CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. (GNB) – Federal and provincial ministers today announced the results of studies undertaken under the Atlantic Energy Gateway (AEG) aimed at enhancing co-operation among governments and regional power utilities for a cleaner energy future.

The research identified significant potential benefits from regional collaboration, including development and operating cost efficiencies, greater diversity in clean and renewable energy supplies, enhanced stability for ratepayers and lower greenhouse gas emissions for the Atlantic region. The research involved significant engagement by the power utilities in the four Atlantic provinces.

“The ongoing Atlantic Energy Gateway work, in addition to our New Brunswick Energy Blueprint, lays the groundwork for future collaborations and partnerships with our neighbours in Atlantic Canada,” said Acting Minister of Energy Craig Leonard. “NB Power's generation capacity coupled with our geographical location makes New Brunswick not only a reliable source of electricity for our Atlantic partners, but also the natural gateway to north-eastern markets.”

“Our government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Bernard Valcourt, associate minister of national defence and minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie. “The Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative has brought the critical players in the region's energy sector together to not only work toward an affordable, secure, clean energy future, but to also maximize the business and job growth potential of further developing our region's clean and renewable energy industries.”

“The Government of Canada is pleased to collaborate with the Atlantic provinces in their transition to a cleaner energy future,” said federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver. “We will continue to support innovation to advance clean energy technologies and promote the sustainable use of our energy resources across Canada.”

The AEG represents an unprecedented level of collaboration between federal and provincial governments, and provincial utilities. In the near term, provincial ministers will direct their officials to work with the regional power utilities to further analyse the ways and means of realizing the identified opportunities.   

“The AEG has shown us that there are significant benefits to Nova Scotia and the region as a result of being better connected,” said Nova Scotia Minister of Energy Charlie Parker. “The studies looked at the Maritime Link and the resulting flow of electricity to and through Nova Scotia. With this link in place, Nova Scotia will work with its partners to secure additional value from regional co-operation.”
“We are going to seize every available opportunity to work together to access cleaner supplies of energy,” said Prince Edward Island Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan. “Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels will help stabilize power rates, providing greater predictability for the people of the Atlantic Region.”

“Partnerships like the one formed for the Atlantic Energy Gateway support a collaborative approach to embrace opportunities for a stronger energy future for the region,” said Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Natural Resources Jerome Kennedy. “The development of Muskrat Falls is a great example of regional co-operation and would support a strong economic and environmentally sustainable resource for our province, and provide opportunities for the entire region.”

The AEG was announced in March 2009 with the objective of enhancing regional co-operation towards the development of Atlantic Canada's clean energy resources. It represents a collaborative approach among the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Natural Resources Canada, the Atlantic Provinces, regional power utilities and electricity system operators.