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Wind, solar energy worth more - Group asks province to follow fee model established elsewhere

The association, which has about 40 members, has written Premier Rodney MacDonald and asked the government to implement the contracts, which establish cost-based fee schedules to be paid by utilities to renewable energy suppliers.

Nova Scotia should follow Ontario’s lead and provide standard offer contracts for all renewable energy sources, says Peggy Cameron of Black River Wind Ltd. in Cape Breton.

"The model exists," Ms. Cameron, who is also a director of the Renewable Energy Industry Association of Nova Scotia, said in an interview on Wednesday from Mabou. "It requires the political will to implement it."

The association, which has about 40 members, has written Premier Rodney MacDonald and asked the government to implement the contracts, which establish cost-based fee schedules to be paid by utilities to renewable energy suppliers.

It noted that the contracts recently introduced in Ontario for renewable energy projects under 10 megawatts offer 20-year rates of 11 cents per kilowatt hour for wind power and 45 cents per kilowatt hour for solar power.

Ms. Cameron said renewable energy suppliers in Cape Breton such as Black River Wind are paid 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour for wind energy by Nova Scotia Power Inc., the province’s monopoly utility, while NSP’s wind turbine in Grand Etang gets 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The association wants standard offer contract rates in Nova Scotia to match or exceed the rates paid in... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Nova Scotia should follow Ontario’s lead and provide standard offer contracts for all renewable energy sources, says Peggy Cameron of Black River Wind Ltd. in Cape Breton.

"The model exists," Ms. Cameron, who is also a director of the Renewable Energy Industry Association of Nova Scotia, said in an interview on Wednesday from Mabou. "It requires the political will to implement it."

The association, which has about 40 members, has written Premier Rodney MacDonald and asked the government to implement the contracts, which establish cost-based fee schedules to be paid by utilities to renewable energy suppliers.

It noted that the contracts recently introduced in Ontario for renewable energy projects under 10 megawatts offer 20-year rates of 11 cents per kilowatt hour for wind power and 45 cents per kilowatt hour for solar power.

Ms. Cameron said renewable energy suppliers in Cape Breton such as Black River Wind are paid 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour for wind energy by Nova Scotia Power Inc., the province’s monopoly utility, while NSP’s wind turbine in Grand Etang gets 12.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The association wants standard offer contract rates in Nova Scotia to match or exceed the rates paid in Ontario.

"NSPI pays what the market determines," said Ms. Cameron, who noted that the contracts are used for all renewable energy sources in countries like Germany and Denmark and have been introduced in Prince Edward Island for wind power. "Unfortunately, there is no other market to sell to but NSPI."

In its letter to the premier, the association says Nova Scotia stands little chance of attracting manufacturers of renewable energy products without these contracts.

"Jurisdictions that are the first to adopt SOCs are where the manufacturers locate because that is where there is a steady uptake of the equipment in the marketplace," it wrote.

The association also criticized the province for ignoring a 1990 Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board decision that said the government must play a role in determining prices paid to independent power producers.

"This policy void has allowed NSPI to continue and strengthen its monopoly role in determining when and if they purchase renewables and what price they pay," it said.

"Standard offer contracts would support a reliable, sustainable electricity supply (and) a reduction in Nova Scotia’s dependency on imported fossil fuels," on which the utility spends more than $400 million a year, the association says.

The contracts would also "create real economic benefit with new secure long-term jobs in renewable energy equipment manufacturing, operation and maintenance; and help Canada meet its Kyoto commitments."

Sasha Irving of the premier’s office said Wednesday that Mr. MacDonald has reviewed the association’s letter and will be discussing it with Energy Minister Bill Dooks. She expected that the government will respond to the association’s concerns within a week.

NDP energy critic Frank Corbett said the government should look seriously at standard offer contracts if it is committed to greener energy.

"It’s frustrating," he said Wednesday. "The government is always playing catch-up."

( berskine@herald.ca)


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

SEP 1 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/4310-wind-solar-energy-worth-more-group-asks-province-to-follow-fee-model-established-elsewhere
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