Tuesday, May 28, 2024

EverWind, NSP in talks to forge long-term power purchase deal

Changes to Energy Act give minister authority to start negotiations

  • October 18 2023
  • By Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH — Following major changes to the province’s Energy Act last week, EverWind Fuels Inc. has confirmed that it is negotiating with Nova Scotia Power (NSP) to strike a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for its extensive renewables project in northeastern Nova Scotia, including Guysborough County.

“We have begun conversations with Nova Scotia Power about a potential PPA,” EverWind’s Director of Public Affairs Adam Langer told The Journal in an email on Oct. 13. “While this process is not yet complete, we are optimistic and excited about the role that renewable power, including wind, green hydrogen and green ammonia, will play in a cleaner greener future for Nova Scotia, Canada and, ultimately, the entire planet.”

In a separate email, NSP confirmed that while, “We are not able to speak to any potential future power purchase agreements, we are in active and ongoing discussion with developers, including EverWind. Our focus continues to be on ensuring that any agreements would be in the best interest of all our customers.”

On Oct. 13, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources Tony Rushton announced amendments to the Electricity Act designed to add more renewables to the provincial grid, including directives “clarifying” the use of “sleeved” PPAs – which let a large-scale electricity customer buy long-term renewable energy from a producer at a set price, providing developers and investors with revenue certainty and purchasers with cost stability. According to the announcement, “[The] changes will make it clear that the minister has the authority to direct Nova Scotia Power to enter into these types of agreements.”

Added Rushton: “There are many options to shift our electricity system to renewable energy and we are advancing them to meet our goals. We’re on track to exceed our 2030 goal for clean power and these amendments are among the many solutions to help us get there.”

Langer said EverWind was “pleased with the province’s amendments to allow NSP to enter sleeved PPAs with large energy customers. We agree with government that this move will help accelerate Nova Scotia’s green energy transition by making it easier for Nova Scotia Power to partner with clean energy projects. Flexibility in how we can add renewable electricity is a win for everyone.”

Earlier this year, EverWind received environmental assessment (EA) approval from the provincial government for the first phase of its estimated $6 billion-green hydrogen and ammonia project, centred at Port Tupper. To power those operations, the company and its partners are expecting to generate hundreds of megawatts of new wind energy at locations across northeastern Nova Scotia, including Guysborough County.

According to the EA document, “By definition, Certified Green energy requires electricity supplied by NS Power to be generated through renewable, low-impact sources via wind, wave, tide, run-of-the-river hydraulic, biomass, solar, and/or landfill gas sources. [EverWind] will enter a commercial agreement with NS Power, such that the electricity supplied to the project will be verified/certified as originating from renewable energy sources.”

Said Langer last week: “PPAs are common tool used in other jurisdictions. They provide both pricing certainty, as well as certainty about the source of a given project’s electricity generation. For a project like our green hydrogen and green ammonia facility, this is essential.”

Added NS Power: “Our Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – our long-term outlook for how we will generate electricity in the future – identified that low/zero carbon fuels, such as hydrogen, could be an important part of our future generation mix as we transition to a low carbon energy future.”