Nova Scotia Power is touting its new Point Tupper biomass plant as a way to help meet renewable energy goals, but critics argue burning trees isn’t a green way of generating electricity.
The power corporation unveiled its new plant Wednesday. It says by 2015 the facility will supply up to 12 percent of its renewable energy requirements.
The plant, near Port Hawkesbury, has been up and running since July and now produces four per cent of the province’s electricity.
Each day, 50 trucks deliver dead wood, chips and bark to feed the facility -- amounting to 650,000 tonnes a year.
Critics worry healthy woodlands will have to eventually be harvested to meet the demand.
"It may be renewable, because trees technically grow back -- but it is not green in any sense of the word. Burning the forest to generate electricity is insane," said Raymond Plourde with the Ecology Action Centre.
But Nova Scotia Power said it has taken steps to make sure all wood burned is indeed waste. It’s screening suppliers and is sending inspectors to check woodlots.
"We feel very comfortable that we have a long term supply here in Nova Scotia, which will be an economic solution for firm renewable energy," said Mark Sidebottom, Nova Scotia Power’s vice president of power generation and delivery.