(HALIFAX, NS) – At the 2015 Energy and Mines Ministers’ Conference, Ontario Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli and Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Natural Resources Derrick Dalley have committed to exploring opportunities for importing clean and reliable electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador into Ontario.
This announcement comes directly following the Council of the Federation’s recent agreement on the Canadian Energy Strategy, a demonstration of their commitment to strengthening the economy, creating jobs, ensuring a secure supply of energy for all Canadians, supporting energy innovation and addressing climate change.
Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador are working together in that spirit to examine options around clean electricity trading that would create mutual benefits for the two provinces. The Ontario 2013 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) indicated that Ontario will consider opportunities for clean imports from other jurisdictions when such imports would have system benefits and are cost effective for Ontario ratepayers.
A new high-level working group comprised of provincial government officials, along with representatives from Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Nalcor Energy, will undertake a thorough study of the potential for firm electricity trade between the two provinces.
Discussions will be guided by the shared goals of reducing costs, fighting climate change, improving system reliability, and supporting a dynamic economy. Newfoundland and Labrador is an energy warehouse with development opportunities in hydro, wind, wave, and tidal.
“We look forward to working with the Government of Ontario on clean electricity trade and exploring the potential long-term benefits that may be achieved for both our provinces,” said Dalley. “We will discuss opportunities, through the development of the Lower Churchill Project in Labrador and other options, to bring Newfoundland and Labrador’s surplus hydroelectricity to Ontario and contribute significantly to Ontario’s clean energy needs.”
Ontario is committed to combatting climate change, which creates new economic opportunities in renewable energy and clean technologies. Ontario’s environmental sector has 3,000 firms, employs 65,000 people, and is worth an estimated $8 billion in annual revenues and $1 billion in export earnings.
The 824 megawatt hydroelectric generating facility being constructed at Muskrat Falls will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to taking approximately 900,000 vehicles off the road each year. As part of this project, the Maritime Link will connect the island of Newfoundland with Nova Scotia and will help facilitate the development of transmission links between Newfoundland and Labrador and Canadian and US markets that require renewable energy.
Gull Island, a 2,250 MW hydroelectric development upstream from Muskrat Falls, with an estimated 12TWh of average annual energy production, has the potential, when developed, to contribute further substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions in the markets in which it will be sold.