Nova Scotia and New Brunswick power companies are exploring the opportunity for a new 500 megawatt line that would more than double the electrical transmission capacity between the two provinces.
Premier Darrell Dexter, New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, Nova Scotia Power CEO Rob Bennett, and NB Power CEO Gaetan Thomas announced the project in Fredericton, today, July 20.
"Historically, Nova Scotia was an energy island and now because of this project, the province will have a stronger grid that will allow more power to be imported and exported," said Premier 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."
The proposed new regional transmission line would be between Colchester County and Southern New Brunswick.
"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 to keep our young people at home," said Premier 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."
Talks between Emera and NB Power will also focus on enhancing the existing agreement between NB Power and Emera's Bayside Power natural gas fuelled generation facility in Saint John, and examining the potential for expansion.
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.
The project would require a provincial environmental assessment and need to be approved by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
"Emera and Nova Scotia Power are committed to cleaner, cost-effective, more diversified and better connected electricity and energy infrastructure within Atlantic Canada," said Rob Bennett, president & CEO, Nova Scotia Power. "We are also committed to development of infrastructure that improves our region's connection with the rest of North America."
"Ensuring that we are doing the right things for our customers is paramount," said Gaetan Thomas, NB Power president and CEO. "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."
Premier Dexter noted this announcement builds nicely on last week's meetings in Lenox, Massachusetts with premiers from the Atlantic provinces committing to further cooperation on regional energy initiatives that will improve the economy and environment in all regions.
"Today's announcement offers tremendous economic and environmental benefits for Nova Scotia and indeed all of Atlantic Canada.
"It can bring good jobs, economic growth, fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and in the foreseeable future, a more stable, affordable power bill for ratepayers on both sides of the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border," said Premier Dexter.