New power cables 'allow for more wind energy opportunities'

The cables stretch from Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., to Cape Tormentine, N.B.

Maureen Coulter comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 17, 2016

Hal Perry, MLA for Tignish-Palmer Road, shares a laugh with Tina Mundy, Minister of Family and Human Services, in the legislature on Thursday. Perry inquired during question period whether or not more wind opportunities would present themselves with the new cables from P.E.I. to N.B.

©MAUREEN COULTER/TC MEDIA

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - The future growth of wind energy blew through the provincial legislature Thursday.

Wind energy produced, for our own use or for export, does provide great benefits to Island landowners and also to businesses and to the Island as a whole MLA Hal Perry

During question period, Hal Perry, MLA for Tignish-Palmer Road, noted that new electrical cables, which will transmit an additional 360 MW of electricity, will allow for more wind energy opportunities in the province.

“Wind energy produced, for our own use or for export, does provide great benefits to Island landowners and also to businesses and to the Island as a whole.”

The installation of the underwater cables began in mid-October. The cables stretch from Borden-Carleton, P.E.I., to Cape Tormentine, N.B.

In information provided Thursday evening, Kim Griffin, with Maritime Electric, confirmed that the last cable was placed in the trench that same day. The cable will be installed in December with testing and commissioning going into January.

Perry said a group in his district is ready to go with a wind farm and wanted to know whether this new cable will offer new opportunities for private wind developers to export electricity.

Perry also wanted to know if the department would commit to working with these Islanders who are interested in developing wind farms.

Paula Biggar, minister of transportation, infrastructure and energy, said government is excited about the new cables, as it will add 360 MW to the present 200 MW.

We already are on many days over that 200 (MW) so this will mean more secure and reliable connection as well as prevent Maritime Electric from having to use backup energy here.”

Biggar said one of the recommendations from the P.E.I. Energy Strategy is to increase wind capacity. It was suggested that they export 30 MW in 2019 and 40 MW by 2025.

Biggar said they plan to explore this opportunity.

“With the new cable it will provide a lot of economic opportunity for Prince Edward Island to export on to the grid,” conceded Biggar.

Biggar said they have had great discussions with many individuals interested, in particular, in this increased capacity in rural P.E.I., and that they will continue to work with those individuals.

 “If they are able to secure an agreement for their energy on the grid then we will certainly work with them.”