Nova Scotia ends COMFIT program

Nova Scotia’s government has decided to end the community feed-in tariff (COMFIT) program after a review that began in January, 2015.

The COMFIT program provided eligible groups an established price per kilowatt hour (kWh) for projects producing electricity from renewable resources such as wind, biomass, in-stream tidal and run-of-the-river tidal developments.

The government decided to end the program, stating it has achieved its goals.

Michel Samson, Nova Scotia’s Energy Minister, said: “This is the right time to bring COMFIT to a close, it has achieved its objectives. We are now at a point where the program could begin to have a negative impact on power rates.”

The review commission found that COMFIT exceeded expectations as a contributor to economic development, and in energy output, throughout Nova Scotia.

The review states that new generation is not necessary to meet the electricity demand, and that adding capacity would negatively impact electricity rates in Nova Scotia.

“Effective immediately, no new COMFIT applications will be considered. Projects already underway will continue. All unapproved projects, extensions and lapsed-permit renewals will be considered on a case-by-case basis and processed within 60 days,” Nova Scotia government’s press release reads.

Late in December 2014, Government of Canada granted four feed-in-tariffs to tidal energy developers in an effort to speed up the deployment of the first turbine arrays in the Bay of Fundy. The developers that have received approval through the program are: Minas Energy, Black Rock Tidal Power, Atlantis Operations Canada, and Cape Sharp Tidal Venture.

Government will introduce legislation in the fall to enact the necessary changes. More details on renewable energy and its role in the province’s energy future will be released this fall in government’s electricity plan.

Image: DCNS/Illustration

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