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Premier Higgs suspects Atlantic Loop will meet local electricity demand

PremierBrain Higgsstates that it is uncertain whether the proposed interstate electricity sharing megaproject can meet the electricity demand in the Atlantic region. increase.

Four Atlantic Prime Ministers last week promised Ottawa a clear schedule and funding for the Atlantic Loop project, where clean hydropower from Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador flows through the coastal states. I asked you to set it. Through the upgraded transmission network. I'm not sure if

B-t Higgsis enough to replace the electricity produced by fossil fuels.

"Even the current forecasts cannot meet the needs of the Atlantic region," Higgs said at a press conference after the Atlantic Prime Minister's meeting last week.

The Atlantic Loop project has often been foretold as an important factor in helping Primorskaya achieve its federal clean power goals in the next decade. Coal and oil electricity accounts for about one-fifth of New Brunswick's electricity generation, but will not be able to consume electricity after 2030 and 2035, respectively.

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According to a discussion paper released by the Atlantica Energy Center, an energy research group based in St. John, coal and oil Power loss cuts the state's power generation capacity by about half.

Read more: "Before it snows" New Brunswick's clean energy goal comes: Minister

"It's a significant part of the base load, a constant amount of power that can support peak demand when there are really really cold days, especially given the winter climate," said Michel Robishaw, president of Atlantica. increase.

New Brunswick pursues an agreement with the federal government to allow the state's Belledune coal power plant to continue operating beyond the 2030 deadline, and is equivalent elsewhere. Promised to reduce carbon emissions, but was eventually rejected. The 450 MW plant had an initial lifespan that was supposed to continue to operate until 2040.

Higgs said that the phasing out of coal and oil being implemented by the federal government should be delayed in order to enable other technologies online and its base load power To exchange.

"We are in a transition to a greener economy, but we are now aware that there are major gaps in supply, timelines, and costs. "He said.

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However, according to clean energy researcher Louise Como, these perceived gaps are specific to the Higgs. Because we have a tunnel vision for technology.

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"We believe that the only options are small modular reactors and traditional fossil fuel sources, and replace them. If you don't invest in the plan, then obviously your only solution will be sticking to past options, "said Como, Head of Climate Change and Energy Policy at the Newbranswick Conservation Council." Said.

Two St. John-based companies are trying to develop a small modular reactor (SMR). The first reactor built by ARC Clean Energy will be online in 2029 and will supply 100 MW of electricity. Another company, Moltex Energy, expects a 300 MW reactor to be completed in the 2030s.

According to Robichaud, this technology looks promising, but there is a risk that it will not be available when the state needs it.

"Will it be in time?" She said.

"Therefore, if you are considering the cost and time, and the possibility of replacing some of these fossil fuels, you now have to think very seriously."

Read more: The new law will allow governments to set N.B. energy efficiency targets. Electricity

According to Como, the state's electricity and heating will be more efficient while increasing the state's wind and solar capacity, providing a base load depending on the Atlantic Loop project. By doing so, you will get a better solution. power.

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"We need that solid base load power, but in reality from Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec Hydropower acts as a battery, balancing when the wind isn't blowing and the sun isn't shining, "she said.

However, Higgs is concerned that the Atlantic Loop project is not ready to play its role and that the timeline and funding sources may remain unclear. ..

"The timeline for such a large project is important," he said.

A spokesperson for the Federal Department of Intergovernmental Affairs said work was underway to move the project forward, but a solid construction schedule has not yet been set.

"Canada, Quebec, and the Atlantic states and their respective utilities have the option to actively meet bilaterally and multilaterally through the Atlantic Loop backbone work schedule to advance the Atlantic Loop project.  Five workflows have been launched between the state and utilities to advance discussions on the technical and financial channels of the project, "Pierre-Alain Bujold said in an email. I am writing in.

"As the Canadian Infrastructure Bank pointed out in the Spring Market Update, banks are participating in discussions with all partners and looking for financing options to move the project forward."

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