Buying Power

The Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission released its audit [1.7MB PDF] of Maritime Electric today. One of the interesting things you will find in the audit is this:

Every utility will use the cheapest source of power to satisfy its own energy needs first. For example, hydroelectric power will always be used, if available, because it is cheaper. As the need increases, a utility will obtain more energy from the next cheapest source available, with oil-fired generation generally being the last and most expensive source. The nature of the new 2001 energy supply contracts with NB Power and Emera generally requires Maritime Electric to purchase the most expensive power being used at that time, since NB Power and Emera will use the cheaper power to satisfy their own energy needs first. This arrangement forces Maritime Electric to manage energy purchases carefully, and indeed, this is done on an hourly basis at the Energy Management Centre.

What this means is that Prince Edward Island is basically getting what’s left on the table once New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have doled out the cheap power to their own residents.


Alan's picture
Alan on March 24, 2003 - 23:15 Permalink

That audit statement is, I think, odd. Surely a big smart bunch of companies would require purchase on the North American grid before firing up a more expensive NS generator. Surely, they did not miss that allowing Emera to pocket the difference between their next most expensive source and North America’s next most expensive source.