5 N.B. wind farms would supply Emera with clean energy for Massachusetts
Power would be transmitted through a 600-kilometre undersea cable, according to company proposal
Emera Inc.'s formal proposal to deliver 1,000 megawatts of clean energy from Atlantic Canada to Massachusetts includes sourcing from five New Brunswick wind farms and NB Power.
Robin McAdam, Emera's executive vice-president, told CBC News, the selected suppliers have the right mix of experience, adequate location and economics.
"We are in a competitive process in Massachusetts, so we needed our proposal to be competitive," McAdam said Friday.
"But of course it only works out if you've got experienced developers who have good track records working with local communities to respectfully site things."
Salmon River, Black Spruce, Colborne, Silver Brook, and Andy's Pond are the New Brunswick-based wind farms, while the other two, Yorkshire and Higgins Mountain II, are in Nova Scotia.
NB Power will be one of two hydro suppliers. The other is Nalcor Energy in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Earlier this year, the New Brunswick government said it was looking into building a hydro station in Grand Falls to produce more clean energy.
But NB Power's Marie-Andrée Bolduc said Friday that Grand Falls is not involved in the Emera bid.
Emera said it began soliciting possible suppliers in an open process in January and commercial agreements are now in place with those chosen,
Coleson Cove to Plymouth
If Emera's bid is successful, the power would be transmitted through a 600-kilometre undersea cable, under a project named Atlantic Link.
It would start from a new DC converter station planned at Coleson Cove in Saint John and terminate in Plymouth, where Massachusetts's only nuclear plant, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station, is scheduled to shut down in June 2019.
Rick Doucet, minister of energy and resource development, said the Emera proposal represents a big opportunity for the province to capitalize on its resources.
"Responsible resource development has the potential to create jobs and help grow our economy," he said in a news release.
McAdam said construction of the convertor station and the approximate 250 to 300 wind turbines required for the project will create an average of 3,000 jobs across the province.
'We are in a competitive process in Massachusetts, so we needed our proposal to be competitive.' - Robin McAdam , Emera's executive director
The proposed cable, about as wide as the bottom of a two-litre pop bottle, would be buried in an ocean-floor trench less than half a metre deep.
The project would be in-service by December 2022 after a three-year construction period.
Massachusetts has legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets and is actively seeking cleaner sources of energy to meet them.
In March, the state issued a request for proposals to deliver an annual amount of elictricity equal to about 9,450,000 megawatt hours.
Emera's proposal is one of many responses to that.
McAdam said Emera faces "robust competition" in the bid to deliver clean energy to Massachusetts, but he said the Atlantic Canadian project has advantages for both sides.
They include Emera's direct connection to Massachusetts as opposed to the other bids, which will have to cross through other U.S. states, ones McAdam said are less interested in clean energy objectives.
He also sees it as an opportunity to strengthen ties between the two countries.
"This provides New England with an alternate source of supply," he said. "They rely heavily on other areas, probably Quebec, primarily for energy.
"So this gives them access to the Atlantic region's resources and gives them supply diversity, which is important when you're planning an electrical system for the long term."
With files from Rachel Cave