Nova Scotia

N.S. power plant that uses biomass knocked offline after stack falls in high winds

High winds on Friday knocked over the stack at Brooklyn Power in Brooklyn, N.S., causing extensive damage to it and a warehouse. The site generates energy using a 30-megawatt steam turbine powered by biomass.

Emera spokesperson says it will be months before the plant is back in use

The Brooklyn Energy plant in Brooklyn, N.S., as seen last December. High winds last week knocked over the stack, putting the plant out of service. (Submitted by Simon Ryder-Burbidge)

Last week's high winds didn't just knock out power to some Nova Scotia homes, they also took out a source of power generation for the province for the foreseeable future.

Emera Energy spokesperson Dina Bartolacci Seely confirmed in an email that high winds on Friday knocked over the stack at Brooklyn Power in Brooklyn, N.S., causing extensive damage to it and a warehouse.

The site generates energy using a 30-megawatt steam turbine powered by biomass.

Bartolacci Seely said no one was injured.

"The incident is under investigation and our teams have begun work to assess the damage and the repairs required to return the plant to service," she said in an email.

"Appropriate government agencies were notified on Friday and we'll work closely with them on any reviews of the incident."

Bartolacci Seely said Emera officials expect "it will be months" before repairs at the plant are complete.

Environmental concerns

The plant's use of biomass has angered environmentalists because the province counts it as part of its renewable energy complement. In recent years, the plant's use increased because renewable energy from the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project wasn't ready on time at full capacity.

Ray Plourde, senior wilderness co-ordinator for the Ecology Action Centre, said the plant should not be used again for energy generation, even if it was repaired.

"This plant is really bad on a whole lot of levels," he said in an interview.

"It is incredibly inefficient, it produces the most expensive type of electricity on the grid and it is an outlet to burn our forests, which is kind of insane at this time of climate change and biodiversity crisis."

MORE TOP STORIES

now