This week’s announcement that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick want to work together to bolster the region’s energy grid is welcome news indeed, at a time when more efficiency and sharing opportunities are needed to keep the utility affordable for Maritimers.
The two provinces are proposing the construction of an “electricity corridor” which could welcome power from as far away as Newfoundland and Labrador. The 500-megawatt connection would run between southern New Brunswick and Colchester County, effectively more than doubling the capacity of the the two provinces to ship between them.
A greater capacity to import and export power should lead to more stable energy prices, something Nova Scotians have been in dire need of for several years.
The Maritime Provinces differ greatly in their capacity to generate and distribute electricity, and the specifics of a regional approach could take a lot of work to put together, but there is no doubt that co-operation would create benefits for the entire region, and this new corridor is a logical first step. Better interconnection infrastructure will not only create more efficiency within the region, but will better facilitate avenues such as imports from Newfoundland and Labrador, and exports to New England.
All three Maritime Provinces also have renewable energy resources, including wind and tidal, and the region could maximize the economic and environmental benefits by co-operating on load balancing and transmission of these resources.
Due to our small populations and rural settings, the Maritime Provinces have to work together for a sustainable future, and energy is a key area of need. Now, if we can get the three to agree on regional gas prices.