Meeting renewable energy targets could cost $80 million and mean higher rates, Nova Scotia Power warns.
The provincial government is requiring NSP to produce at least 20 per cent of its power from wind, solar, tidal and other sources by 2013.
Currently about 10 per cent of the power corporation’s electricity comes from renewable sources.
In documents filed with the Department of Energy, NSP says the goal “may not be technically achievable,” requires an investment of more than $1.1 billion, and is “simply not realistic.”
The price of bringing on “higher cost energy” could reach $83 million a year, NSP says.
The power corporation also argues that gearing down coal-fired plants to make room for renewable energy will make them less efficient, and even increase greenhouse gas pollution.
“Under these conditions,” NSP says, “the plants emit more emissions per unit of electricity “¦ an increase in intensity of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Power corporation CEO Ralph Tedesco says the pollution comes from burning fossil fuels needed when wind power hits lulls.
“The reason for that is people expect the lights to be on,” Tedesco said Tuesday, at an event unveiling three wind turbines for the Wentworth valley.
Environmentalists object to NSP’s claim that renewable energy could be bad for the environment.
“This exposes them as a company that simply doesn’t want to do it,” said Brendan Haley of the Ecology Action Centre.
Nova Scotia Minister of Energy Bill Dooks says he’s not backing down or scaling back the targets he announced in September.
“We believe that the goals we are setting as a government are achievable,” Dooks said.
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