Nova Scotia Power wants customers and suppliers who join the province’s retail electricity market to cover the cost of creating the new system.
The utility makes that suggestion in proposed market rules and tariffs filed Tuesday with the province’s Utility and Review Board. A retail market in renewable electricity is expected to be created by spring.
“The tariffs presented are cost-based and provide an appropriate level of flexibility as the company gains experience with the growth and scope of (the renewable-to-retail) market,” Nova Scotia Power said in its filing.
The renewable-to-retail legislation passed by the Liberal government in 2013 doesn’t allow remaining utility customers to subsidize the new market. And there’s no indication in the 1,500-page filing that Nova Scotia Power plans to cover any additional costs itself.
The retail system will allow electricity users to buy green power directly from independent producers. Those renewable generators would pay Nova Scotia Power for various services, including use of its grid and the provision of backup electricity.
In the meantime, the provincial regulator will set the rules, rates and tariffs for the new market. A hearing is slated to start in January.
Some wind farm developers have said they’ll have to see how the retail system is structured, and how much it will cost, before they can decide whether it’s feasible to offer service.
Wind farm operators and other renewable generators currently sell their energy to Nova Scotia Power at a fixed price under long-term contracts.
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