Questions By Members, 19 June 2015
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

Retirement of on-Island generation

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

A long-term vision is critical in developing any plan so that it can be as effective and as efficient as possible. There’s perhaps no place in government where planning on a long-term is more important than in energy policy. It has become abundantly clear in the recent past that not only is there no long-term plan for our energy future on Prince Edward Island, but that there is mass confusion in that department.

A question for the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy. The energy accord recommends that with the new cables we actually retire some on-Island generation. Assuming the minister is still confident in the negotiations around the new cables, why are we pursuing new generation at this time?

Mr. LaVie: Good question, good question.

Mr. Aylward: Great question.

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Leader of the Opposition: The minister of mass confusion.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

If we look back at the energy commission’s report, this is something that’s been ongoing. If you look at the number of recommendations that this government has implemented to date, this is not a new decision to go forward in acquiring the generation assets. It’s a recommendation by a highly-respected commission that put the report together.

We’re committed to doing what’s best for our ratepayers. We are continuing to work with Maritime Electric going forward on the generation plan and we’ll let the process unfold. We’re at a stage now where we’re in communication and we’ll continue those communications with Maritime Electric.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his first supplementary question.

Carbon-free energy preparations

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Experts agree that for economic and ecological reasons all jurisdictions need to prepare for an energy future that is carbon-free. The proposed new generator takes us in exactly the opposite direction and locks us into a 30- or 40-year life cycle expense that risks being a stranded asset when fossil fuel generation becomes prohibitively expensive.

Does the minister agree that preparing for a carbon-free energy future is something that Prince Edward Island needs to start doing now?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Our government, through the PEI Energy Corporation, are very engaged in other sources of energy in regard to biomass and wind energy, and this is another part of our platform within our whole energy strategy going forward. We’ll continue to look at those kinds of opportunities and projects in our platform as well.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party with his second supplementary question.

Energy alternatives

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We all know that these new energy generation and storage technologies that are improving efficiency and reducing costs are appearing at ever-increasing rates. In many cases, they’re already competitive and affordable. Modern, green energy solutions exist, such as solar arrays and battery storage, which would make the energy grid more resilient at the same time as allowing for more renewable energy saturation, at the same time as lowering peaked amount that needs to be serviced, at the same time as creating employment for Islanders.

Has this government considered these sorts of alternatives, and if so, why are they not the best choice?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

We’re always looking for new opportunities. In fact, I’m sure the hon. member is aware of our wind test site that’s in Tignish at North Cape. That is part of their plan, that’s part of – it’s already going on. It’s a great way to save energy and to look at other opportunities and alternatives. We’ll continue working on all different kinds of projects that will ultimately save energy, do what’s best for Islanders, and continue on that path.


One Comment

  1. Bill Kays 17 June 2016 at 1:29 pm

    There are just too many lawyers and policemen in our legislature. Too bad they wouldn’t start arresting and prosecuting the breakers of the ‘SPIRIT OF THE LAW’. It’s unfortunate, for the Island people that it’s not an offense, because if it was they would all hang. Change from within is always too slow, if at all, to please the people I talk to.


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