Access to cleaner, more secure energy at stable prices for Nova Scotians is the goal of the Clean Energy Act introduced in the legislature today, April 8, by Energy Minister Charlie Parker. The amendment would confirm hydro-electricity from the Lower Churchill project in Labrador as an eligible resource for meeting Nova Scotia’s ambitious renewable electricity targets. The amendment will allow regulations to be developed to make the goal of 40 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 a firm legal requirement. “Nova Scotians can be proud to be part of one of the most aggressive renewable electricity transformations in the world,” said Mr. Parker. “We have said all along that we aspire to the goal of 40 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 and the Lower Churchill project gives us the certainty we need to make it law.” The government released its Renewable Electricity Plan in April 2010, which outlined a regulated target of 25 per cent renewable electricity by 2015, and set a goal of 40 per cent by 2020. “The Lower Churchill project is a boost to our renewable electricity plans in two ways,” said Mr. Parker. “It is a direct source of clean energy and also allows us to develop more of our own renewable resources such as wind and tidal energy.” Hydro-electricity is a perfect back-up for intermittent sources such as wind and tidal energy, as it can be turned on and off as required. In November 2010, Nalcor Energy of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Emera Inc. of Nova Scotia, announced their agreement to develop the Muskrat Falls portion of the Lower Churchill hydro resource in Labrador. In return for a 20 per cent investment in the project, Nova Scotia will receive 170 megawatts annually of firm and flexible hydro-electricity for 35 years, with an option for an additional 330 megawatts. The electricity will travel through Labrador and Newfoundland and into Nova Scotia through a 180-kilometre sub-sea cable to be called the Maritime Link. When the Lower Churchill project begins to produce and distribute power in 2017, it will fulfill eight to 10 per cent of Nova Scotia’s total power needs, comprising about one quarter of the 40 per cent target. Lower Churchill and other regional renewable energy projects will provide economic benefits to the Atlantic region, and is consistent with the new regional approach to energy through initiatives such as the Atlantic Energy Gateway. The province’s Renewable Electricity Plan, as well as the legislative amendments, are available at www.gov.ns.ca/energy .