Test Guidelines

The following list is designed to help potential developers understand Nova Scotia’s current guidelines around operating a tidal, wave, or other marine renewable energy technology in the Province.

Regulatory Flow Chart

A simple overview chart for development sites initiated by industry.

Guidelines for Permitting

A more detailed version of the information below.

  1. Prepare project proposal. Information should include:
    • Proposed location and size
    • Description of technology and feasibility
    • Knowledge and understanding of local environment, sensitive areas, and risks
    • Financial feasibility
    • Insurability
    • Decommissioning plan and financial surety
  2. Submission: Proposals are submitted to Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
  3. Proposal Evaluation: An interdepartmental provincial review committee (Review Committee) comprised of staff from the Departments of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, as well as technical experts and others as required will evaluate and review the proposal.
  4. Regulatory approvals/permits: If proponent is successful and awarded the project, they will meet with the One-Window Standing Committee consisting of provincial and federal government departments:
    • FEDERAL: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Environment Canada (EC), Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA), Transport Canada (TC),
    • PROVINCIAL: NS Environment, NS Energy, NS Fisheries and Aquaculture, and NS Department of Natural Resources.
    • This will ensure that the regulatory process is coordinated, efficient, and streamlined as much as possible. (See below for more information on legislation and possible triggers.)
  5. First Nations Engagement: The Province may delegate certain procedural aspects of consultation to proponents. In instances where there is no Crown duty to consult, proponents may still wish to engage the Mi’kmaq to share information about their project. For more information see The Proponent’s Guide: Engagement with the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.
  6. Municipalities: Project activities could impact local communities with respect to land based associated energy facilities or transportation/servicing infrastructure that fall under the jurisdiction of municipalities for appropriate zoning and property taxation. It is important that municipalities are kept informed regarding new projects or developments. More information regarding municipalities, engagement and possible planning issues can be obtained from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM) and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.
  7. Application submission: Submit an application for development of the site to each of the regulators (in step 4) and any other applicable regulators. This would also include decommissioning plans and financial security arrangements.
  8. Environmental Assessment: Depending on project details, a provincial and/or federal environmental screening/assessment may be required:
  9. Lease: DNR may issue a Letter of Authority containing a condition prohibiting installation of devices until all copies of written approvals and permits are received. The fee for the letter of authority will be $200.00.
  10. Monitoring program: The implementation of a monitoring program is required subsequent to installation. Precise monitoring conditions will vary between devices, projects, and sites.

Applicable Legislation

Permits/approvals/authorizations may be required under the following legislation or policies depending on project location, size, aggregate capacity, and project details:

Nova Scotia
Environment Act (Environmental screening/assessment requirement)
Endangered Species Act
Crown Lands Act (Crown land license or lease)
Integrated Resource Management (IRM) Review
Energy Resource Conservation Act
Beaches Act
Parks Act
Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act
Electricity Act
Public Utilities Act
Municipal Government Act and Assessment Act
Special Places Protection Act

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (Environmental screening/assessment requirement)
Fisheries Act
Navigable Waters and Protection Act
Canadian Environmental Protection Act
Migratory Birds Convention Act
Oceans Act
Species at Risk Act

Other helpful info:

Developments That Require Environmental Assessment
Regulatory Timeframes for Environmental Assessment
Department of Natural Resources – Crown Land

Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and Regulations

For more information, please contact:

Matthew Baker, MSc
Policy Analyst
Nova Scotia Department of Energy
(902) 424-7090