Energy & Power
Transmission & Distribution
NB Power files 10-year plan with Energy and Utilities Board
By Alyssa Dalton
October 6, 2014 – NB Power has filed its strategic, financial and capital investment plan for the next 10 years with the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board.
“This document clearly outlines our plan to achieve the goals of paying down a $1 Billion worth of debt by 2021 while improving our performance and transitioning the company for the greater adoption of renewable energy in New Brunswick,” said Gaëtan Thomas, president and CEO, NB Power. “It provides New Brunswickers with the key components of our planning, our load forecast, the impacts of our Reduce and Shift Demand strategy, and most importantly for our customers—our forecast for low and stable rates over the next decade.”
The plan highlights three main strategies NB Power has been pursuing through the 2011 Strategic Plan:
• Achieve consistent performance within the top 25% (“top quartile”) of utilities in North America;
• Reduce debt by $1 billion and achieve an 80/20 debt to equity ratio by 2021; and
• Reduce and shift in-province demand for electricity that will defer the need for new investments in generation while optimizing the electrical system.
“Since 2010, we have reduced costs by $50 million and are pursuing a further $25 million in sustainable cost reductions,” said Thomas. “These savings will be achieved through a culture of continuous improvement that is taking root throughout the organization.”
The 10-year plan is built upon NB Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filed with the Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) in July 2014, which looks at:
1. Energy efficiency and demand considerations as well as supply considerations
2. Reliability and security of supply
3. Policy and regulatory considerations including encouraging the development of locally owned small-scale renewable projects to help meet the 40 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement.
The plan also makes assumptions around the Mactaquac Hydro Generating Station as preliminary spending may be required within this 10 year period, said NB Power, adding that the dam’s current capacity and energy will no longer be available after 2030. For planning purposes, NB Power said it is estimating timelines using the option that will take the longest to implement (repowering the dam).