By Anthony Capkun
January 23, 2016 – NB Power and Nova Scotia Power say they are working together to explore new ways to reduce operating costs “that will create long-term savings for the two utilities”. They are currently exploring a regional approach to procurement and contracting.
The two began working together in March 2015 on a joint dispatch pilot project that saw them jointly optimize their generation fleets for the first time.
“That experience generated new ideas,” report the utilities.
Pursuing a potential joint procurement process would allow the utilities to leverage their combined purchasing needs and, in theory, allow for lower prices with higher volumes being purchased. Just recently, the two came together for the first time in a joint purchase of fuel (pet coke) that saved them an estimated $250,000. Both utilities believe there are more opportunities like this that could lead to more savings.
And, since November, the utilities say they have been working to share backup generation (reserve services) to avoid starting-up fast-acting generation when standard generation becomes unavailable. In 10 weeks of greater collaboration, the two companies say they have been able to avoid nearly three dozen generation start-ups.