Nova Scotia Power’s proposed “system access charge” would devastate the province’s solar industry

CanREA calls on the Nova Scotia Government to restore consumer confidence by challenging recent actions taken by NSPI.

Ottawa, January 28, 2022—The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is calling on the Nova Scotia Government to restore consumer confidence by challenging recent actions taken by Nova Scotia Power Inc (NSPI).

A new rate application, submitted by NSPI to the province’s Utility & Review Board yesterday, proposes to introduce a “system access charge” for net-metering customers.

“We are calling on the Government of Nova Scotia to intervene to ensure that Nova Scotians can continue to pursue rooftop solar installations and make significant climate-friendly investments in the province,” said Brandy Giannetta, CanREA’s Vice-President of Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs.

NSPI’s proposed system access charge, of $8 per kilowatt of solar PV capacity per month, or nearly $800 per year for the average solar home in Nova Scotia, would erase approximately 60% of the economic value of solar net-metering. 

“This proposed charge would have a direct impact on small businesses and homeowners seeking to contribute to Nova Scotia’s target of reducing greenhouse emissions and achieving 80% renewable electricity by 2030,” said Nicholas Gall, CanREA’s Director of Distributed Energy Resources.

There are now more than 4,000 solar homes across Nova Scotia. The industry supports hundreds of jobs throughout the province, primarily in rural communities, and last year contributed approximately $30 million in private-sector investment to the Nova Scotia economy while helping to reduce the province’s GHG emissions by nearly 250,000 tonnes.

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Quotes

“We are calling on the Government of Nova Scotia to intervene to ensure that Nova Scotians can continue to pursue rooftop solar installations and make significant climate-friendly investments in the province.”

—Brandy Giannetta, CanREA’s Vice-President of Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs

“This proposed charge would have a direct impact on small businesses and homeowners seeking to contribute to Nova Scotia’s target of reducing greenhouse emissions and achieving 80% renewable electricity by 2030.”

—Nicholas Gall, CanREA’s Director of Distributed Energy Resources

About the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. Our aim is to ensure wind energy, solar energy and energy storage play a central role in transforming Canada’s energy mix. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter. Become a member. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.

For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
647-268-3382
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

CanREA encouraged by Ontario’s clean-energy-credit proposal

Ontario’s Ministry of Energy announces plans for a voluntary clean-energy-credit registry.

Ottawa, January 27, 2022—The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is encouraged by plans to develop a new, voluntary, clean-energy-credit (CEC) registry in Ontario, as announced yesterday by the Minister of Energy, the Honourable Todd Smith.

“It’s great to see the Ontario Ministry of Energy taking this important step toward the launch of a clean-energy-credit (CEC) market,” said Nicholas Gall, CanREA’s Director for Ontario. “A CEC registry could enable more Ontario consumers to choose wind and solar energy to power their operations and help companies meet their ESG targets.”

CanREA looks forward to engaging with the IESO and with other stakeholders on designing the CEC registry system. CanREA will work on behalf of its members to ensure that Ontario’s new CEC registry leverages—and unlocks additional value from—Ontario’s wind and solar resources.

For more information on how Canada can use wind energy, solar energy and energy storage to help achieve its net-zero commitments, consult “Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero: CanREA’s 2050 Vison.”

Quotes

“It’s great to see the Ontario Ministry of Energy taking this important step toward the launch of a clean-energy-credit (CEC) market. A CEC market could enable more Ontario consumers to choose wind and solar energy to power their operations and help companies meet their ESG targets.”

—Nicholas Gall, CanREA’s Director for Ontario

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 About the Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. Our aim is to ensure wind energy, solar energy and energy storage play a central role in transforming Canada’s energy mix. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter. Become a member. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.

For more information or interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
647-268-3382
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

Canada installed almost 1 GW of wind and solar energy in 2021, driven by strong growth in Alberta.

CanREA’s new industry data for 2021 shows that Canada saw the biggest build-out of new utility-scale wind and solar energy capacity since 2015, but this was far below what is required to achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.

Ottawa, January 26, 2022—The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) today announced the industry’s year-end data, reporting that Canada’s wind and solar energy sectors grew significantly in 2021, adding nearly 1 GW of new generation capacity.

“2021 was a positive year for our industries, with 677 MW of new wind energy and 288 MW of new utility-scale solar energy commissioned,” said Robert Hornung, President and CEO of CanREA, “but this rate of growth is not nearly enough. We must dramatically accelerate and expand the deployment of these technologies.”

Alberta accounted for more than 60% of new Canadian capacity installed in 2021, with Saskatchewan accounting for another 20%.

In total, Canada’s new wind and solar energy capacity created approximately 2,400 person-years of employment, primarily in the construction of new facilities, but also in the ongoing operations and maintenance of these sites.

CanREA projects that 2022 and 2023 will see significantly more growth in the deployment of wind and solar energy, with numerous projects currently under construction or in advanced stages of development.

More than 3,000 MW are expected to be commissioned in 2022 and a similar number in 2023. In addition, new commitments were made across Canada in 2021 (for example, in Saskatchewan, Quebec and Nova Scotia) that will result in new wind and solar energy deployment after 2023.

“Canada is just starting to take advantage of its massive untapped wind and solar energy potential,” said Hornung.

“As the lowest-cost source of new decarbonized electricity generation available in Canada today, wind and solar energy will be a cornerstone of Canada’s efforts to address climate change. Success, however, will require several policy, regulatory and infrastructure barriers to be addressed, enabling a dramatic increase in the scale and speed of deployment,” he said.

CanREA’s 2050 Vision, Powering Canada’s Journey to Net-Zero, demonstrates that we need to deploy more than 5,000 MW of new wind and solar energy annually for the next 30 years if Canada is to meet its commitment to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

For more information on CanREA’s latest industry data for Canada, visit the “By the Numbers” webpage.

Join CanREA Today!
To learn more about membership and how you can get involved, please contact Julie Mair, CanREA’s Manager of Membership and Business Development, at jmair@renewablesassociation.ca.

Facts at a Glance

Wind energy expanded in 2021

  • Total wind energy capacity in Canada (as of Dec 31, 2021): 14,304 MW, up from 13,627 MW in 2020.
  • New wind power generation installed in 2021: 677 MW
  • Growth in wind energy in 2021: 4.9%
  • Nearly half of this growth occurred in Alberta (358 MW) with additional growth in Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia.  

 Solar energy shone in 2021

  • Total major* solar energy capacity in Canada (as of Dec 31, 2021): 2,399 MW, up from 2,111 MW last year.
  • New major* solar power generation installed in 2021: 288 MW
  • Growth in solar energy in 2021: 13.6%
  • Almost all of this growth occurred in Alberta (250 MW), with small amounts added in Saskatchewan (21 MW), Quebec (9.5 MW), Nova Scotia (4.8 MW), Ontario (0.3 MW), Yukon Territory (1.5 MW) and Prince Edward Island (0.1 MW).
  • Canada added its biggest solar farm in 2021, the 132 MW Claresholm Solar project in Alberta.
  • *Here, “major” is defined as  grid-connected solar projects, not net-metered projects for electricity use on-site. Rooftop and on-site solar data for 2021 will be included in CanREA’s mid-year data update.

Taking stock of energy storage

  • There was significant growth in energy storage this year, including Canada’s largest battery storage facility, the 20 MW Buffalo Creek Storage project in Alberta.
  • There were also smaller energy storage projects in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Yukon Territory.
  • “Electricity system decision makers are now starting to discover the value of energy storage, a powerful set of technologies that can provide a broad range of services to support electricity system operators, and we expect to see rapid growth in the utilization of energy storage going forward,” said Hornung.

What’s next for 2022?

  • Solar surge: We anticipate at least 1,000 MW of new solar energy this year. 18 new “major” (10 MW and up) solar projects should become operational in 2022, of which 16 are anticipated to be in Alberta and two in Saskatchewan. Canada’s biggest solar farm will become the new Travers Solar Project in Alberta, with a capacity of 465 MW.
  • Wind expansion: We anticipate at least 2,000 MW of wind energy growth this year. 23 new wind farms should launch in 2022: one in Saskatchewan, one in New Brunswick, and all the rest in Alberta.

Meeting Canada’s Energy Needs

  • Province with the greatest proportion of energy demand met by wind and solar energy: Prince Edward Island (41%)
  • Provinces with more than 10% of energy demand met by wind and solar energy: Nova Scotia (13.5%) and PEI (41%)
  • Jurisdictions with more than 5% of energy demand met by wind and solar energy: Quebec (5.7%), Northwest Territories (6.5%), New Brunswick (6.6%), Alberta (9.6%), Ontario (9.9%), Nova Scotia (13.5%) and PEI (41%). Overall, Canada met 6.5% of its energy demand with wind and solar.
  • Jurisdictions with less than 5% of energy demand met by wind and solar: Yukon Territory, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador.

(source: Statistics Canada 2020)

Quotes

“2021 was a positive year for our industries, with 677 MW of new wind energy and 288 MW of new utility-scale solar energy commissioned. This rate of growth, however, is not nearly enough to move Canada to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. We must dramatically accelerate and expand the deployment of these technologies.”

“Canada is just starting to take advantage of its massive untapped wind and solar energy potential.”

“As the lowest-cost source of new decarbonized electricity generation available in Canada today, wind and solar energy will be a cornerstone of Canada’s efforts to address climate change. Success, however, will require several policy, regulatory and infrastructure barriers to be addressed, enabling a dramatic increase in the scale and speed of deployment.”

“Electricity system decision makers are now starting to discover the value of energy storage, a powerful set of technologies that can provide a broad range of services to support electricity system operators, and we expect to see rapid growth in the utilization of energy storage going forward.”

—Robert Hornung, President and CEO, Canadian Renewable Energy Association 

For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:

Communications
Canadian Renewable Energy Association
647-268-3382
communications@renewablesassociation.ca

About the Canadian Renewable Energy Association

The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) is the voice for wind energy, solar energy and energy storage solutions that will power Canada’s energy future. We work to create the conditions for a modern energy system through stakeholder advocacy and public engagement. Our diverse members are uniquely positioned to deliver clean, low-cost, reliable, flexible and scalable solutions for Canada’s energy needs. Our vision is to ensure wind energy, solar energy and energy storage play a central role in transforming Canada’s energy mix. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca.Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here.

Recap: Highlights from Electricity Transformation Canada 2021

Industry movers and shakers flocked to the inaugural Electricity Transformation Canada conference, held in Toronto Nov. 17 to 19, to strategize on shifting Canada toward a greener grid by 2050.

Nearly 1,150 participants gathered in person at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from November 17 to 19 for the first-ever Electricity Transformation Canada (ETC), this country’s leading renewable energy conference.

The event featured three days of welcome networking opportunities and educational sessions, covering everything from Indigenous energy partnerships to green hydrogen and the launch of CanREA’s 2050 Vision. Please view our photo album, below, to see only a few of the many highlights from this year’s ETC.

CanREA issues an urgent call to action

“Getting to net-zero by 2050 will require Canada to build out wind energy, solar energy and energy storage at an unprecedented scale and speed,” said Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) President and CEO Robert Hornung (pictured above) during the opening session, as CanREA unveiled its 2050 Vision to a receptive crowd.

CanREA’s 2050 Vision is a call to action, urging stakeholders to work together on a tenfold expansion of wind and solar energy across the country over the next 29 years.

In the association’s ambitious, but realistic scenario, 3,800 megawatts of wind energy and 1,600 megawatts of solar energy would be built out every year, from now until 2050. That’s three times faster than Canada’s biggest five-year period to date, illustrating how quickly the industry must pivot.

“Our industries are up for the challenge, and ready to play a critical role,” said Hornung. “We need to act now and we need to act together. We have no time to waste”

For more information on the Vision, and what CanREA proposes as Canada’s To-Do List, visit this webpage.

Following Hornung’s remarks, representatives of diverse sectors echoed CanREA’s call for greater innovation and collaboration to transform the country’s energy grid.

From left to right: Robert Hornung, CanREA President and CEO; Michelle Chislett, CanREA Board Chair and Managing Director of Canada and U.S. Development at Northland Power; Dan Balaban, CEO of Greengate Power; Brendan Costigan, Director of Power & Utilities Investment Banking at National Bank of Canada; Patrick Taylor, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft; Tonja Leach, Executive Director at QUEST; Isabelle Turcotte, Director of Federal Policy at Pembina Institute.

A video of the Vision launch event is available on CanREa’s YouTube channel, here.

The road to net zero by 2050: Opportunities for electrification in Canada

With hard work, Canada’s net-zero target is within reach, said Anna Kanduth, research associate with the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, during a session about opportunities for electrification on Nov. 17. “Net-zero is achievable for Canada by 2050,” Kanduth (far right) said.

From left to right: CanREA VP of Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs Brandy Giannetta; Daniel Breton, President and CEO of Electric Mobility Canada; Mark Zacharias, Special Advisor at Clean Energy Canada; Catherine Cobden, President and CEO of Canadian Steel Producers Association; Anna Kanduth, Research Associate at the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices.

A visit from Ontario’s Minister of Energy

On Nov. 18, CanREA staff and board members welcomed Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith to ETC and spoke with him about the critical role wind energy, solar energy and energy storage must play if Canada is to pursue lowest-cost pathways to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. From left to right: Ontario Minister of Energy Todd Smith; CanREA Board Chair Michelle Chislett; President and CEO Robert Hornung; Vice-President of Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs Brandy Giannetta; and DER Director Nicholas Gall.

100% Clean Electricity by 2035: The Clean Power Pathways project preview

On Nov. 18, policy experts Tom Green (left) and Stephen Thomas (centre) from the David Suzuki Foundation presented a preview of the Clean Power Pathways final report, alongside collaborator Prof. Mark Jaccard of Simon Fraser University (right). The report explores policy solutions at municipal, provincial and national levels to achieve 100 per cent clean electricity across Canada by 2035, with important roles for solar, wind and energy storage solutions.

The future of market-based renewables: Lessons learned from Alberta

In 2021, over 1,200 MW of new wind and solar energy projects have been announced in Alberta, which will result in billions of dollars of investments. That momentum could move the nation as a whole toward greener grids, said industry leaders in the province’s market.

“Alberta has seen a remarkable burst of growth in renewable energy projects,” said Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity Dale Nally in a video message during this session on Alberta’s unique deregulated system.

From left to right: CanREA Senior Director for Western Canada Evan Wilson; Jordan Balaban, President of Greengate Power; Roslyn McMann, Director of Market Development at BluEarth Renewables; Jason Chee-Aloy, Managing Director at Power Advisory.

Check-in with CanREA’s policy team

On the final day of ETC, CanREA staff from across the country offered attendees a glimpse into the association’s past, present and future work – from policy challenges to provincial market differences and the DER landscape.

“We need to decarbonize the grid, and we need to do it now,” said Brandy Giannetta, Vice-President of Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs (far left).

The session also included insights from Senior Director for Western Canada Evan Wilson (second from left), Director for Quebec and Atlantic Canada Jean Habel (centre left), DER Director Nicholas Gall (centre right), Energy Storage Director Leonard Olien (second from right), and Senior Director of Operations Phil McKay (far right).

Taking advantage of the tradeshow floor

Over the three days of the conference, attendees networked with exhibitors, sponsors and CanREA members at 100 exhibitor booths on the tradeshow floor, a much-appreciated opportunity after missing out on industry conferences during the pandemic. At the CanREA booth (pictured above), staff also offered education sessions covering provincial markets, operations, renewable energy tech and, of course, our many membership perks.

What are electricity system decision makers doing today to prepare Ontario for the electricity system of 2050?

The closing plenary luncheon, moderated by Brandy Giannetta, examined how major electricity system stakeholders in Ontario are preparing to meet Canada’s net-zero goals by 2050.

“The system we all depend on must be able to respond to the increasing demand for electricity,” said Independent Electricity System Operator President and CEO Lesley Gallinger (centre). “There’s a lot to be done.”

From left to right: CanREA VP of Policy, Regulatory and Government Affairs Brandy Giannetta; Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of IESO; Teresa Sarkesian, President and CEO of Electricity Distributors Association.

See you next year!

Next year’s ETC conference will be on Oct. 26-28, 2022, in Toronto. We hope to see you there! To stay informed, subscribe to our Watt’s On events enewsletter and visit our Upcoming Events webpage.