A Feasibility Study for Nature-Based Carbon Dioxide Removal Solutions at Nova Scotia Power’s Hydroelectric Facilities

Rapid and widespread reduction of emissions are needed to reduce the risk of severe climate change; however, emission reductions will not be enough. Development of viable carbon dioxide removal (CDR) strategies are essential to reach our climate targets because of infrastructure latency and hard-to-abate emissions. Development of CDR strategies that are scalable, safe, verifiable, inexpensive, and socially acceptable are needed to achieve Nova Scotia’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Here, we propose a feasibility study to develop a new Nature-Based CDR technology, River Alkalinity Enhancement (RAE), in Nova Scotia, that aims permanently remove carbon dioxide while restoring rivers from acidification.  Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI)’s hydropower infrastructure presents an opportunity to deploy and scale RAE in Nova Scotia. However, as RAE technology is early stage, we lack key information about the likelihood of success for RAE projects at NSPI sites.

Many rivers at NSPI hydroelectric sites suffer from chronic acidification, a legacy of acid rain. These rivers are in urgent need of restoration to preserve biodiversity and to improve water quality and aquatic health; further, these acidified rivers do not drawdown and store CO2 as effectively as would healthy rivers. Therefore, by restoring river health while drawing down and permanently storing CO2, RAE is a promising Nature-Based CDR solution.

Here, the project objective is to a conduct a feasibility study for potential RAE pilot project at a NSPI site.  Our goals are to assess how much CO2 can be captured, the investment required, potential risks or benefits, and strategies for active engagement of the community, First Nations and inclusion of traditional knowledge for such a pilot project. The key outcome of the project is to delivery a report on Feasibility Study for Nature-Based Carbon Dioxide Removal at Nova Scotia Power’s Hydroelectric Facilities.


Principal Investigator: Edmund Halfyard, CarbonRun Carbon Dioxide Removal Ltd.
Partners: Heather Holland, Nova Scotia Power Inc; Shannon Sterling, Dalhousie University and CarbonRun; Michael Polack, Pictou Landing First Nation, Akwekon Consulting; Rob Cummings, LafargeHolcim

September 2023 – September 2024