Electricity in New Brunswick
Avg. price: 11.2¢/kWh (6th-lowest among provinces)
2010 capacity: 3,850 MW
2020 forecast capacity: 4,601 MW
Peak use (2011 forecast): 3,030 MW
Cross-border trade: Exports 789 gWh (earns $52.9 million)
GHG intensity rank: 4th-highest
GHG emissions goal: Cut 5.5 million tonnes annually from all sources, starting in 2012
Green targets: 10% of power sales from renewables by 2016
New Brunswick has a modest amount of excess generating capacity and exports surplus power to P.E.I. and the northeast United States. But its mix of power plants — with lots of oil, diesel and coal — is dirty, generating nearly twice as many greenhouse gases per megawatt of capacity as Ontario, and more than 10 times as much as Quebec.
Do you want to know how much you'll be paying for electricity in 2020? Try the provincial cost calculator.
Things will get substantially cleaner as the 40-year-old Dalhousie oil-fired plant shuts down this year and 320 MW in wind generation starts up by 2014. But the biggest question mark in the province's electricity future is the 635-MW Point Lepreau nuclear station. It was taken offline in 2008 for a planned 18-month, $1.4-billion refurbishment that would extend its life by 25 years. Major problems have set the completion date back to 2012, and the work is at least $1 billion over budget.
New Brunswick's transmission links to the U.S. will skyrocket in strategic importance starting in 2017, when the announced $6.2-billion Lower Churchill hydro development comes online and Newfoundland and Labrador seeks to export that electricity to New England via underwater cable to the Maritimes.