Point Tupper power station

From Global Energy Monitor
Point Tupper power station is a 150-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in the community of Point Tupper in Richmond County, Nova Scotia, Canada.[1]


The map below shows the plant in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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A thermal generating station, Point Tupper was opened in 1973 by then-provincial Crown corporation, now Nova Scotia Power Corporation on Peebles Point on the Strait of Canso immediately south of the community of Point Tupper, Nova Scotia. It was originally designed to burn oil imported through a deep-water supertanker terminal at Wright Point that served a recently opened oil refinery operated by Gulf Oil.


Following the closure of the Gulf Oil refinery (its onshore tanks and deepwater supertanker terminal remain in operation as a storage terminal) in the early 1980s, Nova Scotia Power converted the Point Tupper Generating Station to burn coal beginning in 1987. As part of this conversion, an electrostatic precipitator was installed which is reportedly designed to capture 99% of fly ash emissions.

Coal supply

Following the 1987 conversion to burn coal, the Point Tupper Generating Station was supplied almost exclusively with coal mined from the Sydney Coal Field by the federal Crown corporation mining company Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO); the coal being delivered to Point Tupper by trains operated first by Canadian National Railway (CN) and after 1993 by the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway (CBNS). During the late 1990s, DEVCO began experiencing production shortfalls that led to Nova Scotia Power being forced to import foreign-mined coal from the United States and South America. This coal was delivered to a pier near the Canso Causeway in Aulds Cove, Nova Scotia, adjacent to an aggregate quarry operated by Martin Marietta Materials and loaded onto rail cars for delivery to the Trenton Generating Station as well as to the Point Tupper Generating Station. In fall 2001, DEVCO shut down its remaining mine in the Sydney Coal Field, forcing Nova Scotia Power to import all coal for its remaining power plants in the Sydney region; NSP purchased all the surface assets from DEVCO, including the International Pier coal terminal on Sydney Harbour which was used to supply the Lingan Generating Station and Point Aconi Generating Station, however it continued to import coal for Trenton and Point Tupper through Aulds Cove to lessen the distance coal for these plants had to travel by rail.

In 2005, Nova Scotia Power opened the Point Tupper Marine Coal Terminal adjacent to the Point Tupper Generating Station. This facility is operated for NSP by Savage Canac Corporation under a long-term contract. The facility handles coal imported for the Point Tupper Generating Station and the Trenton Generating Station; coal for Point Tupper is transferred into the plant by front end loader, whereas coal for Trenton is transferred onto rail cars and moved by trains operated by CBNS.[2]


The plant consumes 400,000 tonnes of coal per year and as of 2003 generated approximately 6% of the province's electricity, while producing roughly 10.7% of the province's air pollution, including hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, hexachlorobenzene and mercury.[3] In 2008 the Point Tupper Generating Station created 1.05 million tons of greenhouse gases.[4]

In 2008, Nova Scotia Power installed a 'Low-NOx' combustion firing system in the Point Tupper Generating Station to reduce the plant's nitrogen oxide emissions.


In 2011, the owners of the Point Tupper Generating Station took ownership of an adjacent wood-fired turbine, previously owned by NewPage and capable of producing 60 MW of energy. At full capacity it can supply 4% of the province's energy demand, while consuming 750,000 tonnes of biomass per year, the equivalent of 50 tractor loads of wood per day. It began production at about 80 percent capacity in July 2013, using wood supplied from Nova Scotia and Quebec woodlots.[5]

Plant retirement

As of May 2021, no retirement date has been announced for the Point Tupper Power Station. In December 2018 the Canadian federal government finalized regulations requiring all coal-fired plants to be retired by December 31, 2029.[6] However, Nova Scotia has an equivalency agreement that allows coal to be used beyond that date as long as equivalent emissions cuts are made in other sectors.[7][8]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Nova Scotia Power Corp.
  • Parent Company: Nova Scotia Power Corp.
  • Location: Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Coordinates: 45.5869, -61.3481 (exact)
  • Status: Operating
  • Capacity: 150 MW
  • Type: Subcritical
  • Start date: 1987
  • Coal Type: Bituminous
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

Resources and articles


  1. Point Tupper Generating Station, Wikipedia, accessed May 2019
  2. Environmental Impact Assessment registration document for Point Tupper Marine Coal Terminal, Nova Scotia Power Incorporated, Dec. 5, 2003
  3. PollutionWatch.org, Dirty Air from Power Plants Fuels Health Problems in Nova Scotia, PollutionWatch, Sep. 23, 2003
  4. Facility and Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Environment Canada, 2008
  5. Beswick, Aaron (31 October 2013). "Power starts in N.S.forests". Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  6. Canada’s coal power phase-out reaches another milestone, Government of Canada, Dec. 12, 2018
  7. Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Legislation in Nova Scotia, Osler, Dec. 2020
  8. Canada-Nova Scotia equivalency agreement consultation: carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired generation of electricity, Government of Canada, Mar. 29, 2019

Related GEM.wiki articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Point Tupper Generating Station (Point Tupper Generating Station). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.