NB Power chooses New Brunswick company to build Shediac Solar Farm
Fredericton, N.B. – NB Power has chosen a New Brunswick solar company with its own unique design, The Smart Energy Company (TSEC) of Quispamsis, to help us build our new 1.63MW solar farm in Shediac. The solar farm is the first of its kind in the province and an important part of the larger Smart Grid Atlantic smart and renewable energy research program being run by NB Power, Siemens Canada and Nova Scotia Power.
“We’re proud to have found a unique New Brunswick company to build the first community solar farm in the province.” said Keith Cronkhite, NB Power’s President and CEO. “Adding renewable energy to our grid is vital to lowering our greenhouse gas emissions as a province and finding the right partner at an affordable price who can help us achieve this goal in Shediac is an amazing outcome.”
The selection of The Smart Energy Company follows a recommendation by Opportunities NB (ONB) in the Fall of 2020 that NB Power consider the company’s unique, trademarked NOREASTER solar module design for any new solar installation. The NOREASTER® is an all-inclusive solar energy solution designed specifically for harsh Canadian winters in collaboration with the National Research Council.
“The selection of a New Brunswick based company as a key implementation partner for this highly innovative project speaks to the strength and calibre of the companies in our province,” said Hon. Arlene Dunn, minister responsible for Opportunities New Brunswick. “By ensuring our home-grown companies are aware of and connected into public sector procurement opportunities, we are supporting the growth of these companies here at home. NB First is all about creating opportunities for New Brunswick businesses to do more business in New Brunswick and we’re excited to watch this project come to life in Shediac.”
Launched in 2020, the NB First Procurement strategy is meant to build global competitive companies in both product and service by fostering and maximizing our provincial supply chain.
Site work for the Shediac solar farm is being completed by NB Power crews and local contractors and is ready for the Smart Energy Company to begin installing the solar modules. This installation is expected to begin this summer after the NOREASTER® racks have been fabricated at the company’s facility, through a partnership with Razor Contract Manufacturing, in Saint John.
"We are beyond excited to be a part of this incredibly important project for New Brunswick,” said Mark McAloon, CEO of The Smart Energy Company. “It will help to stimulate the growth of solar energy in our province while also proving that a New Brunswick-made product can be exported to other utilities to meet the growing demand for solar farms across North America."
Once the modules have been installed and interconnected, the facility will go through a period of testing and is expected to connect to the NB Power distribution grid in the town of Shediac early in 2022. It will be the third, and largest, solar installation in Shediac this year as part of the Smart Grid Atlantic program.
“Shediac is proud to be the location of New Brunswick’s first community solar farm” said Roger Caissie, mayor of Shediac. “Our Smart Energy Community project is showing New Brunswick how one community can lead the way in the transition to renewable energy and net zero buildings by engaging its citizens in our energy future. We can’t wait to have that renewable energy feeding right into downtown Shediac very soon.”
The Shediac solar farm is a major component of the Shediac Smart Energy Community Project, one of three large community projects in NB Power’s Smart Grid Atlantic smart and renewable energy program. Renewable energy from the solar farm will be used to bring two major commercial buildings in Shediac – the town’s Multipurpose Centre and the iconic Federal Pension Centre to net zero energy use in the next two years. Both buildings have recently installed roof-top solar arrays and are installing the first commercial battery storage systems in large buildings in the province.
“While the technology is cool and cutting edge, the goal of our program is to better understand how customers and the utility can take advantage of, and mitigate the challenges that come from, having more and more renewable energy on the grid,” said Brent Staeben, director for Smart Gird Atlantic. “The goal is to learn and prepare for the large scale customer adoption of these new technologies and to be able to offer programs that make the most sense for them as individual homeowners while at the same time ensuring we take care of all our customers across the province.”
Sheila Lagacé, Communications, NB Power, 506-458-2345 or SLagace@nbpower.com
Matt Conradi, The Smart Energy Company, 506-849-3001, Matt@thesmartenergycompany.ca
Tracey Suley, Director of Marketing and Communications, Opportunities NB, 506-238-1403, email@example.com