Province’s Energy Plan Will Ensure Lowest, Fairest Rates for Families

February 20, 2013

Nova Scotia’s energy plan will ensure the lowest, fairest electricity rates for Nova Scotians now and in the future, said Energy Minister Charlie Parker in Bridgewater today, Feb. 20.

Mr. Parker is visiting communities across the province to share details of the energy plan, which he said can be summed up in five words: local, reliable, green, tax-free and efficient.

“We promised to make life better for Nova Scotia families,” said Mr. Parker. “To fulfill that commitment, we had to do two things: end the practice of paying provincial tax on basic home electricity, and develop a realistic, forward-thinking, innovative, competitive, made-in Nova Scotia approach to ensure Nova Scotians pay the lowest, fairest electricity rates possible now and in the future.

“I am proud that we have been able to do both of those things.”

Nova Scotia’s energy plan is already working in communities across the province. On the South Shore, the province has helped people enjoy the benefits of clean, green renewable electricity generated in their own backyards while encouraging local economic opportunities.

Proposed energy-related projects in the region include:

— 2.3-megawatt community feed-in tariff (COMFIT) wind project for the Municipality of the District of Chester
— Watts Wind Energy’s two-megawatt COMFIT project in Bayswater
— the Mi’kmaq Rights Initiative’s four-megawatt COMFIT project in Whynachts Settlement
— a 78-megawatt South Canoe Wind Project between Chester and Windsor, led by Oxford Frozen Foods
— a 24-megawatt South Canoe Wind Project in Lunenburg County, led by Minas Paper Pulp and Power

“Every megawatt of energy produced through the COMFIT program results in $2 million to $3 million of economic activity in the local community, so we’re very pleased to create the right conditions for these investments,” said Mr. Parker. “The two larger wind projects will result in $200 million in new investment and create good paying jobs. Together, these projects will help stabilize electricity prices in Nova Scotia and help the environment.”

Allan Webber, warden of the Municipality of the District of Chester, said the area supports the province’s move towards cleaner energy sources.

“The provincial government’s community feed-in tariff program provides us with a way to support the cleaner energy goals established by the province and also provides a mechanism for our municipality to generate additional revenue over time for the benefit of our constituents,” said Mr. Webber.

“In Lunenburg County, we welcome the opportunity to generate and distribute electricity closer to home, while creating economic development opportunities and protecting the environment,” said Don Downe, mayor of the Municipality of Lunenburg. “We commend the province for their efforts in this area.”

Mr. Parker and Energy deputy minister Murray Coolican also provided information and an overview of the Muskrat Falls/Maritime Link project.

“This is one of the most important energy projects this province has had the opportunity to be involved in,” said Mr. Parker. “Partnering with our neighbors in Newfoundland and Labrador to bring clean, hydroelectricity through a subsea cable to Nova Scotia to help meet our energy needs and achieve environmental goals is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The project will provide Nova Scotians with a reliable source of clean energy at predictable, stable rates for 35 years. It is the lowest long-term cost option for the province to meet federal environmental requirements. It will also provide jobs, generate economic activity and give the province a second connection to the North American electricity grid, for more options to purchase energy.