Port Hawkesbury Paper, through its sister entity, Port Hawkesbury Paper Wind (PHP Wind), is proposing to build a 130-megawatt (MW) wind farm on lands in Guysborough County that are currently under sustainable forest management license to Port Hawkesbury Paper.
PHP Wind is another step towards securing the long-term viability of one of the largest industrial employers in Nova Scotia. The project represents an environmentally sustainable optimization of the Port Hawkesbury Paper facility’s operations that reduces its carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reducing energy costs.
When complete, this green energy project will supply up to 30% of the facility’s required electrical power and will further contribute to Port Hawkesbury Paper’s long term global competitiveness and sustainability.
By diversifying the facility’s energy mix, we will be operating in a more environmentally conscious manner, clearing the way for a healthy business that can continue to benefit the region’s economy and provide well-paying jobs in rural Nova Scotia. The Port Hawkesbury Paper facility, which is celebrating ten years of successful operations in Nova Scotia this year, directly employs approximately 325 people, and positively impacts another 700 indirect jobs, employing hundreds of forestry contractors and suppliers (source: 2018 Economic Impact Study).
The project lands are currently under sustainable forest management license to Port Hawkesbury Paper to support the success of the paper making business. A separate lease will be required for the construction and operation of the wind farm and this lease application process is underway. The proposed wind farm will have a total installed capacity of approximately 130 MW, with approximately 30 wind turbines currently envisioned (*depending on the final selection of wind turbine technology).
The project team is working on the option of securing a direct connection to the Nova Scotia Power transmission system, which is already in place. The power would be directly supplied by Nova Scotia Power to the PHP facility.
A simplified map of the project illustrates the proposed layout and boundary in which the turbines will be located.
Since 2019, when the company first announced plans for this project, primary project development activities have been in progress to thoroughly assess the wind resource and support the necessary consenting and permitting processes. These activities will advance through the province’s Environmental Assessment and Approval process (EA process), as well as Nova Scotia Power’s transmission system interconnection process. Port Hawkesbury Paper Wind (PHP Wind) has developed an initial stakeholder engagement strategy and the team is now actively reaching out and meeting with those who have an interest or stake in the success of this project and the sustainability of the Port Hawkesbury Paper facility. This includes engagement with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia and various local organizations and communities.
This project is a key element of adding new renewable energy sources to the many solutions our province requires; it fully supports the provincial goal of phasing out of coal and getting to 80% renewables by 2030. In combination with our strong production facility in Port Hawkesbury and our sustainable forest management practices, this project allows us to support the province to proactively pursue green energy sources and help us all move away from using coal.
In recent months, the province of Nova Scotia has announced the Rate Base Procurement (RBP) process, aiming to attract low-cost and innovative solutions to procure a total of 350 MW of renewable electricity. Given that the PHP Wind project is well underway, it will proceed outside of the current RBP process, with no negative or competitive impact, all while timely contributing to the province’s effort to meet its climate and carbon targets.