Renewable Electricity

» More in this section

Renewable Electricity

We’ve operated renewable energy sources for nearly 100 years – many hydro sites in operation today have been providing renewable energy to Nova Scotians since the early 20th century.

Each year, these hydro facilities produce about 10% of Nova Scotia’s electricity. But the biggest shift toward renewables has come in recent years. Led by government policy reflecting a public desire for cleaner, renewable electricity, Nova Scotia has been building its renewable energy portfolio to meet requirements extending out to 2020, when 40% of our electricity will come from renewable sources. The price of energy from renewable sources like wind is locked-in for decades at a time, which helps provide predictable electricity prices for customers. That’s why we think moving toward renewables at a planned, prudent pace that works for customers is a great investment in Nova Scotia’s future.

 

Wind

We own and operate wind farms on Nuttby Mountain and Digby Neck, and individual wind turbines in Grand Etang and Little Brook. We have a minority stake in a 22 MW wind farm at Point Tupper owned by Renewable Energy Services Ltd.

Digby Neck

The Digby Neck Wind Farm has 20 turbines and a generation capacity of 30 MW, enough energy to power approximately 10,000 homes, with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Nova Scotia by more than 79,000 tonnes a year. The Wind Farm became fully operational in December, 2010.

Nuttby Mountain

The Nuttby Mountain Wind Farm is the second largest in the province with 22 turbines and a generation capacity of 50.6 MW, enough energy to power approximately 15,000 homes, with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Nova Scotia by more than 114,000 tonnes a year. Nuttby Mountain became fully operational in November, 2010.

Independent Wind Farms

Many wind farms across Nova Scotia are owned by Independent Power Producers with contracts to sell their electricity to NS Power. Visit the Nova Scotia Wind Power Map to view all wind farms in Nova Scotia.

Hydro

Nova Scotia has a 100-year history of using small hydro developments on our rivers to generate power. The first hydro plant was installed in 1903 by mining interests on the Liscomb River in Guysborough County.

We own and operate 33 hydroelectric plants on 17 hydro river systems across Nova Scotia, totaling 400 MW of generation capacity. Many of these plants have been providing clean, renewable electricity to Nova Scotians for decades, undergoing maintenance and upgrades to ensure they can continue to provide reliable electricity for many years to come.

Wreck Cove

Wreck Cove is the largest hydroelectric plant in Nova Scotia with a generating capacity of 200 MW. Constructed from 1975-1978 south of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Wreck Cove collects drainage water from 216 square kilometers of the Cape Breton Highlands plateau to generate electricity. It’s also one of our more unique generating stations – the station’s powerhouse is located 275 meters underground, down a 620 meter access tunnel.

 

Interpretive Centre

The Annapolis Tidal Generating Station Interpretive Centre is open seasonally from May until October. Visitors learn about how this innovative generating station works.

Admission is free.

Contact: 1 (902) 532-0502

236 Prince Albert Rd
Annapolis Royal, Annapolis County
Nova Scotia
B0S 1E0

Tidal

We own and operate one of just three tidal power plants in the world and the only one in North America. Our Annapolis Tidal plant came online in 1984 and has a generating capacity of 20 MW. The plant can generate roughly 80-100 megawatt hours of electricity daily, depending on the tides.

In-Stream Tidal Turbine

Until recently, the most common form of tidal power technology was to build a large dam called a barrage across a river or outcropping of land. The dam funneled water into the tidal generating plant and through a large turbine as it flowed in and out with the tide. Today, engineers are developing new technologies like turbines that are anchored to the ocean floor.

With our technology partner, OpenHydro, we were the first company to test new tidal power technology in the waters of the Bay of Fundy – home to the world’s most powerful tides. As part of a project intended to help to determine the feasibility of harnessing tidal energy on a commercial scale, a 10 metre, 1MW in-stream tidal turbine was deployed in the Minas Passage in 2009.

In December 2010, after operating beneath the Minas Passage for over a year, the turbine was retrieved after the unit’s blades were damaged by aggressive waters. Our parent company, Emera, is now developing a plan for future turbine testing and remains committed to exploring the full potential of this resource.

Biomass

In Nova Scotia, we make great use of biomass. Large and medium-sized pulp and paper companies use wood chips to create electricity to run their mills. Some companies sell excess power to Nova Scotia Power where it contributes to the power we use every day.

Port Hawkesbury Biomass Plant

We operate a 60 megawatt biomass power plant in Port Hawkesbury, which supplies as much as 3% of the province’s electricity. It’s an facility that is helping us reach renewable energy requirements, and provides a source of firm renewable energy that can back up intermittent wind generation. Put another way, biomass enables us to supply Nova Scotia with renewable energy even when the wind isn’t blowing. Plus, it’s a locally sourced fuel that helps displace imported coal. Biomass may be comprised of different organic material depending on use and location, but the fuel used in the Port Hawkesbury plant is wood that has no other commercial use - generally hardwood that is crooked, knotty or diseased. It also must be stem wood, meaning that branches and roots are left to decompose and replenish the soil where the biomass is harvested.

The idea of using biomass to generate electricity is not unique to Nova Scotia. Biomass fuel makes up an important part of the generation mix in a number of jurisdictions in Europe and North America. In Denmark, biomass supplies up to 12% of the country’s electricity.