Ottawa to buy back renewable energy to power federal facilities in Nova Scotia
A new agreement between the province and Ottawa will see more renewable energy added to Nova Scotia’s power grid to help the federal government meet its targets.
The agreement, signed Thursday, means the two governments will collaborate on the acquisition of renewable electricity to power federally-owned facilities in Nova Scotia.
Through the federal Atlantic Clean Energy Initiative, Public Services and Procurement Canada is in the process of identifying clean electricity solutions for the Government of Canada in the Atlantic Region, and an open competition, which will be overseen by a third-party administrator appointed by the province, will establish new renewable energy projects. The electricity generated will then be purchased by the Government of Canada, at a fair price, to meet its energy needs for federally-owned facilities.
“Nova Scotia is a national leader in fighting climate change,” said provincial Energy and Mines Minister Derek Mombourquette in a statement. “This investment will mean we can add more clean energy to our grid, support jobs, create opportunities for businesses to grow and protect the environment for future generations.”
According to a federal press release, the agreement will help the federal government reach its goal of using 100 per cent clean electricity in all federally owned facilities by 2025.
This project will also “significantly reduce” greenhouse gas emissions from federal facilities in Nova Scotia, including the Canadian Forces Base in Halifax and Greenwood, which Ottawa says accounts for about 70 per cent of the federal government’s electrical use in Nova Scotia. With over 1,000 buildings in Nova Scotia, this initiative will help lower DND’s greenhouse gas emissions in the province by about 67 per cent.
Ottawa estimates that the selected projects will need to generate about 100,000-megawatt-hours of new renewable electricity, enough energy to power about 10,000 homes a year.
The federal government has also made the project more attractive to potential bidders by offering the opportunity to use surplus federal land, which was once part of the coal mining industry in Cape Breton, for new renewable energy projects to help power federal facilities, the release says.
In addition to the environmental benefits, Ottawa says the project will create regional economic growth, including partnerships with local Indigenous communities on clean energy solutions.
PSPC says is currently in discussions with stakeholders in the other Atlantic provinces to explore entering into similar partnerships to provide clean electricity for federal buildings.
“Our government’s collaboration with the Province of Nova Scotia is a great example of how we can work together to achieve goals that help make our environment cleaner and healthier for all Canadians, while building a greener economy,” procurement minister Carla Qualtrough said in a statement. “This partnership will ensure a fair rate for the long-term supply of clean electricity for federal buildings, set the stage for a sustainable clean energy model for the future, and leverage partnerships with Indigenous Peoples on clean electricity solutions.”
Nova Scotia says it has “one of the most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets in the country,” reducing emissions by 45 to 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The amount of renewable electricity on Nova Scotia’s grid has tripled over the past 12 years.