Description and Background
The Province of New Brunswick will pursue regional electricity agreements, joint ventures and partnerships where there are positive commercial outcomes for NB Power and defined benefits for New Brunswick ratepayers.
New Brunswick has a mature and well-developed electricity system and a unique geographic advantage because we are electrically connected to four neighbouring jurisdictions: Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New England (via Maine) and Quebec. These provide New Brunswick with access to electricity from numerous sources, including renewable sources from Quebec and, in the future, Newfoundland and Labrador. The same connections can also move electricity generated from cleaner energy sources in New Brunswick and from regional neighbours to other markets.Our interconnectivity also allows for greater cooperation in areas such as generation reserve requirements, load balancing and other system stability and reliability measures. It is widely believed that we could take on more intermittent renewable electricity sources, such as wind and solar energy, if such capacities were backed up and balanced by a larger regional generation and load base.
To examine these and other regional issues and opportunities, the Government of Canada has sponsored the Atlantic Energy Gateway (AEG) initiative. Since 2009, this project has served as a launching pad for detailed discussions and studies of potential benefits of regional electricity cooperation, including enhanced system integration, expanding clean and renewable energy sources, and regional transmission planning. New Brunswick is actively engaged with the other Atlantic Provinces and the federal government, supported by the region’s utilities.
In addition to the AEG initiative and bilateral opportunities with neighbouring jurisdictions, New Brunswick, through the Department of Energy, will remain an active participant in a number of regional, national and North American energy sector organizations, including the Federal-Provincial-Territorial energy committees that report to the Canadian Council of Energy Ministers, the Northeast International Committee on Energy, and the Energy Council, which includes representation from sixteen North American energy producing states and provinces.