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P.E.I. environment minister says he’d ‘step in’ if Maritime Electric builds new fossil fuel generator

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — P.E.I.’s surroundings minister says he would “100 per cent step in” if Maritime Electrical opts to construct a brand new diesel generator.

Throughout query interval on Nov. 24, Steven Myers, who can be minister of power and local weather motion, was requested by Inexperienced MLA Hannah Bell a few deliberate $90-million diesel generator included in a Maritime Electrical capital finances doc submitted to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Fee.

The Dennis King authorities has pledged to succeed in “web zero power” by 2030, which means all electrical energy is produced with no local weather emissions.

“That is in the end a long-term funding that will probably be paid for by Islanders by means of their electrical energy payments,” Bell informed the legislature. “Are you going to step in and cease this deliberate funding? Or do you help utilizing $90 million of Islanders’ cash on a brand new fossil-fuelled energy plant?”

“Yeah, I’ll 100 per cent step in. We consider in clear power on Prince Edward Island,” Myers mentioned in response. “There is no means, so long as I sit on this chair, that there is going to be any extra fossil fuels burned on this Island.”

Environment Minister Steven Myers said he would “step in” to stop the construction by Maritime Electric of any new diesel generating station in P.E.I. Stu Neatby • The Guardian - Stu Neatby
Atmosphere Minister Steven Myers mentioned he would “step in” to cease the development by Maritime Electrical of any new diesel producing station in P.E.I. Stu Neatby • The Guardian – Stu Neatby

Bell pressed additional, saying that Maritime Electrical plans to take a position tens of millions into refurbishing present diesel mills in P.E.I.

“How does persevering with to take a position and run diesel energy vegetation for an additional decade match into this authorities’s plan to be web zero in eight years?” Bell requested. 

“Nicely, it does not,” Myers mentioned. “I believe they’ve some kind of an obligation with the regulator to point out that they are in a position to present a continuing supply of power on a regular basis. So, I believe that is why they’re doing it.”

$91-million combustion turbine

A 2023 capital finances utility doc submitted by Maritime Electrical features a mention of a “combustion turbine #4,” with a forecasted finances of $91 million within the years 2026 and 2027.

An April 2022 doc, ready for the Island Regulatory and Appeals Fee by Synapse Power Economics, means that the “want just isn’t evident” for the development of this generator in 2028. The doc famous the generator would have a capability of 50-100 megawatts.

“The necessity for a brand new CT4 at CTGS is under no circumstances an affordable assumption at this stage,” the Synergy Power Economics studies states, referring to the combustion turbine 4 generator.

Green MLA Hannah Bell said she believes that the construction of a new diesel-generating station by Maritime Electric contradicted the province’s net zero goals. - Stu Neatby
Inexperienced MLA Hannah Bell mentioned she believes that the development of a brand new diesel-generating station by Maritime Electrical contradicted the province’s web zero objectives. – Stu Neatby

“(Maritime Electrical) should do a full financial evaluation of useful resource choices that embody on-Island utility-scale (or distributed) battery storage.”

In an electronic mail, the Island Regulatory and Appeals Fee mentioned no utility has been submitted for the Combustion Turbine 4.

‘A placeholder’

Talking by cellphone on Nov. 24, Maritime Electrical spokesperson Kim Griffin mentioned the corporate’s 2023 capital finances was “outdated.” She confirmed there was no utility to IRAC for a brand new diesel generator.

“I might categorize that as a placeholder,” Griffin mentioned, referring to the $91-million allocation in 2026 and 2027.

With that anticipated improve in demand for electrical energy, Griffin mentioned Maritime Electrical doesn’t know what electrical wants the province may have by 2026. Griffin mentioned the utility is pursuing its personal examine into renewable power, in addition to battery storage choices for the long run.

“We don’t know what we’d like but,” Griffin mentioned.

Stu Neatby is a political reporter with the SaltWire Community in Prince Edward Island. He might be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @stu_neatby.

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