December 19, 2022 | Government of Nova Scotia News Release
Nova Scotia Power will be using more sustainably harvested biomass over the next three years under a new renewable electricity standard.
The new standard, in the Renewable Electricity Regulations under the Electricity Act, requires the utility to purchase 135,000 megawatt hours of readily available renewable energy in 2023, 2024 and 2025.
Biomass is likely to be the only readily available option during that time. It is available due to the closure of the Northern Pulp mill and damage from hurricane Fiona.
“Biomass is renewable, readily available and burns cleaner than coal. Adding more sustainably harvested biomass for a few years is a small thing we can do in the short term to bring more renewables onto the grid while longer term solutions are built.” – Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables
The regulations prohibit cutting whole trees to generate electricity. They only allow biomass in the form of low-quality residual wood and chips that are leftover from sustainable timber harvesting and primary processing.
Suppliers will have increased costs for fuel or to restart operations. Therefore, the utility will be required to pay suppliers an additional $30 per megawatt hour beyond existing contracts. However, the utility has a limit of $4.05 million per year from 2023 to 2025 to avoid creating a burden for ratepayers as the Province encourages the use of more renewable energy.