"We are hiring more people, employing more contractors and consultants and investing more on capital projects," said Mark Savory, Vice President of Technical and Construction Services for Nova Scotia Power. "A significant component of that investment is related to our plan for new renewable electricity generation and emissions reductions."
In recent years, Nova Scotia Power has typically spent about $150 million on capital projects. In 2009, the company spent more than $270 million. The 2010 capital budget is more than $400 million, and substantial capital investment in Nova Scotia is also anticipated in the next few years.
Projects currently under way include wind and tidal power development, reduction of mercury emissions, improving reliability of the electrical grid, a new downtown office building and generating electricity from waste heat.
"We are buying goods and services in communities throughout Nova Scotia at a time when jobs and local investment are sorely needed," Mr. Savory said.
"As we proceed with these projects and prepare for more, we're hiring people for highly-skilled, well-paying jobs including new power line technicians, engineers, project managers and skilled construction trades."
Capital projects that NS Power has recently completed, or currently has under way, include:
Trenton generating station: Construction of baghouse to provide fuel flexibility and reduce emissions, and replacement of generator $45 million. (Completed)
Tidal turbine test project: Installation of 10-metre in-stream tidal turbine in the Bay of Fundy $10 million, including $1.7 million, 400-tonne gravity base manufactured by Cherubini Metal Works. (Deployed November 12, two-year testing and monitoring program under way)
Mercury reduction program: Install activated carbon injection systems to limit mercury emissions at Trenton, Point Tupper and Lingan generating stations $21 million. (Completed)
Tufts Cove waste heat project: Install a turbine to capture waste heat from Tufts Cove's two natural gas combustion turbines, producing 50 megawatts of new generation with only minimal production of additional carbon dioxide $84 million. (Targeted completion: November 2010)
Lower Water Street office project: Convert an old power station into an environmentally sustainable office building - $53 million. (Targeted completion: spring 2011)
Nuttby Mountain wind farm: Construction of a 22-turbine wind farm (total capacity of 45 MW) approximately 20 kilometres north of Truro total investment is $120 million. (Targeted completion: late 2010)
Electrical grid improvements: In addition to an annual $60 million maintenance and investment program, targeted investments specifically intended to improve system reliability. (Five-year reliability enhancement program started in 2009; total planned investment of $100 million)