void has allowed NSPI to continue and strengthen its monopoly role in determining when and if they purchase renewables and what price they pay. Independent wind energy producers in Nova Scotia presently receive less than 7 cents/kWh from NSPI.

Standard Offer Contracts would support a reliable, sustainable electricity supply; a reduction in Nova Scotia’s dependency on imported fossil fuels (more than $400 million is spent outside the province each year); create real economic benefit with new secure long-term jobs in renewable energy equipment manufacturing, operation and maintenance; and help Canada meet its Kyoto commitments.

The Nova Scotia government has already accepted the recommendations of the Electricity Market Governance Committee to adopt both Renewable Portfolio Standards and some form of Feed-In Tariff or Standard Offer Contract. World-scale manufacturers are already heading to Quebec and Ontario, provinces that have acted quickly and decisively to create progressive government policy for renewable energy. REAINS requests that the Premier give his immediate attention to this great economic development opportunity that would allow the renewable energy industry to attract large pools of capital to Nova Scotia. The provincial government’s support of a Standard Offer Contract policy would achieve a very rapid and environmentally friendly economic growth of renewable energy projects across throughout Nova Scotia.

The Renewable Energy Industry Association of Nova Scotia is a non-partisan organization comprised of approximately 40 members.