Maritime Electric's president said the utility hopes to place an order by the fall for a new transmission cable to the mainland.
At a shareholders meeting in Charlottetown on Thursday, president and CEO Fred O'Brien said while he is not sure of the exact cost of the project, he estimates it will run between $100-150 million.
Maritime Electric supplies electricity to customers across P.E.I. The electricity is mainly purchased from off-Island sources and supplied via two submarine transmission cables under the Northumberland Strait.
“We are in the process of that project of doing the preliminary work, allowing us to assess potential routes for the cable and go through some of the engineering requirements. Once we get that done we'll be able to have a more definitive number,” said O’Brien.
Maritime Electric is still working on securing all the funding.
Money for the initial exploration part of the project is coming from the provincial government.
O'Brien expects some impact on rates, but said it's hard to say how much until the funding is figured out.
Discussion of a new cable dates back to 2005.
The current cables were installed in the late 1970s and he said are nearing the end of their lives.
Maritime Electric hopes to have construction underway by 2016.