How We Made Electricity in 2015
In this section
Read about the
different ways electricity is made in Nova Scotia and learn about the
changes underway to provide cleaner, more sustainable electricity.
Sources of Electricity
Nova Scotia’s electricity is generated from a variety of sources
including coal, natural gas, oil, wind, tidal, hydro, and biomass at a
series of power plants, known as generating stations, and other
facilities that produce renewable electricity. These facilities are
rated by the maximum amount of electricity they are designed to produce,
measured in megawatts (MW) and known as generation capacity.
operate four coal power plants, another that runs on natural gas or oil, three oil-burning combustion turbines, one tidal and 33 hydro stations,
two wind farms, two sites with single wind turbines, and a new biomass
power plant. We also purchase
renewable electricity from independent power producers throughout the
province and import electricity through a transmission line connecting
Nova Scotia with New Brunswick. Together, these sources make up what’s
known as our fuel or generation mix, which can change from year-to-year
based on factors like fuel prices and environmental regulations.
of the first electricity customers in Nova Scotia were powered by small
hydroelectric facilities throughout the province. Over time, oil became
our primary source of electricity until the OPEC crisis in the 1970s.
Coal has since provided as much as 80% of our electricity needs, but is
no longer economically or environmentally sustainable as our primary
source of electricity. In recent years, we’ve been reducing our use of
coal in favour of cleaner-burning natural gas and renewable sources like
wind and biomass.