Commentary by the NS Power IRP Project Team

Nova Scotia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) presents a long-term strategy for delivering safe, reliable, affordable, and clean electricity to customers across Nova Scotia.  It is undertaken through a consultative process together with interested parties, the energy community, and our regulator to plan for the long-term future of our electricity system. Nova Scotia Power’s IRP Report Powering a Green Nova Scotia Together was released in November 2020 and included an Action Plan and Roadmap that identified near-term actions to meet future load and environmental requirements while maintaining a reliable power system at lowest cost over a 25-year planning horizon. Since the release of this report, NS Power has progressed each Action Plan item and provides annual updates on progress to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board and interested parties; these updates are available at

The 2020 IRP Report also proposed an evergreen IRP process to facilitate ongoing refinement of the IRP Action Plan when significant changes are observed via the IRP Roadmap items. Through 2021, NS Power observed changes in the planning environment that triggered an evergreen IRP update.  This process was initiated in April 2022; modeling assumptions and scenarios were shared for feedback and then updated and circulated in July of 2022. These assumptions incorporate the significant policy changes in the planning landscape since the 2020 IRP (including Nova Scotia’s 2030 80% Renewable Electricity Standard, requirements to phase out coal generation by 2030, and proposed federal net zero targets).

Evergreen IRP Draft Modeling Results and Next Steps

Earlier this month, NS Power released an evergreen IRP update, which included draft modeling results based on the July 2022 modeling assumptions and scenarios. The following are high level key findings and insights:

  • All scenarios modeled incorporate the addition of significant variable renewables resources, which will require further study to understand impacts on system strength, stability, and operational considerations.
  • Optimized plans include the continued use of existing natural gas resources as well as selection of fuel conversions and the addition of new fast acting gas generation; these resources provide firm capacity and support balancing variable renewable generation after the 2030 coal phase-out; results demonstrate decreasing thermal generation over the planning horizon as a result of the net zero 2035 targets.
  • Both the 2030 and 2035 Atlantic Loop in-service dates produce a lower long term cost than the No Atlantic Loop scenarios. The absence of the Atlantic Loop drives an increase in variable renewable energy resource additions as well the addition of emerging technology resources and additional battery storage.
  • With increasing wind capacity additions relative to load and system peak an increase in curtailment is observed over the planning horizon.

With additional significant changes in the electricity planning environment since the July 2022 assumptions were finalized (including Nova Scotia carbon policy changes, announcement of the Federal Investment Tax Credit for low carbon generation, and others), NS Power is updating several assumptions ahead of the next round of modeling so the final results reflect these inputs and so potential impacts to the IRP Action Plan are captured. Updated assumptions will be shared with interested parties, with an opportunity for feedback to follow.  NS Power looks forward to continuing to engage with stakeholder through the evergreen IRP process in 2023.

Documents related to Nova Scotia Power’s IRP Process can be found on our website at and IRP related inquiries can be directed to the NS Power IRP team at