Canadian provinces explore power line link

CANADA: Utilities in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are exploring the idea of building a new 500 MW, 345 kV power line that would more than double the electrical transmission capacity between the neighbouring Canadian provinces.

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham announced the proposal
New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham announced the proposal

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The new transmission capacity is a "crucial piece of infrastructure" that will aid the development of new renewable energy generation sources like wind, New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham told a news conference in Fredericton, where he was joined by his Nova Scotia counterpart Darrell Dexter and officials from New Brunswick Power and Nova Scotia Power.

The utilities will work together on a project development plan that will address such details as costs, ownership of the line, and assignment of operational responsibilities.

Adding to the existing 300 MW interconnection between the provinces would provide a greater ability to balance wind power output from wider geographic area and allow for the export of excess renewable energy generation, the provinces say.

The announcement comes on top of a recent statement by Graham, Dexter, and the premiers of Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland that they are working on a collaborative strategy for renewable energy development that would tap into a potentially lucrative market for green power in the US northeast.

Although there is a substantial wind resource in the region, exploiting that potential is hampered by relatively small domestic loads and weak interconnections between markets.

The provincial government are hoping to change that, said Dexter.

He said: "We all share a vision of an integrated and collaborative Atlantic Canadian energy system that supports the development of our renewable and clean energy resources, and an enhanced transmission system that links our four provinces to each other and to the world."

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