Questions By Members, 10 June 2015
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

New generator cost

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

A question to the Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy.

Could the minister please inform the House of the estimated cost of the proposed new 50-megawatt generator that she announced in the House last week?

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

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

To the hon. member, the proposal put forward by Maritime Electric was that they would purchase the generator originally, so we have determined that it would be cheaper for us to buy it, but it’s estimated at $50 million.

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

Generation capacity options and cost

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

Could the minister inform the House as to any other options that were examined by her department to provide this backup generation capacity and how much those proposals may have cost?

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

Ms. Biggar: Mr. Speaker, thank you.

Our department’s always looking at options and different ways that we can provide options for cheaper electricity, cheaper ways to provide that.

Mr. LaVie: What do they cost?

Ms. Biggar: We have a lot of wind power options that are there –

Leader of the Opposition: (Indistinct).

Ms. Biggar: – and our biomass that’s generating a lot of alternative options for energy on Prince Edward Island. We’re offering a lot of programs through the Office of Energy Efficiency to reduce electricity use on Prince Edward Island.

We’re committed to continuing those programs and to looking at any other options that will reduce our imprint on the environmental side of things. I’m very aware that the G7 just has come out with the zero-85 proposal. So we’re always looking at options that we can use on Prince Edward Island to save energy and to save costs for Islanders.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for a second supplementary.

Biomass proposal

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

I’m really glad that the minister is open to looking at different options. Because before the 2011 Energy Accord came into force a proposal was submitted to Maritime Electric by Eastway Energy to develop a 25-megawatt biomass electric production here on Prince Edward Island, requiring, by the way, virtually no public funding whatsoever. This proposal would increase the amount of renewable energy produced on Prince Edward Island, something the minister has just told us that is a real important part of her portfolio. It would diversify our renewable portfolio and provide renewable base load capacity that would complement our existing wind capacity, which is almost as high as it can go. By using crops and agricultural waste as fuel it would also benefit our forestry and agricultural sectors and provide new long-term green jobs in rural Prince Edward Island.

With all these potential benefits, could the minister please explain to the House why a fossil fuel generator is a better option than this biomass proposal?

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

Ms. Biggar: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Leader of the Opposition: (Indistinct).

Speaker: The minister has the floor.

Ms. Biggar: At the present time we do have a number of generators in use, but one of them is going to be decommissioned because of the age of it by Maritime Electric, and we have to ensure that we have a steady power supply coming in the short-term.

Your proposal that you put forward there is a very interesting proposal. I’d be happy to look in and get more information. I haven’t seen that proposal. I’m always open to finding new ideas, and I’m sure we’ll have lots of discussions in the future on options that you may put forward.

Thank you.


One Comment

  1. Bill Kays 16 June 2016 at 3:23 pm

    PEI is very limited in its choices of energy. Energy sustainability is the goal we should be looking towards, but that doesn’t fit well with Fortis, Maritime Electric and their scheme for milking Islanders blind, all with government complicity. ask gov to set up and demonstrate several self sustaining energy homes, so that we poor common folk might have an indication of how to go about it for our homes and businesses, showing us how to reduce our costs. This would be an unfortunate thing for Maritime Electric but since they are guaranteed GREAT profitability, I assume everyone else’s power bills would go up to ensure that great profitability. While becoming for self sustainable as a province, has anyone thought about the contract with Maritime Electric? Those participating, their costs go down but Maritime Electrics profits stay the same. How does that work?


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