The UARB says any decision to implement feed-in tariffs will have to come from government, not the board. Feed-in tariffs would guarantee pre-set, above-market rates for alternative power producers who want to feed surplus power into the NSP grid at will. It is strongly advocated—surprise, surprise!—by companies like Neal Livingston's Black River Wind, which have not been able to compete with large commercial wind producers in NSP's bidding process, but stand to profit from guaranteed access to the grid at above-market prices.
Given UARB Chairman Peter Gurnham's frequent criticism of NSP during hearings on the biomass project, it is no surprise that today's decision aims strong language at the utility. Written by Gurnham, the decision calls NSP's application, "incomplete [and] poorly documented." Gurnham acknowledges the urgency of reducing NSP's carbon output, but adds, "the progress of this project has likely been delayed because of NSPI's action."
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.