The Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB) is committing $138.2 million to support the development of Atlantic Canada’s largest planned energy storage project by Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NS Power) in collaboration with Wskijinu’k Mtmo’taqnuow Agency Ltd. (WMA), an economic limited partnership owned by 13 Mi’kmaw communities.

Under terms of these arrangements, NS Power, Nova Scotia’s main electricity provider, will receive a loan of up to $120.2 million while WMA will receive an equity loan of up to $18 million. The project, which is subject to regulatory approval, involves the construction and deployment of energy storage facilities in the communities of White Rock, Bridgewater and Waverley.

“The CIB’s goal of supporting innovative energy projects across the country has been reinforced with a landmark investment in Nova Scotia. It’s exciting to couple the largest battery storage investment in Atlantic Canada with our first Indigenous Equity Initiative loan,” said Ehren Cory, CEO of CIB.

Energy storage technologies are essential in Nova Scotia’s move towards more renewable electricity. The CIB’s investment will support the province’s plan to retire coal-based power generation and reach 80 per cent renewables by 2030. As the province continues to bring more renewable energy onto the grid, storage facilities will help ensure reliable electricity service is available when Nova Scotians and Mi’kmaw communities need it, by drawing and storing electricity during off-peak periods and releasing it to the grid when needed.

Phased construction activities on the proposed project sites are planned to begin in 2024 and continue through 2026, with the first site operational in 2025. These facilities are key components to helping reduce Nova Scotia Power’s greenhouse gas emissions by 98,000 tonnes annually.

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The project is also WMA’s first equity participation with Nova Scotia Power. CIB’s equity loan to WMA is its first under the Indigenous Equity Initiative (IEI). The IEI fills a market gap by providing Indigenous communities access to capital and opportunities to invest in infrastructure projects across Canada.

The CIB’s equity loan supports a CIB target of investing at least $1 billion in projects which benefit Indigenous communities in Canada. The CIB’s $10 billion Clean Power priority sector addresses financing gaps in new projects such as renewables, district energy systems and energy storage.

“Creating a greener future is a priority for the Mi’kmaw Nation and WMA is proud to be doing our part to bring about positive transformations to the energy industry,” said Crystal Nicholas, president of the Wskijinu’k Mtmo’taqnuow Agency Ltd. “This investment in battery storage is a significant step towards true economic reconciliation and developing a more sustainable future for all Mi’kma’ki.”

Featured image credit: CIB

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