June 16, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - NB Power has released a request for proposals (RFP) for the purchase of up to 100 MW of wind-energy generation, Energy Minister Jack Keir announced today.
The announcement is in keeping with the province's commitment to develop new renewable energy sources and secure 400 MW of wind-energy generation capacity by 2010.
"The RFP released today speaks to our province's commitment to wind energy, the environment, and efforts to maximize the benefits of the energy sector for all New Brunswickers," said Keir. "The RFP contains a number of new measures to maximize New Brunswick content in the design, construction and commissioning of new commercial wind farms. The renewable energy industry continues to grow, even during these difficult economic times. Many companies in New Brunswick have proven experience in the wind energy industry, and provide valuable goods and services to commercial wind developers. This RFP is designed to ensure that New Brunswick companies will have the maximum opportunity to participate in these large-scale projects."
NB Power will evaluate the submissions based on a number of criteria, but first and foremost will be the price of electricity. This is to ensure that New Brunswick ratepayers continue to receive competitively priced electricity. Developers will also have to demonstrate the performance capabilities of their project and plans for procuring the maximum amount of local content.
"We realize that not all components of a wind farm can be procured from New Brunswick companies, but our process will ensure that New Brunswick companies that provide products and services to the wind-energy industry will be able to compete in a fair and transparent process," said Keir. "This keeps with our commitment to provide maximum economic benefits to New Brunswick from the energy sector while continuing to provide affordable and reliable electricity from renewable energy sources."
The departments of Energy and Business New Brunswick, in co-operation with the province's community economic development agencies, will assist developers in identifying New Brunswick companies that are capable of supplying services to wind-energy developers. Following the conclusion of the RFP process, the successful developer or developers will be held accountable for meeting project performance and local content commitments. If it is determined that they have not lived up to their project commitments, the developer will be subject to financial penalties.
"By continuing to expand our renewable energy portfolio, NB Power continues to focus on minimizing its environmental footprint," said Darren Murphy, vice-president of transmission, distribution and customer service. "By capitalizing on this natural resource, New Brunswick is taking another positive step in developing its energy sector."
The province's 400 MW wind-energy commitment, along with NB Power's Net Metering and Embedded Generation programs, will further accelerate the development and deployment of new renewable energy projects in New Brunswick.
"In this era of rising oil prices and accelerated climate change, we need to further develop new and sustainable energy resources here in New Brunswick," said Keir. "We need to maximize our potential for the development of clean, green and renewable energy resources for New Brunswickers, and add further stability to energy supplies and energy costs. The energy sector is a key driver in support of our province's self-sufficiency agenda."
Developing up to 100 MW of wind energy could result in an estimated capital investment of $200 million, and produce enough electricity to support 15,000 homes.
The RFP is available on the NB Power website. Proposals are to be submitted to NB Power by Aug. 14.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bonnie Doyle, communications, Department of Energy, 506-658-2410; Heather MacLean, communications, NB Power, 506-458-6618.