Government of New Brunswick

Description and Background
The Province of New Brunswick will bring qualifying large industrial companies’ electricity costs in line with their Canadian competitors by implementing a Large Industrial Renewable Energy Purchase Program.

Under the proposed Large Industrial Renewable Energy Purchase Program (LIREPP), NB Power will purchase electricity from renewable sources, such as biomass and river hydro, from qualifying large industrial customers who have renewable electricity generating facilities located in New Brunswick. The revenue from renewable energy sales will assist these qualifying customers to reduce their net electricity costs and thereby increase their competitiveness in the global market.

The LIREPP is designed to address the need for long-term stable and competitive electricity costs for New Brunswick’s largest industries. The program is the result of more than 18 months of public-private sector collaboration through the work of a task force and the efforts of the Energy Commission.

This is a New Brunswick-based solution to our industries’widely recognized energy and competitiveness challenges, effectively reducing electricity costs to be in line with the average costs of competitors across Canada. The retention of anchor industrial operations and facilities will support the overall sustainability of our major industrial employers, particularly the forestry sector and the rural and northern economies most affected by it. Furthermore, retaining these large base-load electricity customers will enable NB Power to avoid a significant loss of income which would occur if large industrial customers were to leave New Brunswick as some have done in recent years. This income loss would have to be recovered from NB Power’s remaining residential, commercial and industrial customers through higher rates.

Financial impacts for NB Power associated with losing large energy loads
Large industrial facilities are not only key employers in their communities but significant customers for NB Power. A shut down of either of the two largest of these companies would result in a significant income loss for NB Power that could lead to rate increases of upwards of 3% for all NB Power customers.

Key Objectives Served by this Action
Low and Stable Energy Prices
– The Large Industrial Renewable Energy Purchase Program will result in energy cost competitiveness and stability to qualifying large industrial customers. This will ensure these core businesses remain in New Brunswick, providing much needed employment and economic opportunities to our local communities and suppliers. In addition, procuring a supply of less price-volatile renewable electricity from LIREPP participants and maintaining base load industrial customers will assist NB Power in maintaining stable rates for all its customers.

Environmental Responsibility – Using more electricity generated from renewable sources reduces electricity and has an overall positive impact on emissions and other environmental concerns.