A recent study by Massachusetts-based Power Advisory LLC, commissioned by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), has found significant potential for wind energy exports from the Canadian Maritime provinces to the northeastern U.S.
Ever-increasing demand for green energy in the U.S. presents an emerging opportunity for wind energy developers in the maritime provinces; however, there are barriers that must be addressed in order for Canadian producers to gain access to that growing market, according to the report.
The study noted that the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island could develop more wind energy than the region could use – between 5,500 MW and 7,500 MW. Conversely, just across the border, legislated renewable energy mandates in six New England states require significant increases in renewable electricity.
Recent shortages of renewable energy suggest that New England will not be able to locally produce the required amounts of renewable energy. The study estimates the New England mandates will require about 4,200 MW of renewable energy capacity over the next 11 years – about 60% of which could come from wind.
‘We see there is a huge market, and we also see there will be a strong value for wind energy coming from Canada,’ says Jean-Francois Nolet, CanWEA's Quebec and Atlantic Canada policy manager. ‘The task now is to ensure our producers will have a easier access to this growing market.’
Nolet says the cost of getting Canada's wind energy into the U.S. – specifically inter-jurisdictional (both provincial and international) transmission tariffs and physical constraints – are the main challenge.
Competition for jobs is another factor, as many U.S. states are increasingly interested in using wind energy to spur local economic development.
CanWEA expects the Power Advisory study will lend significant support to the Atlantic Energy Gateway Initiative, which was announced by the federal government in March. The initiative commits $4 million, over two years, to the development of additional renewable energy supplies in Atlantic Canada and the selling of the resulting surplus energy to the U.S.
For more information, visit canwea.ca.
SOURCE: Canadian Wind Energy Association