July 20, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - NB Power and Nova Scotia Power Inc. are exploring the possibility of building a new transmission connection between southern New Brunswick and Colchester County, Nova Scotia.
The proposed connection would have a transmission capacity of up to 500 megawatts which, when added to the existing 300-megawatt connection, would more than double the transmission capacity between the two provinces. It would also enable a series of other partnerships on energy between NB Power and Nova Scotia Power and its parent company, Emera Inc.
The announcement was made today in Fredericton by Premier Shawn Graham, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter, Gaëtan Thomas, president and chief executive officer, NB Power, and Rob Bennett, president and chief executive officer, Nova Scotia Power.
"New Brunswick has been actively working with our neighbours to build regional transmission capacity and leverage our position as an energy hub to create jobs and keep our young people at home," said Graham. "This new transmission capacity is a crucial piece of infrastructure that will open the door for new renewable energy projects in New Brunswick and power exports to Nova Scotia."
NB Power and Emera will work together on a project-development plan to address such details as costs, ownership of the lines and assignment of operational responsibilities.
"Historically, Nova Scotia was an energy island, and now, because of this project, the province will have a stronger grid that can import and export power," said Dexter. "That means that more jobs will be created that will strengthen and grow the economy, and businesses and Nova Scotians from one end of the province to the other will have stable energy prices, which will result in more affordable power in the foreseeable future."
Dexter noted that the announcement builds on last week's meetings in Lenox, Mass., with the premiers from the Atlantic provinces committing to further co-operation on regional energy initiatives as a means to improve the economy and environment in all regions.
Aspects of the project development plan would have to be submitted to the New Brunswick System Operator for system impact and reliability analysis, and it would ultimately have to be approved by the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board. The project would also require a provincial environmental assessment as well as approval by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
"Ensuring that we are doing the right things for our customers is paramount," said Thomas. "By maximizing regional collaboration, we are ensuring that we are reducing our risk; taking full advantage of our generation resources; and continually looking for new and innovative solutions."
"Emera and Nova Scotia Power are committed to cleaner, cost-effective, more diversified and better-connected electricity and energy infrastructure within Atlantic Canada," said Bennett. "We are also committed to development of infrastructure that improves our region's connection with the rest of North America."
Talks will also focus on improving the agreement between NB Power and Emera's natural gas-fuelled Bayside generating station in Saint John as well as examine the potential to expand this facility. The expansion could result in new jobs for the Saint John region.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Brendan Langille, communications, Department of Intergovernmental Affairs, 506-471-3264; Melissa Morton, media relations, NB Power, 506-458-3327; Janet Lynn McNeil, Office of the Premier of Nova Scotia, 902-237-4287, email@example.com; Gerald Weseen, public affairs, NS Power, 902-428-6701.