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Nova Scotia prioritizes collaborative regulatory framework for Offshore Wind Development

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 24/11/2023 Nova Scotia

The Province of Nova Scotia has made a strategic decision to focus initially on establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework for offshore wind energy development in areas jointly governed with the federal government before addressing waters solely under provincial jurisdiction.

Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, Tory Rushton, affirmed the significance of offshore wind in Nova Scotia's clean energy strategy, stating, “Offshore wind holds a crucial position in our clean energy agenda, and our collaboration with federal partners aims to ensure a sustainable pathway for the growth of this emerging sector.”


Minister Rushton emphasized, “We’re temporarily halting the consideration of provincial waters until the regulatory framework for jointly managed offshore areas is established. The ongoing regional assessment will play a pivotal role in shaping this framework, and we encourage active participation and input from Nova Scotians. Our decision underscores our commitment to incorporating public feedback gathered through this process.”

In June, the Department unveiled the initial segment of the Offshore Wind Roadmap, outlining Nova Scotia’s vision for offshore wind energy and delineating the regulatory pathway for potential investments in projects. The roadmap indicated the Province's contemplation of projects within waters under provincial jurisdiction. The forthcoming second module, slated for release in spring, will prioritize the development of a unified regulatory structure for jointly managed waters, engaging all stakeholders in the consultation process.

Quick Facts:

Nova Scotia aims to offer licenses for five gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, with the inaugural call for bids scheduled in 2025.


While interest from developers exists, there are currently no offshore wind projects under active development.


Collaboratively, the Province, Natural Resources Canada, and the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada are conducting a regional assessment in jointly managed waters.


Both federal and provincial governments are in the process of amending legislation to broaden the mandate of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board, encompassing offshore renewable energy.


This focused approach highlights Nova Scotia’s commitment to establishing a cohesive regulatory framework in tandem with federal counterparts, ensuring sustainable growth and community engagement in the offshore wind sector.



For more information about offshore wind farm projects across the globe, click here.

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