Hydro provides nine per cent of generation in the province so it’s a valuable and renewable means of producing electricity. It’s also critical to maintaining the stability of the grid in Nova Scotia as more wind power is added to the electricity system.
Nova Scotia Power operates 32 hydro stations on 16 systems across the province. Each operates under a Water Approval/Water Allocation permit granted by the provincial Environment Department.
Most of our systems have 10-year approvals and those approvals are coming up for renewal over the next few years. This means we are embarking on a relicensing process for all of our hydroelectric facilities. This is a normal part of ensuring our hydro facilities are in compliance with any changes in the Nova Scotia Environment Act and its regulations, as well as any corresponding federal legislation.
As part of this relicensing process, we would like to hear from those of you who live and work close to each hydro system – everyone from home and cottage owners to fish and wildlife associations and local government officials. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about how we operate our systems.
Nova Scotia Power will continue to make environmental improvements to our hydro systems while facilitating the overall operation of the system. There are a number of factors to consider when operating our hydro facilities, some of which have been in operation for almost 100 years. Public and employee safety is our top priority, along with protection of the environment and, of course, generation of renewable electricity. We must also take into account recreational uses of watercourses and it is important to operate systems in a manner that recognizes and preserves cultural history and artifacts.
Nova Scotia Power has made a considerable investment in our hydro systems, and consequently in your communities, and we will continue to maintain and operate them in a responsible manner.
The first system to be relicensed is the Fall River Hydro System, followed closely by Dickie Brook, Lequille and Paradise. We will be holding an open house for the Lequille and Paradise systems in the fall. Visitors will learn about how the hydro systems work and the relicensing process.
Learn more about the hydro relicensing process by sending us your questions at: nspower.ca.
To learn about safety around hydro sites, please click here. And for information on renewable generation at Nova Scotia Power, please visit the About Us section.