Environmental Performance Timeline

» More in this section

Environmental Performance Timeline


  • Fossil fuels – mainly oil until the 1980s – supply most of Nova Scotia’s electricity
  • Environmental focus on power generation aims to balance cost against our actual environmental effect given geography. The majority of our thermal generating plants are built on eastern end of North America and most of the emissions from our power plants at this time wouldn’t come into contact with large numbers of people. This was a key part of the decision made at that time – a different era from today. 
  • Nova Scotia Power’s largest generating station, Lingan, was constructed in Cape Breton to burn coal.
  • Nova Scotia’s largest hydroelectric station, Wreck Cove, was constructed.


  • Point Tupper Generating Station, also based in Cape Breton, was converted from oil to burn coal. 
  • Our Annapolis Tidal Power Plant, still the only facility of its kind in North America, was constructed.


  • We begin using low-sulphur coal and state-of-the-art low NOx burners at Unit 6 of our Trenton Generating Station. We added equipment called an electrostatic precipitator, designed to reduce emissions, to Unit 5 at Trenton. 
  • Point Aconi Generating Station was constructed, opening in 1994. This plant remains our most environmentally-progressive coal burning facility with the fewest emissions. 
  • Conversions at the Tufts Cove Generating Station were made to allow the plant to burn either natural gas or heavy fuel oil – whatever is more cost effective for customers
  • An electrostatic precipitator is added to Tufts Cove Unit 2. 
  • Coal mines in Cape Breton closed down, leading to the need to import most of our coal.


  • Two 50 MW combustion turbines are added to Tufts Cove to burn natural gas.
  • Electrostatic precipitators are added to Tufts Cove Units 1 and 3.
  • We enhanced our net metering program, raising the upper limit from 10 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts. Customers with a generation source of their own get full retail value for any excess power they produce. A growing number are taking advantage of this program.
  • Our first two wind turbines were installed at Grand Etang and Little Brook in 2002, while a larger push toward wind begins a few years later.


  • Digby Neck and Nuttby Mountain Wind Farms are fully operational, with a combined generating capacity of 80 MW.


  • 17.5% of Nova Scotia’s electricity is generated by renewable sources, meeting the requirement of 15%.


  • Tufts Cove Unit 6 is commissioned, a combined cycle combustion turbine that burns natural gas.


  •  A 60 MW biomass power plant in Port Hawkesbury is commissioned,  which supplies as much as 3% of the province’s electricity. It provides a source of firm renewable energy that can back up intermittent wind generation. 
  • 20% of Nova Scotia’s electricity must be generated by renewable sources.


  • 26.6% of electricity was generated by renewable sources, surpassing the required target of 25%. 


  • 40% of Nova Scotia’s electricity must be generated by renewable sources.