UARB rejects biomass power proposal – updated

It’s back to the drawing board for Nova Scotia Power now that the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board has refused to grant prior approval for the utility’s plan to generate power by burning wood waste from the NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd. mill.

NSP wants to avoid massive fines for failing to meet mandated targets for producing more of its power from new renewable energy sources. It had hoped to meet the targets with new wind power, but the financial meltdown has stalled a series of wind projects. The utility has been coy about any Plan C for meeting the targets.

The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board released its decision minutes ago. Moneyquote:

The Board finds it is outside its jurisdiction to approve, in advance, the prudency of this expenditure. The PUA does not expressly confer authority on the Board to do so. Moreover, such authority cannot reasonably be implied from the Board’s general powers under the PUA because its exercise would unduly intrude in management of the Utility, would be contrary to the public interest and would be inconsistent with prior Board decisions.

Based on the record of this proceeding the Board declines to waive provisions of the Fuel Manual but retains jurisdiction to do so in the event the Applicants wish to provide additional information.