Environment / Energy

Climate action fund supporting project in Edmundston (10/01/25)

NB 95

Jan. 25, 2010

EDMUNDSTON (CNB) - The provincial government is providing a further investment through the New Brunswick Climate Action Fund to Edmundston Energy to build a second powerhouse at its hydroelectric dam. Environment Minister Rick Miles made the announcement today.

"I am pleased that the climate action fund was able to provide an additional $1million to this excellent renewable energy project being undertaken by Edmundston Energy," said Miles. "This funding will ensure that the project, which promotes long-term, sustainable growth in the energy sector, can be completed."

This project, which already received $740,000 from the climate action fund, is expected to cut 14,800 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually.

"I am pleased to see this construction taking place at Edmundston Energy's hydro dam," said Energy Minister Jack Keir. "Hydro power and renewable forms of energy are an important piece of the New Brunswick Energy Hub. I am happy that the climate action fund could support this important project, which promotes energy efficiency and long-term, sustainable growth in the energy sector."

The project is identified in An Action Plan for Self-Sufficiency in Northern New Brunswick 2010-2013, a three-year plan for the government and community stakeholders to implement specific initiatives and strategies to be undertaken in northern New Brunswick. The plan lists specific actions with anticipated outcomes.

Established from New Brunswick's portion of the federal government's Canada Eco-Trust for Clean Air and Climate Change, the $34-million climate action fund supports projects in keeping with the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan.

The three-year fund is dedicated to public-sector, private-sector and not-for-profit initiatives that will result in reductions or avoidance of GHG emissions and air pollution.

The provincial government launched the five-year action plan in June 2007. As a result of the New Brunswick-led initiatives in the plan, GHG emissions will be reduced in the province by 5.5 megatonnes annually in 2012.

With the addition of federal initiatives, the plan will reduce New Brunswick's GHG emissions to 1990 levels in 2012.


EDITOR'S NOTE: A description of the project follows. MEDIA CONTACTS: Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700; Bonnie Doyle Creber, communications, Department of Energy, 506-658-2410.

Edmundston Energy Madawaska River Hydro Development Project

Edmundston Energy bought the Madawaska hydro plant from Fraser Papers Inc. in October 2005. The rationale was to increase the generating capacity of Edmundston Energy; generate more revenue; and pursue a new strategic plan for the utility.

In January 2006, Hatch Energy completed an assessment examining the possibility of refurbishing and increasing the generating capacity of the plant.

The analysis was the second phase of a prior work conducted by Fraser Papers Inc. in 2000. The analysis reviewed various alternatives, including refurbishing units, replacing units, and building a powerhouse with a single turbine.

In July 2006, a detailed analysis of the three alternatives was conducted. This report consisted of detailed power and energy analysis, conceptual designs, and detailed construction costs. Upon recommendations from Hatch Energy, Edmundston council granted a mandate to further investigate the installation of a powerhouse on the east side of the Madawaska River.

Geotechnical investigations were conducted in December 2006, and Hatch Energy conducted an updated cost analysis in February 2008 for the construction of a 3.8-MW powerhouse. The project is targeted for completion by March 2011.

The total project cost is estimated to be $21 million, of which $1.74 million is in the form of a grant from the climate action fund.

The project supports New Brunswick's goal of increasing small scale renewable energy generation, and it will provide significant stimulus to the local economy.

The powerhouse will displace 16,000 tonnes of GHG emissions compared to the equivalent in coal generation.