Time could be ripe for a re­gional power play

The Southern Gazette - - EDITORIAL - Gary R. French St. John’s

With the fed­eral government look­ing at phas­ing out coal-fired power plants, I won­der if there is a pos­si­bil­ity of one elec­tric util­ity for the At­lantic prov­inces.

The fed­eral government is push­ing for greener en­ergy, i. e. the car­bon tax and the phas­ing out of coal-fired power plants, which Nova Sco­tia and New Brunswick both have. Also, the Point Lepreau nu­clear plant in New Brunswick will only last so long be­fore it’s de­com­mis­sioned.

The Mar­itime Link will con­nect the is­land to the main­land, which is be­ing built to trans­mit Muskrat Falls power to N.S. For­tis al­ready owns Mar­itime Elec­tric, P.E.I.’s elec­tric util­ity, and New­found­land Power. Mar­itime Elec­tric is sup­plied by two sub­ma­rine ca­bles, with power sup­plied by NB Power.

Once the Mar­itime Link is built and Muskrat Falls is fi­nally built, would it make eco­nomic sense to close down the N.S. and N.B. coal­fired power plants and con­nect up to Muskrat Falls power? Bell Canada bought out all the At­lantic prov­inces’ tele­phone util­i­ties and made one util­ity to serve the re­gion.

The time might be close to do the same for elec­tric util­i­ties.

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