Maritime Link Project Lowest-cost Energy Option for Nova Scotia1/17/2013
An independent expert confirms that the Maritime Link will deliver the lowest-cost energy for Nova Scotians, in a report commissioned by the province.
John Dalton, an expert on the New England and eastern Canadian energy markets, today, Jan. 17, released his report on the Maritime Link project and alternatives to meet federal greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 and beyond.
"The Maritime Link project will provide Nova Scotians with the lowest, fairest electricity rates possible in the future," said Premier Darrell Dexter. "We are putting in place sound policies to ensure power rates are more stable and the Maritime Link project is a key piece of that plan. This is the right choice for the people of this province."
Mr. Dalton simulated the hourly operation of Nova Scotia's electricity system, from 2017 to 2052, under the three primary energy supply options: adding hydroelectricity from the Maritime Link, importing hydroelectricity from Hydro Quebec, or a natural gas/wind mix.
"The Maritime Link scenario is less expensive than either of the two primary alternatives," said Mr. Dalton. "The modeling indicates that, under a reasonable range of market outcomes that we evaluated, the Maritime Link offers a lower cost than hydroelectricity from Quebec or developing additional wind and natural gas in Nova Scotia."
The report says importing hydroelectricity from Quebec could be as much as $400 million more expensive than the Maritime Link option, while adding a natural gas/wind combination could be as much as $1.5 billion more.
The options were assessed based on the lowest long-term cost to meet federal coal and greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements, as well as the best fit for achieving Nova Scotia's overall energy objectives of diversity, reliability and flexibility of supply options that promote price competition.
"This government is the first to pay attention to the risk to family budgets of having too much of our electricity produced from costly imported coal," said Energy Minister Charlie Parker. "We need to move away from coal and diversify our electricity mix. Our over-reliance on coal is a problem negatively affecting electricity prices and our environment."
In addition, the Maritime Link is the only option that provides Nova Scotians with:
-- a reliable source of clean energy with predictable prices for 35 years
-- a second connection to the North American grid, increasing the reliability of the electricity system
-- the flexibility to access more options for purchasing competitively priced electricity in the future
-- the ability to balance more local renewable sources such as wind
"I want to thank Mr. Dalton and his team for their detailed report," said Premier Dexter. "It's clear that our energy plan will secure Nova Scotia's energy future, protecting the environment, creating hundreds of jobs and ensuring the lowest, most stable electricity rates for families."
The Utility and Review Board will examine all options and determine whether the Maritime Link is the lowest-cost option and in the best interest of Nova Scotia ratepayers.
The Dalton report can be found at novascotia.ca .
For full report, click here