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Rules, delays hurt province’s wind power potential

Politics and a two-year wait for new wind turbines are stalling development of the new energy source in Nova Scotia, says the head of the Renewable Energy Industry Association of Nova Scotia.

Will Apold fears New Brunswick will push ahead of Nova Scotia in developing new wind power projects unless changes are made in Nova Scotia.

The provincial government has failed to pass regulations allowing wind power developers to sell directly to customers, hampering development of projects in the province, said Mr. Apold. Power producers now have to have "purchase power agreements" with Nova Scotia Power to sell electricity.

"The last 18 months, we’ve had a minority government here and they’ve been very unwilling to move forward on anything and that’s been a problem," Mr. Apold told reporters after speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the Offshore/Onshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia in Halifax on Thursday.

"If we have another minority government, we may still have the same problem." Mr. Apold said the provincial Conservative government promised the renewable energy association, which has 40 members, that it would allow direct sales and force NSP to increase the percentage of new renewable energy within its fuel mix.

The Nova Scotia government has targeted 375 megawatts of new wind power for the province, but to date production has reached only 40 megawatts, said Mr. Apold. In New Brunswick, the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Will Apold fears New Brunswick will push ahead of Nova Scotia in developing new wind power projects unless changes are made in Nova Scotia.
 
The provincial government has failed to pass regulations allowing wind power developers to sell directly to customers, hampering development of projects in the province, said Mr. Apold. Power producers now have to have "purchase power agreements" with Nova Scotia Power to sell electricity.
 
"The last 18 months, we’ve had a minority government here and they’ve been very unwilling to move forward on anything and that’s been a problem," Mr. Apold told reporters after speaking at a breakfast sponsored by the Offshore/Onshore Technologies Association of Nova Scotia in Halifax on Thursday.
 
"If we have another minority government, we may still have the same problem." Mr. Apold said the provincial Conservative government promised the renewable energy association, which has 40 members, that it would allow direct sales and force NSP to increase the percentage of new renewable energy within its fuel mix.
 
The Nova Scotia government has targeted 375 megawatts of new wind power for the province, but to date production has reached only 40 megawatts, said Mr. Apold. In New Brunswick, the government has targeted 400 megawatts over the next 10 years.
 
Wind developers are also concerned that Nova Scotia wind power projects pay the highest taxes in the country, said Mr. Apold, who is also president of Natural Forces Technologies Inc. of Halifax.
 
"It’s been extremely frustrating," he said about his dealings with the province.
 
"We first wrote letters on this in February 2005 to . . . get this resolved. Basically, it’s a tax grab where they have changed the assessment rules and not treated us as other normal industries would be. We end up paying, depending on which jurisdiction, it could be anywhere from five per cent to 7.5 per cent of the income goes towards the municipal tax." The province’s first wind farm developer is fighting its property tax bill in Nova Scotia Supreme Court and before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
 
The Pubnico Point wind farm, home to 17 turbines, has a deal with Nova Scotia Power to sell 30 megawatts of electricity to the utility over the next 15 years, for $7 million a year.
 
A study by the Canadian Wind Energy Association shows average property taxes for a 20-megawatt wind project in Nova Scotia are $679,810, compared to $42,785 in Ontario.
 
The study also shows there is an inequity in the way wind power is taxed in comparison to other forms of power generation in the province. A wind project pays more than seven times as much tax as an NSP coal-fired power generator, the study found.
 
Ironically, he said, the increasing popularity of wind as an energy source could delay projects because of the backlog of orders for wind turbines. The U.S. is doubling its wind energy production every two years and most turbines are destined for south of the border.
 
"Canada has been left out," said Mr. Apold, adding that a Nova Scotia wind power project ordering a new wind turbine today would have to wait until 2008 to get one.
 
( jmyrden@herald.ca)


Source: http://thechronicleherald.c...

MAY 26 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/2804-rules-delays-hurt-province-s-wind-power-potential
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