The Canadian province of Nova Scotia is seeking to promote
clean, green renewable energies. In order to implement the targets
established by new comprehensive legislation in 2010, the province
has introduced the COMFIT-Program. Nova Scotia will become the
third Canadian province after Prince Edward Island and Ontario to
launch Feed-in Tariffs for renewable energy.
Currently, Nova Scotia still generates most of its power from
imported coal. On April 23, 2010, the province's
government established the Renewable Electricity Plan and committed
itself to increase the electricity supply generated by renewables
to 25 % by 2015 and 40 % by 2020. One of several initiatives
related to the implementation of this plan is the Community-Based
Feed In Tariff Program, or COMFIT-Program. This program establishes
uniform feed-tariff rates (i.e. the prices to be paid for the
electricity) in order to promote the development of local renewable
The Province has already conducted a public process including
public notices of regulations and technical sessions with expert
consultants. One of the consultants, Synapse Energy Economics, has
made its first tariff proposal in December 2010. The proposed rates
have garnered much attention as they are partly higher than
anywhere else in the world.
The Utility and Review Board (UARB) of Nova Scotia is expected
to launch the feed-in tariff rates during the summer of 2011. The
rates are intended to cover basic cost-recovery as well as the cost
of capital. Nova Scotia may soon have the first feed-in tariff for
tidal power in North America, feed-in tariffs which only target
community-owned renewables and are among the highest tariffs for
wind energy and hydroelectricity. For example, the draft rates for
wind energy are currently as follows:
Wind ≤50 kW $0.452/kWh
Wind >50 kW $0.139/kWh
Nova Scotia's COMFIT-Program differs from others in North
America and in Europe as it limits the group of eligible
participants to community-owned projects. Eligible to apply will be
municipalities, Mi'kmaq band councils, cooperatives,
not-for-profits, community economic development corporations,
universities and entities that use the heat from combined heat and
power biomass facilities.
The program is designed for the following sources of renewable
wind, with a capacity over 50 kW and with a capacity of 50 kW
combined heat and power biomass facilities (CHP) where the use
of the thermal energy is eligible.
small-scale instream tidal.
It should be emphasized that solar photovoltaics are excluded
from the COMFIT Program. Furthermore, the eligible entities named
above must own a majority of the proposed project and the projects
must be connected to the grid at the distribution level (i.e.
typically under 6 MW.)
The program and applications will be managed by the Nova Scotia
Department of Energy. Nova Scotia Power will be involved as well in
the later stages of the project development. It is anticipated that
applications for the COMFIT-Program will be accepted shortly after
the rate has been set by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
This will be a one-window process and does not include permits or
approvals required for construction projects in general, which must
be obtained before applying for a contract under the
COMFIT-Program. The Department of Energy recommends submitting
early applications even if the project concept has not yet been
fully developed. The government intends to assist applicants in
relation to a wide range of issues including the accessing of
The government of Nova Scotia will review the COMFIT-Program in
2012. Several Nova Scotia stakeholders have formed the Nova Scotia
Sustainable Electricity Alliance (NovaSEA) to monitor the
development of renewable energies in general and the COMFIT-Program
in particular. There are several renewable energy companies from
across the country who have already expressed interest in the
COMFIT-Program and who are waiting for formal confirmation of the
anticipated tariff rates.
For further information, please visit the following
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
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