Charlottetown, September 11, 2012 - Energy
Ministers from Canada and the four Atlantic provinces wrapped up
meetings this week in Charlottetown focused on enhancing government
and regional power utilities cooperation in Atlantic Canada for a
cleaner energy future.
Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, joined his
provincial counterparts to announce the results of studies
undertaken under the Atlantic Energy Gateway (AEG)
The research conducted under the AEG
sought to identify 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 (GHG) emissions
for the Atlantic region.
"Today's announcement demonstrates our government's ongoing work
with the Atlantic provinces in their transition to a cleaner energy
future," said Minister Oliver.
"We will continue supporting innovation that advances clean
energy technologies and promotes the sustainable use of our energy
resources across Canada."
The research demonstrates that increased collaboration and
cooperation among provinces and regional power utilities in
Atlantic Canada will yield significant future benefits to the
"The ongoing Atlantic Energy Gateway work, in addition to our
New Brunswick Energy Blueprint, lays the ground work for future
collaborations and partnerships with our neighbours in Atlantic
Canada," said Craig Leonard, New Brunswick's Acting Minister of
"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."
Research efforts were directed at eight modeling and research
studies, grouped within two general areas:
System Planning and Operations Modeling; and
Energy Industrial and Economic Development.
Power System Planning and Operations
The objective of the Power System Planning and Operations
Modeling was to examine the costs and benefits that could result
from greater integration of the Atlantic power systems. Four
reports were produced in association with the following
Modeling- Estimated the economic and environmental
benefits that could result from planning power generation and
transmission projects in Atlantic Canada in an integrated fashion
rather than separately, as is done today.
Modeling- Quantified the increased inter-provincial
transmission capacity that would be achieved by a number of key
transmission upgrade options within Atlantic Canada, as well as the
associated costs with such projects.
Power System Balancing
Modeling- Estimated the operational cost savings that
could be achieved by balancing power supply and demand in Atlantic
Canada on a common basis rather than separately, as is done
Power System Operations
Options and Considerations- Reviewed various models for
operating the power systems in the Atlantic Region and issues
associated with their adoption. Each province possesses
important renewable resources and clean energy assets. Developing
them strategically will have benefits for all parties. The AEG
study work involved unprecedented collaboration amongst the
regional utilities, which took on the challenge of modeling the
regional power systems out to 2040.
The modeling outcomes indicate that, through regional
cooperation, there is significant opportunity for development and
operating cost efficiencies, greater diversity in clean and
renewable energy supplies, enhanced stability for ratepayers and
lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the Atlantic region.
Important savings in capital and operating costs could be avoided
by planning collaboratively, and further savings could be realized
by also balancing hour-by-hour supply and demand needs on a more
Clean and Renewable Energy Industrial and Economic
The second component of the AEG work was to examine various
issues related to the development of the Atlantic Region's clean
and renewable energy industry. The research agenda was carried out
through four individual studies:
Financing of Renewable
Electricity Projects in Atlantic Canada- Identified and
analyzed the challenges associated with financing of renewable
energy projects by independent power producers in the Atlantic
Regional Clean and Renewable
Energy Market Opportunities- Identified interprovincial
and export opportunities for Atlantic Canadian clean and renewable
Renewable Generation Supply
Chain Opportunities- Examined a range of issues associated
with opportunities for Atlantic Canadian firms in the supply chain
for various renewable generation technologies including onshore and
offshore wind, tidal energy, biomass energy, and systems to power
remote on- and off-grid communities.
Research, Development and
Demonstration- Examined the current state of clean and
renewable energy research, development and demonstration in
Atlantic Canada. The analysis indicated that while large renewable
energy projects such as those in the wind sector may be capitalized
and developed on the same terms as those in other parts of Canada,
and indeed North America, smaller project developers do face
obstacles in accessing capital at competitive rates and project
'soft' costs can be problematic.
While current New England wholesale electricity prices are
historically low due to the abundance of unconventional natural
gas, there will continue to be a premium paid for renewable power
as future renewable and environmental regulations become more
The AEG represents a new level of collaboration between federal
and provincial governments, and provincial utilities. The Atlantic
Provinces and their utilities will use this research, building on
the collaborative networks established through the AEG, to forge
ahead with energy policy and commercial decisions.
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
Key findings with respect to research, development, and
demonstration projects in Atlantic Canada reveal a diversity of
academic and institutional work in a number of sub-sectors.
The region also encompasses leading R&D work that may hold
the promise of commercialization and broader sector potential
developments. Many technologies currently under development may
have marketable applications outside of the region.
The research confirms Atlantic Canada is well-positioned to take
advantage of new opportunities in the clean and renewable sector,
in particular those elements of the supply chain relevant to the
For example, while current business opportunities to service the
tidal power sector are limited, the region is well positioned in
terms of industrial infrastructure to contribute substantially to
this supply chain as it matures.
Executive summaries for the AEG reports can be
accessed on the ACOA website
About the Atlantic Energy Gateway - The
AEG is co-managed by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and
Natural Resources Canada in collaboration with the Atlantic
Provinces, regional utilities and electricity system
GLOBE Advisors has arrived at similar conclusions with
respect to clean energy and economic development for Canada's West
coast, outlined in the release of two recent studies in 2012: Powering Our Province and the West Coast Clean Economy. GLOBE's earlier
research in 2011 on Newfoundland and Labrador's Green Economy also
profiled the importance of cross-jurisdiction collaboration amongst
province's in Atlantic Canada and across the country in order to
facilitate knowledge transfer and to accelerate the effective
deployment of clean energy solutions.