The Path to 2030: Nova Scotia’s clean energy future

The Path to 2030: Nova Scotia’s clean energy future

From Peter Gregg, President & CEO 

Around the world, there are conversations about the urgent need to respond to climate change. It’s an issue that impacts all of us.

2023 was the hottest year on record. And we experienced some of the effects here in Nova Scotia—from devastating wildfires to heartbreaking flooding and tropical storm force winds. There’s no question that our climate is changing. As your electricity provider, we have a responsibility to change with it.

We can’t tackle climate change without addressing how we power our lives. It’s a transition that’s incredibly exciting, but also complex. Today, about 43% of the electricity we generate comes from renewable sources. Together with customers, communities, vendors, and stakeholders we’ve made great progress, but still have lots of work ahead us.

Nova Scotia is working toward 80% renewable energy by 2030 and becoming net-zero by 2035. These are targets set by the federal and provincial government, and we’re committed to achieving them together. Last year, the province announced its Clean Power Plan—a roadmap to reach our climate goals that we’re aligned with and supportive of. We have six years to transform how we make and deliver electricity.

Like any goal worth striving for, there’s a lot to consider. And we know we need to get there while doing what’s right and equitable for our customers—balancing costs and ensuring that as your electricity gets greener, it stays reliable, too.

How will we reach 80% renewable energy?

Here in Nova Scotia, we’re fortunate to have plenty of wind that we can harness to make electricity. In addition to the 600 megawatts of wind we use today, independent power producers will add up to 1,500 megawatts of wind energy, which our team will connect to our system over the next several years.

But because the wind doesn’t always blow, we need to ensure we can fill those gaps so electricity is always there when you need it. Unlike other provinces, such as Quebec or British Columbia, we don’t have an abundance of hydro power. Instead, we need to explore other solutions to support the intermittent nature of wind and reach our climate goals.

Charging forward

In addition to adding more wind and solar power, our mix of solutions will include battery storage and new fast-acting generation, like natural gas, with an eye on the potential future use of hydrogen. This will help ensure we can generate back-up energy so that your electricity stays reliable and so that we can support our system on days Nova Scotians are using the most energy—like on the coldest winter days.

As we add more wind and solar, we also need to be able to shift that energy to periods when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Grid-scale batteries will help us store renewable energy and bring more of it onto the grid when customers need it most. We’re excited to be collaborating with local communities in the early stages of planning for three new proposed battery sites in Bridgewater, HRM, and the Valley. This includes financial support from the federal government, as well as an investment agreement with the Canada Infrastructure Bank and Wskijnu'k Mtmo'taqnuow Agency, enabling Mi’kmaw communities in Nova Scotia to make an equity investment in Nova Scotia Power in relation to the proposed battery projects.

Powering a green Nova Scotia, together

Nova Scotia’s energy future is bright. And what I’m most excited about are the possibilities and benefits for our customers and the opportunities to collaborate with communities.

It’s a future where battery technology, solar and wind systems, and a smarter grid work together to deliver cleaner, more reliable electricity.

It’s a future that’s more sustainable, where each of us can make a difference—whether that’s switching to an electric vehicle or choosing to warm your home with electricity instead of fossil fuel. As our grid gets greener, so will our homes, businesses, and communities.

It’s a future where new jobs are created in Nova Scotia for a green economy—from the technical skills and expertise for the construction of new energy infrastructure to the opportunities to provide new products and services, like installing and maintaining EV chargers and modifying homes with smart technology.

This isn’t a future that’s far off. We’re not just imagining these benefits—we’re seeing them in action today. I invite you to engage with us as we continue on this journey. Because the only path that will get us to 80% renewable energy is the one we take together.

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