New Brunswick to support local small-scale renewable projects
April 20, 2015 - New Brunswick is looking to local and First Nations small-scale renewable energy projects, including bioenergy projects, as part of its plan to increase the provincial Renewable Portfolio Standard to a minimum of 40 per cent of NB Power’s in-province sales by 2020.
“The beauty of community energy projects is that they would enter into a power purchase arrangement with NB Power,” Keith Cronkhite, NB Power’s vice-president of business development and generation told the CBC in a recent interview. “The revenues that we would pay toward those projects stays within New Brunswick and that’s an important part of any renewable program.”
The province’s Department of Energy and Mines released a statement saying that local small scale renewable projects provide opportunities for non-profit organizations, associations, co-operatives and municipalities to develop renewable energy projects for the greater benefit of the community, and will play a significant role in achieving its 40 per cent Renewable Portfolio Standard.
NB Power will procure new renewable energy resources through competitive requests for proposals (RFPs) and projects will be evaluated on criteria to be released prior to each RFP. These criteria will include the net economic and social benefits to the community, cost of energy production, rate of return, business plans, size of project, and cost of integrating the generation into the grid.
A portion of the RPS target to be met through the Local Small Scale Renewable Projects Program will be set aside for First Nations projects.
In order to meet this goal, government will work with NB Power and New Brunswick First Nations to assess the feasibility of potential projects under this allocation. Discussions will continue with New Brunswick First Nations and the Government of Canada with respect to sustainable energy practices and energy-related issues of mutual interest.