Nova Scotia’s Wheeler Report Recommends FITs

By Paul Gipe


Nova Scotia may be finally able to aggressively develop renewable energy with the publication of a new, officially-sanctioned, report.

Dalhousie University’s Dr. David Wheeler published his much anticipated report, A New Renewable Energy Strategy for Nova Scotia , in late 2009. Dubbed the “Wheeler” report as a result, the study represents a culmination of a series of stakeholder workshops and research by faculty members of Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Management.

Discussion of feed-in tariffs as a policy mechanism for developing renewable energy plays prominently in the report.

Here are some excerpts.

The report recommends, among other suggestions, that


  • “The Premier of Nova Scotia makes an early statement of intent on behalf of the Province to the effect that Feed In Tariffs (FITs) will be established within a defined time scale, and covering – at a minimum – ‘Community FITs’ in Wind, Biomass, and Combined Heat and Power.
  • “The Department of Energy or their appointed nominee establishes initial Feed in Tariffs for renewable energy projects of a medium and small scale by April 1st 2010, for Wind, Biomass, and Combined Heat and Power, using independent consultants and other advisors as necessary. (We expect these tariffs will be available to communities and independent power producers alike, but that only community majority-owned projects will qualify for a Community FIT.)
  • “The Department of Energy establishes a new body or administrative mechanism for the setting of FITs and the procurement of renewable energy from large, medium and small scale providers by July 1st 2010.7
  • “We envisage that the new FITs will embrace a range of project size and technologies, including tidal energy, where a FIT will be instrumental to the effective development of such technologies and especially where technologies offer a significant possibility for low cost provision of large scale renewable energy production.
  • “The Department of Energy or their appointed nominee, fully supported by other Departments and the Premier’s Office, acts as the surrogate procurement agency for new and proposed projects from large developers in the period January 1st -July 1st 2010 and in this time agrees either
    • a feed in tariff for large projects; or
    • an RFP process for large projects; or
    • a ‘special contract’ for large projects that allows them to proceed for the greater good of the Province, on a best value/best speed basis. Independent consultants and other advisors should be used for this process if necessary.
  • “The Government of Nova Scotia should consult with First Nations/Aboriginal communities, municipalities and other stakeholders to establish a precise definition of ‘community’ for the purpose of qualification for a Community Feed in Tariff.
  • “We believe therefore that goals for 2015 should embrace very early approval of:
    • 1300 GWh of energy generation through wind projects, of which ~1000 GWh are likely to be large scale and 300 GWh could be community scale;
    • 500 GWh of energy generation through biomass projects, to include co-firing of coal plants, large scale biomass as part of cogeneration projects, and community level biomass as part of cogeneration projects.”