Nova Scotia: Clean electricity snapshot

Overview of electricity in Nova Scotia.

More wind and solar energy are key solutions to help move away from fossil fuels for a net-zero future. Nova Scotia is capitalizing on the province’s windy environment with large-scale windfarm projects to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and create a cleaner, more sustainable electricity grid.

A clean electricity grid can have several benefits

In addition to cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, a clean electricity grid can provide several benefits:

Electricity generated

There are over 300 commercial wind turbines in Nova Scotia, making the province one of the nation’s leaders in wind energy.

As of 2022, Nova Scotia had 603 megawatts (MW) of wind and 0.37 MW of solar installed on its grid.

Long description

Figure 1: Percentage of electricity sources by type
Natural gas: 20%
Wind, tidal, and solar: 14%
Hydro: 8%
Coal: 47%
Other: 11%
Total Generation: 9.43 Terawatt hours

Economic opportunities and key projects

Following the historic investments made in Budget 2023, the Government of Canada has now committed over $40 billion to support the clean electricity sector across Canada, including with below-market financing through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, grants and contributions such as the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program, and a new Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit. These investments being made alongside the Clean Electricity Regulations will help drive significant economic opportunities in the province through the construction of new power sources and retrofitting of existing plants.

Construction is expected to begin on the Higgins Mountain windfarm in Wentworth, Nova Scotia in 2024. This new project will bring construction opportunities to the province.

The Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology course from Nova Scotia Community College provides opportunities to develop skills in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable design.

Nova Scotia has approved two large-scale green hydrogen projects along the Strait of Canso and two in Port Tupper that will be powered by wind turbines. Depending on how hydrogen is created, it can be a clean fuel that only produces water with the release of energy. Nova Scotia is exploring opportunities to export green hydrogen to Belgium and other European Union countries.

In March 2023 the Government of Canada began an 18-month assessment that will allow new offshore wind projects to move forward. The deployment of offshore wind will provide an economic boost to the province's marine services industry.

Keeping electricity affordable

The Government of Canada is supporting households with their energy switching, through home retrofit programs, zero-emission vehicles purchase incentives and more, to help Canadians save on their energy bills.

Over $40 billion in new Government of Canada measures across Canada to meet the growing demand for clean electricity can minimize future cost impacts being passed down to Nova Scotians.

Nova Scotians who make the switch to a heat pump or an electric/hybrid vehicle come out even further ahead since they will pay less in pollution pricing but still receive the full Climate Action Incentive Payment to help with their energy bills.

Anyone who enrolls in Nova Scotia’s Home Energy Assessment program and is eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant can be considered for up to $5,000 in federal rebates. Low-income Nova Scotians may be eligible for a free heat pump. An interest-free loan option is available.

Today, an average homeowner who switches from oil to cold-climate heat pumps to heat their homes would save between $1,500 and $4,700 per year on home energy bills.

The Government of Nova Scotia offers an energy rebate program where consumers, landlords, and condominium corporations can receive a 10 per cent rebate on the before-tax price of home energy.

The City of Halifax has committed $201 million to help property owners install solar panels through the Solar City Program and generate 7.30 MW of renewable energy. These systems are expected to save property owners a total of $1.43 million annually in utility costs.

Recent announcements

In October 2023, Governments of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia agreed to a Joint Policy Statement on Developing and Transmitting Clean, Reliable and Affordable Power in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which includes collaborative work to help enable the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 and achieve net-zero electricity by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050. In support of the 2030 timeline the governments agreed to collaborate on moving forward with the Salisbury, NB, to Onslow, NS, reliability intertie, connecting Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  

As part of the October 2023 joint Canada-NS-NB announcement, the Government of Canada announced $11.5 million in funding to Nova Scotia Power to improve grid system monitoring and automation as new clean energy assets are commissioned and the proportion of intermittent wind on the Nova Scotia grid grows. 

In August 2023, the Nova East Wind project was announced that proposes up to 400 MW of electricity from offshore floating wind turbines. Of interest, this project would use existing undersea cables to bring clean electricity to shore leftover from the abandoned offshore natural gas sector.

In October 2022, the Government of Canada announced a $3.7-million investment to the Clean Energy and Equity Network in Nova Scotia, which will support community-driven and owned initiatives to support clean energy solutions and leadership in Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities.

In November 2022, the Government of Canada announced an investment of over $1.3 million for the Community Geothermal Resource Capacity Assessment and Training Program (GeoCAT). The GeoCAT program works with Mi’kmaw groups, the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources, and the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq to build capacity for mid-depth geothermal energy-based projects in five Mi’kmaw and twelve rural communities. The program will transfer geothermal resource and project development knowledge to local community representatives, who will in turn teach interested residents how geothermal project development can be achieved in their communities.

In July 2022, the Government of Canada announced a new federal investment of up to $255 million deliver clean power to homes across Nova Scotia and create hundreds of good middle-class jobs. This funding will provide:

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