$100M power cable project to reconnect PEI to mainland
July 23, 2015 by STAFF REPORT
Prince Edward Island is moving ahead with the $100 million Northumberland Strait power cable project, the island’s largest infrastructure project since the building of the Confederation Bridge.
The provincial and the federal governments have agreed to share the costs of the project, which is deemed to be PEI’s top infrastructure priority right now.
The existing underwater connection of two 100 MW lines to the mainland is almost 40 years old and now operating beyond its design life.
With significant increased electricity demand since their installation in 1977, the two cables are unable to ensure a secure energy supply, according to a release from the Premier’s office.
A new connection of 360 MW will provide electricity security and allow for future growth. The additional capacity will provide the province more flexibility for power purchase agreements, allowing for larger purchases of electricity when prices are favorable.
The Province of Prince Edward Island will own the new connection, through the P.E.I Energy Corporation. Maritime Electric will operate the project, as is the case with the existing cables.
Preliminary work on the new cables project is already bing done to meet the projected installation time of fall 2016. An RFP has also been developed.
Public consultations on the connection will take place later this year and the project will be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment.
“A new connection will secure the energy supply and help foster economic development by ensuring the capacity for growth,” said the Premier Wade MacLauchlan.