Photo: Illustration/Sustainable Marine’s tidal energy platform in Nova Scotia (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)

Nova Scotia tweaks tidal energy regulations to meet industry needs

The government of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia has introduced amendments to the Marine Renewable-energy Act that will improve the regulatory framework for tidal energy industry.

Illustration/Sustainable Marine’s tidal energy platform in Nova Scotia (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)
Illustration/Sustainable Marine’s tidal energy platform in Nova Scotia (Courtesy of Sustainable Marine)

Based on feedback from the industry and four years of experience with the Demonstration Permit Program, the amendments will provide greater clarity about the act’s licensing system and improve the permit program, according to Nova Scotia Government.

The amendments, tabled in the legislature on March 24, will allow multiple projects to share subsea infrastructure, such as moorings or anchors, to reduce project costs. They are also expected to add greater clarity around the rights provided with a license and the geographic area of a license.

To remind, the Marine Renewable-energy Act was adopted in January 2018, providing a framework for the governance and development of Nova Scotia’s tidal, wave and offshore wind resources.

Tory Rushton, minister of Natural Resources and Renewables of Nova Scotia, said: “This industry has enormous potential for our province as a clean source of energy, as a job creator in rural areas and as an opportunity to build expertise and exportable green technology.”

The changes to the bill also entail improvements to the Demonstration Permit Program that will create a competitive evaluation process instead of providing permits on a first-come, first-served basis. The process will ensure the projects that offer the best value to Nova Scotians are approved.

A demonstration permit is a type of marine renewable-energy permit that allows project developers to test or demonstrate new ways of generating marine renewable energy.

So far, the province has issued permits to five companies for a total of 10MW.

With a demonstration permit, a developer can deploy and connect a device to the province’s electrical grid. A demonstration project is allowed up to 5MWof new generating capacity, with a total of 10MW available under the program.

Worth noting, the project developers can also apply for a permit to test devices that do not connect to the electrical grid.


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