Nova Scotia Power says its biomass plant is going ahead regardless of what happens at the neighboring NewPage paper mill in Port Hawkesbury.


Nova Scotia Power will go ahead with its plans to build a biomass plant in Port Tupper. ((Jeff Bassett/Canadian Press))

The utility had intended to sell power to NewPage, but the mill's future is still up in the air.

Nova Scotia Power's biomass plant, which is under construction at Point Tupper in the Strait of Canso, will go online next year and it will use only wood that is sustainably harvested, said Mark Sidebottom, Nova Scotia Power's vice-president of power generation.

"We will actually control and ensure that it is a sustainable harvest. I mean, that is a very important thing for us that we produce electricity from a renewable resource. And we'll just make sure that our suppliers honour the right approach to harvesting trees in Nova Scotia," said Sidebottom.

"We look forward to the new government regulations, which will provide us with more guidance as to the standard the province would like to see," said Sidebottom. 

It is too soon to say how much Nova Scotia will pay for wood, he said.

The plant will use biofuels to generate 60 megawatts of electricity.

Testing should begin late this year and by spring, the plant should be fully operational.