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NB Power and Nova Scotia Power piloting cooperative dispatch model


March 27, 2015 – NB Power and Nova Scotia Power have launched a pilot project to work together to deliver electricity to both provinces with expected savings of up to $20 million per year. The two utilities say that, for the first time, they will jointly optimize their generation fleets.

“This is a significant agreement for our utilities to work together in this way,” said Gaetan Thomas, president and CEO of NB Power. “We are two small provinces and close neighbours with a long history of cooperation. Working together to find ways to benefit New Brunswickers and Nova Scotians—to save them money in their homes and businesses—is the right thing to do for our region.”

The partners will pilot a model of cooperative dispatch between the two provinces, enabling optimization of their power plants while ensuring both provinces continue to meet their renewable energy and emissions standards. The 12-month pilot will see New Brunswick and Nova Scotia generating stations dispatched as one fleet using the current tie-line capacity with no additional investment.

The project builds on a reserve-sharing agreement already in place between the two utilities whereby the required ‘back-up’ generation for both provinces is a shared responsibility.

“This is the next step in a cooperative relationship between our two utilities to find common-sense ways to benefit our region,” said Bob Hanf, CEO of Nova Scotia Power. “In the early 1970s, our two provinces were among the first to interconnect their electrical grids with a tie-line. This project is a logical next step that will improve our systems and provide long-term cost savings to customers in both provinces.”

The cooperative dispatch pilot began early testing in January, has recently expanded successfully, say the utilities, and is planned to continue for the next 12 months. The time frame for cost savings has been studied, and has an estimated value of up to $20 million per year shared between the two utilities between 2015 and 2022, depending on factors such as weather and fuel costs.