P.E.I. seeks federal help in plans for power transmission line to New Brunswick
Sept 3, 2009 - The Associated Press
CHARLOTTETOWN - Prince Edward Island has requested federal stimulus funding for a new energy transmission line to New Brunswick so the Island can export more wind power to New England.
Energy Minister Richard Brown said Wednesday he made the request this week during a meeting of energy ministers in Newfoundland.
"We have a request into the federal government action plan and stimulus plan to help us put another cable over the Northumberland Strait" in the Confederation Bridge," he said in an interview from Newfoundland."
Federal Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt attended some of the meetings and Brown said he made his request to her.
"She is very interested in the project and she understands it's a major component in order for P.E.I. to achieve its objective of 500 megawatts of wind," he said.
The current transmission line between New Brunswick and P.E.I. has only enough room for 222 megawatts of energy for import into P.E.I. and only room for 124 megawatts for export. That transmission line is operating close to capacity.
But last year, the P.E.I. government announced a plan to increase the province's wind power production to 500 megawatts by 2013. The Island's current energy system can't accept this much wind energy, so the province wants to sell the surplus to New England.
A new transmission line is one of the major components needed to make this plan possible. It's estimated it could cost between $75 million and $100 million, or more.
In 2005, the federal Liberal government promised $30 million for a new transmission cable between New Brunswick and P.E.I., but it was cancelled when the Conservatives took power in 2006.
Brown said he is confident the federal minister is open to the idea of aiding in this project.
"We're building that relationship and we're working with the federal government in order to get that additional line."