Canadian Energy Ministers make progress on clean energy initiatives for Atlantic region

Source: Department of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

Ministers from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island met this week before the Energy Minister and Mines Conference in Kananaskis, Alberta. 

The ministers discussed the Atlantic Energy Gateway, which will provide opportunities for development of clean energy projects in the region, the Lower Churchill project, the outcomes of the New Brunswick Energy commissioned report, and establishment of the commission on the future of electricity in Prince Edward Island. 

"Our work through the Atlantic Energy Gateway will allow us to better understand how regional planning, generation and system operation will save ratepayers money and help us advance our cleaner energy agenda, especially for hydro, wind and tidal," said Nova Scotia Energy Minister Charlie Parker. 

The ministers also received an update on the Lower Churchill project, which included the contract awarded for engineering, procurement, construction and management services for Phase One of the project, and the recent acceptance of the New Dawn Agreements by the Labrador Innu Nation. 

"The Lower Churchill project will not only address our provinces' energy needs and provide a least cost source of electricity, but will provide a number of regional opportunities as a result of the connection to the North American grid," said Shawn Skinner, Minister of Natural Resources, Newfoundland and Labrador. "Access to a new renewable energy supply, in addition to the economic, job creation and environmental benefits, supports regional efforts for clean, affordable and reliable electricity." 

New Brunswick noted that the New Brunswick Energy Commission report identified residents’ desire to move to renewable sources of energy wherever practical. "Our recent consultations with New Brunswickers highlighted their desire for low and stable energy prices while respecting the environment," said New Brunswick Energy Minister Craig Leonard. 

"While New Brunswick is already very well positioned with 70 per cent of electricity generation coming from renewable or non-emitting sources once the Point Lepreau refurbishment is completed, the commission report indicated that closer co-operation with our Atlantic neighbours should open even more opportunities to help us meet the concerns of our citizens." 

A similar consultation process is just beginning in Price Edward Island and Richard Brown, Minister responsible for Energy and Environment, sees similar opportunities. "We believe Prince Edward Island can benefit from better access to energy supplies and the Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative with our Atlantic Canada and federal partners is already proving that is the case," said Mr. Brown. "The completion of the Gateway work later this year will help our commission develop a positive energy and cleaner energy future for the island."

The Atlantic Energy Gateway Initiative involves work by the four Atlantic Canada energy departments, their provincial utilities and ACOA and Natural Resources Canada. The work includes planning for generation, transmission, and system operation, as well as electricity markets, supply chain development, research and development and regulatory improvements. 

The Atlantic Canadian ministers have committed to meet again this fall, and all four provinces expect to meet with the Federal Government to finalize the Atlantic Energy Gateway by the end of the year.

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