NS Keeps the Ball Rolling With New Tidal Energy Regulations
January 22, 2014
By Sara Mahaney, Associate at McInnes Cooper,
Matthew Clarke, former lawyer at McInnes Cooper
On January 21, 2014, the NS Government amended the NS Renewable Electricity Regulations – moving NS further toward its goal of achieving commercial-scale tidal renewable electricity generation in NS. The amended Regulations clarify the process by which commercial scale tidal energy project developer can qualify for feed-in-tariff approval and a power purchase agreement (PPA) under the Regulations. The changes to the Regulations are effective immediately. Highlights of the changes are:
Clarification of Territorial Scope. A new definition of “Province” helps clarify that a project is considered to be within NS if it is within the offshore territory under NS jurisdiction pursuant to the federal-provincial offshore oil regime.
Qualifications. The amendments clarify that a privately owned developmental tidal array qualifies as a generator for a developmental tidal array tariff – and thus that such developmental tidal array projects are potentially eligible for a PPA with Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI).
Application for Feed-In Tariff Approval. There is a detailed process to apply for a developmental tidal array feed-in tariff. Developers can only apply in response to an invitation or public call that the Minister of Energy issues – which has not happened yet. The amended Regulations give the details of the content required in an application, including detailed plans concerning items such as the project’s financial viability, risk management and stakeholder engagement.
Increased Ministerial Discretion in Application Decision. The Minister must determine whether the application is consistent with the Department of Energy’s renewable low impact electricity policies and objectives – and may take into account any matter he considers relevant and in the public interest – in approving or rejecting an application for a developmental tidal array feed-in tariff approval.
Power Purchase Agreement. The Minister, in consultation with NSPI, may prepare a standard form of PPA for a developmental tidal array generation facility, which is subject to approval by the NS Utility and Review Board (UARB). The Department has previously that indicated it is preparing a standard form PPA for developmental tidal arrays; this PPA will be subject to a UARB approval process, involving stakeholder input.
NS on a Roll. The amendment of the Regulations is the latest development moving NS developmental tidal energy forward – and reforming the NS energy regime:
- November 2013. The UARB set the purchase prices for energy purchased pursuant to the developmental tidal array feed-in tariff. These rates range from $375 to $575 per MWh depending upon several criteria.
- December 2013. The NS Government RFP for 1 of 4 berth sites for developmental tidal arrays closed. The Government says that there are 3 qualified bidders, and that a second berth has become available. We expect the Government will award both berths at the same time from the pool of qualified bidders in March 2014.
- December 2013. The NS Government passed the Electricity Reform Act that will effectively deregulate the NS renewable electricity market. Read McInnes Cooper’s December 2, 2013 article: NS Government Proposes a Game Changer in NS Power Market.
- January 2014. It kicked off the electricity system review required under the new Electricity Reform Act. Read McInnes Cooper’s January 20, 2014 article: Game On – NS Electricity System Review Begins.
You may read the NS Renewable Electricity Regulations and the January 21, 2014 amendments.
Read more about the amended NS Renewable Electricity Regulations in our January 27, 2014 article: NS Moves Closer to Commercial-scale Tidal Renewable Electricity Generation.
Please contact your McInnes Cooper lawyer or any member of our McInnes Cooper Renewable Energy Team to discuss this topic or any other legal issue.
McInnes Cooper has prepared this document for information only; it is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult McInnes Cooper about your unique circumstances before acting on this information. McInnes Cooper excludes all liability for anything contained in this document and any use you make of it.
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