The government of New Brunswick will adopt a renewables portfolio standard (RPS) as part of its plan to introduce competition in the province's electricity market. The governing Conservative party made the announcement in its recent throne speech, which sets out its priorities in the current legislative session, but offered no details as yet on the size of the standard or how it will be met. David Coon of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, says his organisation supports a target requiring that 10% of electricity purchases by 2010 come from new renewable energy sources. "Clearly the bulk of that will be wind. There are lots of good wind sites and there are a number of initiatives underway already," he says. Developers applying for Canada's wind power production incentive have so far registered three letters of interest for projects in New Brunswick with a combined capacity of 83 MW. New Brunswick Power, the province's government owned monopoly utility, has also expanded its wind monitoring efforts. The RPS will be part of a new electricity act that will set out the rules for a wholesale competitive market in the province. The province's Market Design Committee, appointed to help write those rules, last spring recommended the establishment of an RPS, but energy minister Jeannot Volpé said the idea needed further discussion and set plans aside to be considered as part of the province's climate change action plan consultations (Windpower Monthly, September 2002). Coon praises the government for its decision not to hold back. "It's fantastic that they've adopted it as part of the electricity act," he says.
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