Sara Mahaney
Sara Mahaney, Lawyer, McInnes Cooper
 

On December 13, 2016, the Province of Nova Scotia released for comment draft regulations that will establish the Solar for Community Buildings Pilot Program, expected to launch in early 2017 and run for three years. The Province’s 2015 Electricity Plan identified competitively-priced community solar as the means by which it will further explore incorporating solar-generated renewable electricity, which has been fairly limited to date, in Nova Scotia’s electricity system. The proposed Solar Program is restricted and competitive. Now is the time for proponents that want to pursue this new opportunity for solar generation in Nova Scotia to get engaged; the public has until January 11, 2017 to comment on the draft regulations.

Here are five key characteristics of the Solar Program as proposed in the draft regulations:

Bid Administration. A third-party Procurement Administrator will oversee a request for proposals for renewable low-impact electricity from solar. Proposals will primarily be evaluated based on the price for the proposed electricity.

Eligible Bidders. Only certain entities will be eligible to participate in the bidding process:

  • A N.S. Mi’kmaw band council (or a body corporate, partnership or other business association that is wholly owned by one or more band councils).
  • A municipality (or a body corporate, partnership or other business association that is wholly owned by one or more municipalities).
  • A university, including the N.S. Community College (or a body corporate, partnership or other business association that is wholly owned by a single university).
  • A not-for-profit body corporate (or a body corporate, partnership or other business association that is wholly owned by a single not-for-profit body corporate).

Maximum Capacity. The Solar Program will be open to proposed generation facilities with a maximum total nameplate capacity of 50kW.

Agreement Term. Successful proponents will receive a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the relevant public utility (Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) or one of the Municipal Electric Utilities (MEUs)) at the price proposed in the bid.

Caps. To ensure rate stability, there are caps on the amounts NSPI and the MEUs can pay for electricity under the Solar Program. There are also caps on the amounts NSPI can pay to owners within the same participant category, and to owners for generation facilities in certain geographic locations in the Province.

To discuss this or any other legal issue, contact any member of McInnes Cooper’s Renewable Energy Law Team. Read more McInnes Cooper Legal Publications and subscribe to receive those relevant to your business.

McInnes Cooper prepared this article for information; it is not legal advice.  Consult McInnes Cooper before acting on it. McInnes Cooper excludes all liability for anything contained in or any use of this article. © McInnes Cooper, 2016.  All rights reserved.

About the author:

Sara Mahaney is an  Energy and Natural Resources lawyer. Her practice focuses on the regulatory aspects of energy and natural resources, the including the areas of renewable energy, electricity, utilities, offshore oil and gas, maritime law, and environmental law, drawing on her Civil Litigation and Insurance Defence experience to assist her clients. You can reach Sara at sara.mahaney@mcinnescooper.com.