Province Takes Energy Plan Tour for Lowest Fairest Rates to Yarmouth

2/26/2013

Residents in the Yarmouth area heard first-hand today, Feb. 26, what government is doing to ensure the lowest, fairest electricity rates for Nova Scotians now, and in the future.

Mat Whynott, MLA for Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, on behalf of Energy Minister Charlie Parker, addressed the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce as part of a provincial tour to discuss government's plan to end double-digit electricity rate increases.

"The plan can be summed up in five words that people have told us are important to them: local, reliable, green, tax-free and efficient," said Mr. Whynott. "It's my pleasure to be able to talk to the people of the Yarmouth area, on behalf of Minister Parker, about rising electricity rates, and our plan to address this issue."

The benefits of Nova Scotia's energy plan can be felt in communities across the province, including those near the tidal energy industry that is of tremendous significance for the Yarmouth area.

This work includes:
-- updating the Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Bay of Fundy to gather information on how commercial development of the industry will impact the region socially, economically and environmentally
-- a collaborative tidal energy resource assessment in Shelburne, Yarmouth and Digby counties, involving Dalhousie and Acadia universities, the Nova Scotia Community College and Fundy Tidal Inc. The assessment will include all phases of potential development and recommendations on the best places to deploy tidal devices.

"Tidal energy is an emerging industry that provides good jobs and is already employing hundreds of people in communities throughout Nova Scotia, including the South Shore," Mr. Whynott said. "It has the potential for significant economic opportunities and as a safe, secure and stable source of affordable electricity.

"The province is working with people in this region to ensure that the marine renewable energy sector follows an environmentally sustainable and economically competitive path."

Terry Thibodeau, renewable energy co-ordinator for the Municipality of the District of Digby, says the area is positioning itself as Nova Scotia's leader in renewable energy development.

"We have tremendous wind, biomass, solar and tidal resources, which have attracted attention from industry leaders and academics around the globe," said Mr. Thibodeau. "We are pleased to be helping the province achieve its renewable electricity targets while reducing our carbon footprint and creating good jobs for people in this area."

Energy deputy minister Murray Coolican also provided information and an overview of the Muskrat Falls/Maritime Link project.

The project is an important part of the province's energy plan and is the lowest-cost option for meeting federal and environmental requirements. The project provides price stability for 35 years and gives Nova Scotia two connections to the North American grid, which improves reliability and promotes competition.

(Department of Energy Nova Scotia)