Maritime Electric says feedback is welcome on plans for the new power cables
Maritime Electric hears from public about proposal for new power cables
When it comes to plans for P.E.I.’s new power cables they could still change after feedback from the public, says a spokesman for Maritime Electric.
John Gaudet, the company’s vice president of corporate planning and energy supply, said just because the funding is in place for the project that doesn’t mean the work plans are set in stone.
“It’s not a done deal. Things can change,” he said.
The plan calls for two 180megawatt cables to be installed by fall 2016 to secure P.E.I.’s energy supply from the mainland and keep up with growing demand.
Gaudet said the goal is to lay the cables in May or early June with a goal of being finished in time for fishing season.
The ships that will be used for the project will run a continuous length of 16.5 km of cable along a trench at the bottom of the Northumberland Strait.
Work will proceed at about 500-700 metres per hour with the cable fed from the ship onto a plow digging a trench underwater and laying the cable as it moves.
The July 27 meeting was the fourth held as part of the public consultation process and Gaudet said there will be more.
“We’re trying to find out what the concerns are and then we’re coming back to try and address those concerns so that we’ve got project proponents instead of opponents,” he said.
The submarine cables aren’t the only construction needed to bring more power from the mainland.
On the New Brunswick side, NB Power needs to build new transmission lines from Memramcook to Cape Tormentine.
Bob Garland, NB Power’s project lead, said the project will be a significant expansion of its transmission system and the first phase of the new lines will be in place in 2016.
The biggest challenge will be dealing with wetland areas as the new transmission lines go in, but otherwise it will be work NB Power normally does, he said.
“There’s really nothing out of the ordinary for us.”
Maritime Electric spokesman John Gaudet holds up life-sized photos of the power cables that will run under the Northumberland Strait by the end of next year. On the right is the size of the current cables and on the left is the size of the new cables.