Ottawa, April 8, 2022—The Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA) applauds the Nova Scotia Government for supporting the solar industry by bringing forward amendments to its Electricity Act and its Public Utilities Act, as announced April 7.
“This groundbreaking new legislation will further strengthen the province’s solar industry and protect net metering customers,” said Nicholas Gall, CanREA’s Director of Distributed Energy Resources.
Working on behalf of Nova Scotia’s solar industry and working closely with its partners at Solar Nova Scotia, CanREA led advocacy with the Government for the measures contained in this new legislation.
The new legislation will introduce a number of key amendments to the Province’s net metering framework to protect consumers’ right to generate renewable electricity for their own use, spurred by stakeholder opposition to Nova Scotia Power’s proposed “system access charge” for net metering customers.
The new measures include the following solar net-metering amendments:
- Prohibiting NSPI from imposing any fees that would discourage residential and small business customers from developing their own solar net metered energy systems.
- Guaranteeing that all net-metering customers will receive full compensation, at their electricity rate, for each kWh of electricity they generate and sell back to the grid.
- Granting all customers the right to install an on-site renewable generator or energy storage device to a maximum of the customer’s total usage per calendar year up to 27 kW (AC), with NSPI required to purchase excess electricity from any such customer at the full retail rate.
- Removing any role for NSPI in the net-metering permitting process and in program management for net-metering customers with systems below 27 kW, and limiting their function to meter-reading and safety inspections. Larger projects (above 27kW) will continue to participate in a program managed by NSPI.
- Guaranteeing net-metering customers the right to zero out their energy costs. Customers will not receive compensation if they generate more electricity than their total annual use, however if they generate all their own electricity, they will only pay the minimal monthly customer charge.
The former limit of 100 kw for commercial, agricultural, and other larger users will be lifted, with new program details to be provided in regulations.
The long-anticipated Community Solar Program legislation (formerly Shared Solar) will be updated to allow the Minister and Governor-in-Council to more completely manage the program, rather than Nova Scotia Power.
“CanREA looks forward to further engagement with industry stakeholders and with the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables on these initiatives, as well as the design of New Performance Standards for NSP, as set out in this legislation,” said Gall.
There are over 50 solar companies in Nova Scotia supporting hundreds of jobs in communities around the province. In 2021, the solar industry contributed approximately $30 million in private-sector investment to the Nova Scotia economy while helping to reduce the province’s greenhouse-gas emissions by nearly 250,000 tonnes.
- In addition to leading stakeholder advocacy against the proposed System Access Charge earlier this year, CanREA has long advocated to maintain the Nova Scotia Solar Homes rebate program, as well as for reform to the province’s net metering framework to enable systems larger than 100 kW, and to further enhance the accessibility of small-scale solar PV through the establishment of a community net metering/shared solar program (e.g. Canadian Renewable Energy Association comments on An Act to Amend Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2004, the Electricity Act – Presentation to the Law Amendments Committee, April 12 2021).
- CanREA’s Solar-Friendly Communities study (September 2021) identified a number of specific actions that could meaningfully reduce the administrative or “soft” costs of on-site solar, focusing on a more streamlined permitting processes, improved access to solar financing programs, education and training for electrical and building inspectors, and municipal policies that encourage solar-ready homes.
- CanREA’s Nova Scotia Residential Solar Market Outlook and Labour Force Study (April 2019) found that the province’s solar industry could support close to 1,200 jobs by 2030 in fields including research and development, manufacturing, distribution, engineering and design, installation, and maintenance, with approximately 20,000 solar homes province-wide by 2030.
“This groundbreaking new legislation will further strengthen the province’s solar industry and protect net metering customers.”
“CanREA looks forward to further engagement with industry stakeholders and with the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables on these initiatives, as well as the design of New Performance Standards for NSP, as set out in this legislation.”— 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. 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.” Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Subscribe to our newsletter here. Become a member here. Learn more at renewablesassociation.ca
For more information or for interview opportunities, please contact:
Canadian Renewable Energy Association