Halifax, Canada [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) and NewPage Port Hawkesbury Corp. this week announced agreements to develop a new 60 megawatt (MW) biomass co-generation facility. The development entails an NSPI investment of CAN $200 million. This includes $93 million in construction costs for new facilities, $80 million to purchase assets from NewPage, and other related costs.
NewPage will be responsible for the construction and operation of the co-generation facility and be completely responsible for fuel supply. This project remains subject to regulatory approval from the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board and is targeting an in-service date of late 2012.
The proposed co-generation project represents another important step toward meeting Nova Scotia’s renewable energy commitments while at the same time creating and sustaining jobs in the province. This local biomass fueled co-generation facility could supply Nova Scotians with approximately 400 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually, representing approximately 3% of the province’s total electricity requirement.
The project is expected to create 150 new jobs in Northern Nova Scotia, primarily in the forestry sector, in addition to maintaining the Port Hawkesbury mill’s existing workforce of approximately 550 employees. Approximately 50 person-years of employment will also be created during the construction phase. Only ‘stem wood’ will be used in the project’s biomass energy generation. Tree stumps, tops and branches will not be removed from the forest floor as they are necessary in restoring nutrients in the soil so new trees can grow.
“We are working with one of our largest customers to sustainably displace imported fossil fuels, a project that will benefit the environment and economy in Nova Scotia,” said Robin McAdam, executive vice president for sustainability at NSPI. “This partnership with NewPage is consistent with our commitment to only pursue projects where we are assured that sustainable harvesting practices will be employed. At the same time a request for proposals (RFP) is being issued to solicit competing renewable projects that provide firm energy. The RFP process will test the competitiveness of this proposed project.”