The electricity distributor intends to bet more on the climate. wind and solar energy.
Wind turbines in North Cape, Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island's electricity distributor, Maritime Electric wants to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030.
The company's goal was announced with the release of its first service sustainability report.
“We think it is doable. There are lots of ways to get there and we have plans.
— Jason Roberts, President and CEO of Maritime Electric
For Maritime Electric President and CEO Jason Roberts, his company's plan is aligned with the province's goal to become carbon neutral by 2040.
Jason Roberts, President and CEO of Maritime Electric, presented his company's sustainability report, on July 28, 2022.
To reduce emissions, the company wants to add approximately 100 megawatts of wind power and 120 megawatts of solar power to the grid.
Maritime Electric also plans to completely replace its fleet of light vehicles with electric vehicles.
According to Professor Jean-Thomas Bernard, from the Department of Economics at the University of Ottawa, the intermittency in the exploitation of these types of renewable energy could represent an obstacle for Maritime Electric in its project.
“This electricity is produced when the wind is strong or when the sun is shining, but that does not mean that it coincides with the period when one needs it. ”
— Jean-Thomas Bernard, professor at the University of Ottawa
island would force the company to continue taming less green energy sources.
It takes a way of doing storage, like batteries, but there's not yet a large-scale deployment of batteries, or you have to use backup electricity, like natural gas, he explains.
Jean-Thomas Bernard explains that there are other options that could be considered for Maritime Electric to achieve its objective, in particular using the hydroelectric energy.
Professor Jean-Thomas Bernard, in the Department of Economics at the University of Ottawa, explains that the neighboring provinces of the island will have to work together for Maritime Electric to achieve its goal of going green (archives).
According to the professor of energy sector management at HEC Montréal, Pierre-Olivier Pineau, a change in consumption habits would be necessary in order to reduce the demand for energy, when production from wind turbines and solar parks will be lower due to weather changes.
“If you have an electric vehicle, now is not the time to charge your vehicle at night, but it would be better to do it during the day when you have solar energy production. »
— Pierre-Olivier Pineau, professor of energy sector management at HEC Montréal
He adds that the establishment of electricity distribution lines would facilitate the importation of renewable energy to the island.
It is to import electricity that may be available in New Brunswick and Quebec and to supply Prince Edward Island with energy from renewable sources, specifies Pierre-Olivier Pineau.< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">For the professor of energy sector management at HEC Montreal, Pierre-Olivier Pineau, Maritime Electric will face a few challenges to achieve its goal, such as supply (archives).
Professor Jean-Thomas Bernard points out that the vast majority of the electricity consumed on the island already comes from New Brunswick, where there are still nuclear plants and coal.
For him, the other Atlantic provinces should also go green so that Maritime Electric can achieve its goal.
Maritime Electric President and CEO Jason Roberts, wants local renewable energy production to increase.
We are very willing to make this investment and carry out these projects, he said.
Professor Jean-Thomas Bernard nevertheless explains that the objective of 100 megawatts of wind energy would represent 30 to 40 new wind turbines installed on the island.
He recalls that the construction of new wind farms can cause discontent in some communities.
It should be remembered that not all residents view the arrival of wind turbines with a favorable eye, that this either on land or at sea, as it affects the landscape. These aspects should not be neglected, explains the professor.
Maritime Electric already purchases all wind power on the island from the P.E.I. Energy Corporation, representing almost 25% of the energy used in the province.
Wind turbines in Summerside, Prince Edward Island on August 13, 2020.
Maritime Electric President and CEO Jason Roberts has hinted that an increase in electricity costs may be possible when the company goes green.
The transition to a cleaner and greener economy have an impact? It will, he says.
The company's objective is nevertheless to reduce the effects of this shift on customers by adopting a gradual and balanced approach, underlines the president- General Manager.
Maritime Electric has requested an increase in electricity prices of approximately 3% per year for the next three years.
The Island's Regulatory and Appeals Commission is still reviewing the request.
With information from Kate McKenna of CBC< /em>