Renewable Energy

Renewable Energy

In the most recent progress report of NFLD’s 2007 Energy Plan, the the adoption of wind power is focused on lessening remote coastal communities’ reliance on diesel. To support this mandate, in June 2011, the NFLD government launched the Coastal Labrador Wind Monitoring Program as part of its ongoing Coastal Labrador Alternative Energy Study, which also looked at the feasibility of integrating small-scale hydro projects and energy efficiency measures to offset diesel consumption (NFLD Department of Natural Resources, 2015c). Perhaps NFLD’s most innovative and best known remote renewable energy project is the wind-hydrogen-diesel project on Ramea Island, located off the south coast of Newfoundland. Commissioned by Nalcor in 2012, the Ramea project is one of the first projects in the world to integrate generation from wind, hydrogen and diesel in an isolated electrical system or ‘microgrid’ (Nalcor Energy, 2015b).

Commercial wind energy development in NFLD consists of the St. Lawrence and Fermeuse wind projects located on the Burin and Avalon peninsulas, respectively. Both wind farms are 27 MW in capacity and were financed through 20-year PPAs with Hydro (Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, 2015b). The island’s only cogeneration biomass plant, located at the Kruger Inc. paper mill in city of Corner Brook, is also privately owned and operated. The cogeneration unit burns paper mill waste to produce electricity and the steam used in the papermaking process. Kruger has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hydro to sell the electricity (Kruger Energy, n.d.)

Policy Mechanisms

The NFLD government announced a Net Metering Policy Framework in July, 2015, establishing the policy parameters for major utilities and the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities to develop and implement a program for utility customers. Like other net metering programs across Canada, it will allow customers to generate electricity from small-scale renewable systems (< 100 kW) to offset their own consumption and sell surplus power to the utility.

Another recent policy development has been the establishment of the Biogas Electricity Pilot Program. Under the program, NLH will purchase electricity from biogas program 2MW or less. A maximum of 5 MW of biogas will be contracted out on a first-come-first-serve basis. The price per kWh will be equal to 90% of NLH’s avoided marginal cost prior to Muskrat Falls entering into commercial service. After Muskrat Falls enters into commercial service, the price per kWh indexed to the market process minus NLH’s associated transmission costs.

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