Clean energy initiative

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Government of Canada and Province of Nova Scotia join forces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in federally owned facilities

One of the commitments in the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change is the requirement for all federally owned facilities to use 100% renewable electricity by 2025, by producing or purchasing renewable electricity equivalent to that produced by the high-carbon portion of the electricity grid.

In order to meet this objective, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) created the Atlantic Clean Energy (ACE) Initiative in June 2018. The ACE Initiative’s initial focus is in the province of Nova Scotia, where the majority of electricity (approximately 70%) is currently produced from greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting fuel sources. More specifically, the ACE Initiative’s work is focused on:

  • working with large Government of Canada GHG emitters, such as National Defence (DND), to provide cleaner sources of electricity for their facilities in Nova Scotia
  • transitioning some of PSPC’s land holdings from the former federal coal mining industry in Cape Breton from environmental liabilities to environmental assets, potentially using these sites for renewable energy projects
  • exploring opportunities to partner with First Nations in Nova Scotia on clean electricity projects

This clean electricity work is building on various other efforts already underway by federal organizations to green their facilities, including conducting carbon-neutral building studies and energy efficiency work, introducing green building technologies, and switching to cleaner fuel sources.

Federal-provincial agreement

In July 2019, the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia signed an Agreement for Implementation to Purchase Net-New Renewable Electricity.

This federal-provincial agreement aims to establish new renewable energy projects through an open, transparent and fair procurement process that will generate additional clean electricity in Nova Scotia. The Province of Nova Scotia will put in place an independent third-party procurement administrator, who will oversee a competitive bidding process for renewable energy projects to supply the clean electricity needs of federally owned facilities. This renewable electricity will be purchased by the Government of Canada at a fair price.

The agreement between the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia aims to:

  • increase electrical generation from renewable energy sources on the provincial electricity grid 
  • define roles within this federal-provincial collaborative effort, with PSPC acting as the lead on behalf of federal departments and agencies that own Crown assets, and Nova Scotia’s Department of Energy and Mines as the province’s primary electricity policy lead
  • create a pathway for Nova Scotia to put in place a competitive procurement process to fulfill the Government of Canada’s clean electricity requirements in the province by 2025, which are estimated to be approximately 100 million kilowatt hours

As the central purchasing agent for the Government of Canada, PSPC will coordinate the acquisition of clean electricity at a fair price on behalf of federal departments and agencies that own and operate facilities in Nova Scotia.

The federal-provincial agreement also represents an important step in significantly reducing GHG emissions from electricity use in federally owned facilities in Nova Scotia. This includes DND facilities that make up Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax and CFB Greenwood, which account for approximately 70% of the federal government’s electrical consumption in the province.

Working with other Atlantic provinces

Discussions with New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island began this spring, and initial discussions are planned to begin with Newfoundland and Labrador later this year regarding potential clean electricity solutions.

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