Maine and Canada
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. today announced that it plans not to proceed with the previously announced investment in First Wind Holdings, LLC's ("First Wind") wind portfolio in the North East United States. The initial joint announcement with Emera Inc. in April 2011 had contemplated APUC acquiring a minority interest of approximately 12.5% in the Portfolio, representing an approximate U.S. $83 million investment.
In the discussion of the proposed underground energy corridor between New Brunswick and Maine, there are two major misunderstandings.
Some Mainers believe that Canadian power is so cheap that we should do almost anything to get it. Some Canadian suppliers believe there is an unquenchable thirst in New England for power from Canada, especially green power.
Many aspects of the sale of NB Power have both angered and confused people, but none it seems more so than the issue of access to the grid post-sale.
The New Brunswick government says nothing will change, while the premiers of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have said the sale will effectively block their access to New England and others have expressed concerns it will end the province's forays into green energy.
Maine's attempt to create clear rules to guide multibillion-dollar energy corridor projects through the state came up short Wednesday, because of deep philosophical divisions that foreshadow debate next year in the Legislature.
The impasse came during the final meeting of a 13-member study panel. The group was formed by the Legislature to recommend rules to give Maine the maximum benefit from proposed electricity, gas and petroleum corridors.
North America's largest utility company Hydro-Quebec has announced it will pay $4.4 billion for transmission lines of New Brunswick Power, a deal that would help the company secure greater access to electricity markets in the U.S.
Hydro-Quebec announced Thursday that it expects to spend up to $23 billion over the next decade to boost its hydro electric output by 4,500 megawatts a year.
Much of that will be exported to the United States and Ontario.
Saint John-based Irving Oil Ltd. is studying the potential construction of a 500- to 600-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant to sell into the energy-hungry New England market.
The project was revealed as New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham and Maine Gov. John Baldacci were in Saint John announcing their governments' intention to explore the development of an energy corridor to move electricity and natural gas between the Maritimes and New England.
New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers are expected to focus on a regional approach to energy when they begin their annual meeting Tuesday in Bar Harbor, Maine.
With an energy-hungry New England market and the five eastern provinces all looking to export new sources of energy, the premiers say maintaining good cross-border relations is crucial.
"We'll be able to talk about the commonalities and that's around energy efficiency, around renewable types of energy," said Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald.
PUGWASH - Opponents of a proposed wind farm on the Gulf Shore got more fuel for the fire Friday night.
Mark Harris, a pastor from Bridgewater, Maine, spoke Friday night at the Ground Search and Rescue in Pugwash about how a wind farm in Mars Hill, Maine has terrorized locals.
He bought property in Mars Hill roughly 1200 feet away from the turbines, but hasn't done anything with it because of how unbearable the sound and strobing from them is.
"Many of the mills we have, on certain days when the wind comes from a certain direction and the humidity is such and such, it will be all but silent at 1200 feet away where my home site would be. But come back the next day and it'll pound until you can't tolerate being there and there's no predicting when that will happen," he said.
He said the wind farm has wreaked havoc on the town, with many people now dealing with health complications allegedly caused by the turbines' sounds and shadows.
AUGUSTA — A new study of the legalities and logistics of an electrical utility partnership involving Maine and New Brunswick shows no significant barriers to such a cross-border collaboration.
It also shows “significant economic and environmental benefits” are possible on both sides of the border through closer coordination in the production and transmission of electricity.
A portion of the wind energy generated from newly installed wind turbines located in PEI was wheeled through PEI and New Brunswick and sold to the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) via the international interconnection node in Keswick, N.B. The renewable energy certificates (RECs) that were generated from this transmission were sold separately to independent buyers located in the NEPOOL.
"Our analysis finds that there are no insurmountable legal, economic or technical barriers to withdrawing from ISO-NE," he said. "Viable alternatives to ISO-NE now exist, such as the formation of a Maine independent transmission company or the creation of a Maine-Canadian Maritimes market."
Adams said the MPUC continues to study both options and will make its recommendations in a final report to the Legislature in January 2008. The preliminary report indicates that the final report will focus on "opportunities" with Canada's Maritime provinces.
TransCanada Corp. is set to take another step on a path that will make it one of Canada’s largest windpower operators, with plans to build an up-to-$300 million US wind farm in the mountains of Maine.
The company said Wednesday it is about to seek formal approval to build a 44-turbine windfarm in the Kibby Mountain Range, just south of the Quebec-Maine Border. The $250 million US to $300 million US project will see the 124-metre-high turbines built along 22 kilometres of ridge line in the Kibby Mountain Range just south of the Quebec border.
Lee also warned that renewable energy sources, though desirable, were not a "silver bullet" solution. "It does leave an environmental footprint," Lee said, noting that wind energy and solar energy take up large areas of land, making it difficult to find a place to put them, especially in densely populated parts of the world.