Three new oilsands projects were approved on September 15th which could produce up to 95,000 barrels per day and 2.5 megatonnes of emissions per year. Due to the low price of oil there is no current plan to begin building any of the projects. Alberta Energy assures that the plans were approved after various environmental assessments, discussions with the surrounding communities and recommendations from the Alberta Energy Regulator. (Source: The Star)
Electricity Prices for Alberta
The Alberta power pool price averaged 1.769 cents per kWh in September 2016. This price is 0.021 cents lower than last month’s average of 1.790 cents per kWh. The pool price has averaged 1.805 cents per kWh over the last 12 months.
As of September 5, 2016, the forward market was predicting electricity prices for the calendar years of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. These prices are 2.94, 3.125, 3.85, 4.225, and 4.875 cents per kWh respectively.
Gas Prices for Alberta
Direct Energy’s gas rate for September was $2.351 per GJ in the North and $2.351 per GJ in the South. The October rate has been set at $2.659 per GJ in the North and $2.659 per GJ in the South. Alberta gas prices have averaged $1.979 per GJ over the last 12 months.
As of September 1, 2016, the forward market was predicting gas prices for the calendar years of 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. These prices are 2.63, 2.82, 2.84, 2.87, and 2.98 cents per GJ respectively.
British Colombia First Nations are protesting the Site C dam project, which was approved in 2014 by both the provincial and federal government and, more recently, received authorization from the departments of Fisheries and Transport. The leaders from the West Moberly and Prophet River Nations are appealing the project claiming it infringes on their rights as indigenous people. The site of the dam will interfere with their traditional way of life of hunting, trapping, and fishing and will take up valuable agriculture land. The issues is now before the courts and under the mandate of Environment Canada. (Source: Globe & Mail)
The Ontario government has cancelled its second renewable energy project. Ontario Hydro stated that they don’t need the power and by cancelling the project the province will save $3.8-billion which in turn with save consumers money on their hydro bill. The Ontario government has been under pressure from the opposition and the consumers that are opposed to wind farms, to cut costs. The renewable energy industry in Ontario is extremely disappointed with the decision and believe Ontario will miss their opportunity to become a global leader in renewable energy. (Source: Globe & Mail)
Electricity Prices for Ontario
The Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) was an average of 1.529 cents per kWh in September 2016. This price is 1.516 cents higher than last month’s 3.045 cents per kWh. The weighted-average price was 1.748 cents per kWh during September 2016. The twelve month average was 1.575 cents per kWh up to September 2016.
The second estimate for the Global Adjustment rate for September 2016 was set at 9.148 cents per kWh. This actual rate paid was 7.103 cents in August 2016. The Global Adjustment is an additional charge paid by non-regulated customers. (Source: IESO)
SaskPower is planning to power up to 12,000 homes using solar power by 2021 which is in line with the government’s plan to have half of the province’s power supplied by renewable resources by 2030. The estimated 60-megawatts of solar power will come from community projects, a bidding process with vendors, and the First Nations Power Authority. The vendor procurement process will begin in December and the consultation process will happen this fall. SaskPower has not locked down a site location yet, so companies proposing bids for the project are also able to suggest sites. (Source: CBC News)
In order to help manage their growing debt Manitoba Hydro has announced that they will be raising rates and reducing their staff in the near future. President and CEO Kevin Shepherd says they plan to reduce staff by approximately 15 per cent but it won’t all be through lay-offs as they have around 900 employees ready to retire. Shepherd also stated that privatization is not currently in the corporation’s future. (Source: CBC News)
Enbridge is applying for a 30.4 per cent natural gas rate increase to begin in January 2017 which will be the second significant rate increase in the past eight months. The utility provider estimates that customers will see their bill increase by only 10 per cent, compared to January 2016, as the price of gas has been decreasing but are reassured that they will still be paying less than electricity. A concern for Enbridge are the small commercial customers who have been flocking to propane due to its lower price, however, as the price gap between natural gas and propane shrinks Enbridge is confident they can retain those customers. (Source: CBC News)
Prince Edward Island
A PEI company, Frontier Power Systems Inc., has received $2 million in funding to continue their design and development of wind turbines, variable speed diesel generators and an advanced energy storage system developed for use in the Arctic north. The bulk of the money comes from the federal government’s Atlantic Innovation fund with an added $100,000 grant from the PEI provincial government’ Development and Commercialization Fund. The added money will also allow Frontier Power Systems Inc. to add 14 new jobs to their current eight person team. (Source: CBC News)
Tugliq Energy, a company operating in the northern region of Nunavik in northern Quebec has developed a wind turbine to help power the Glencore’s Raglan Mine. In its first year of operations the wind turbine reduced about 2.1 million liters of diesel and is predicted to save the company approximately $40 million in fuel costs over the next 20 years. Although building in the arctic and subarctic conditions is challenging Tugliq believes that renewable energy is possible for northern regions including Nunavut as technology evolves and costs decrease. (Source: CBC News)
Newfoundland & Labrador
The $1.5 billion Maritime Link project is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 on time and on budget. The project will transport electricity from the Muskrat Falls generating facility in Labrador to Nova Scotia using a 500 megawatt high-voltage transmission line. The first phase of the project has been completed by PowerTel Utilities, an Ontario-based contractor. The Nova Scotia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Geoff MacLellan, believes that the construction of the Maritime Link will not impact the Donkin mine undertaking. (Source: Cape Breton Post)
If the federal carbon tax is introduced, Nova Scotian’s can expect to pay hundreds of dollars more per year for fuel and electricity. Larry Hughes, an analyst at Dalhousie Univeristy, applied the BC carbon tax to Nova Scotia and concluded that the price of gasoline would increase by seven cents per litre, electricity would increase by 1.8 cents per kilowatt hour, and heating oil would increase by 8.85 cents per litre, all adding up to an annual cost of $612 for a common household. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil hopes that the province will be exempt from the federal carbon tax as it is already a leader in reducing emissions which is the main goal of the carbon tax. Negotiations are ongoing with the federal government in regards to the carbon tax. (Source: CBC News)
A summit, organized by the World Wildlife Fund Canada (WFF Canada), was held in Nunavut in September with the help of the federal and provincial government as well as Qulliq Energy Corporation to discuss plans to move away from diesel and towards more environmentally conscious energy sources. They were joined by experts in policy, and utility as well as experts from companies who have implemented similar clean energy initiatives in harsh climates such as Alaska, Russia and northern Quebec to learn about the difficulties they encountered as well as their successes. With the help of Qulliq Energy Corporation’s net metering plan, starting in spring 2017, and the federal government, Nunavut plans to build on the momentum of the summit to begin moving towards cleaner energy. (Source: WWF-Canada Blog)
Imperial Oil Ltd. is putting their Norman Wells oilfield on the market this quarter. The oilfield opened in 1920 and a refinery was added later to help supply fuel for the operations in Alaska and the Yukon during the Second World War. Over its life span the oilfield has extracted approximately a quarter of a million barrels of oil. Imperial Oil ltd. has decided to sell the Normal Wells oilfield in order to focus on their businesses in Alberta. (Source: Calgary Herald)
As Yukon College’s new Industrial Research Chair in Northern Energy Innovation, Michael Ross’ job is to find energy solutions for the three northern territories. Over the next 5 years Ross will have $2 million in funding coming from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, each of the territory’s publicly owned utility and ATCO Electric. Ross is not only tasked with trying to find better ways to have renewable resources reach isolated communities but he will also be looking for ways to improve the diesel plants that serve most of the communities in the north. Ross states that he wants to find a way to maintain reliability of service while advancing the norther energy industry. (Source: Yukon News)