NB Power publishes 2023 IRP: Pathways to a Net-Zero Electricity System
FREDERICTON – NB Power has released a new long-term plan for New Brunswick’s energy supply and demand, showing 16 different pathways for achieving a net-zero electricity system by 2035.
The 2023 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP): Pathways to a Net-Zero Electricity System is now available on the utility’s website and offers a long-term view for the province.
“NB Power has achieved an over 70 per cent greenhouse gas reduction from 2005 levels,” said Lori Clark, president and CEO of NB Power. “While efforts to reduce emissions to date are encouraging, we recognize the threats of climate change and that there is still much more work to do to limit the effects of climate change. Our latest Integrated Resource Plan will work together with our new Strategic Plan to establish NB Power’s overall direction for the future.”
The IRP comes on the heels of the recent release of NB Power’s new Strategic Plan: Energizing our Future. The new Strategic Plan is intended to chart the utility’s course for the next 12 years and is built on six transformers and objectives that are intended to lead to success and help the utility to: transition to a cost-effective, clean and secure energy supply; modernize the grid, electrify and grow load; deliver competitive customer value; create a thriving workforce; and align, engages and optimize. The IRP outlines how New Brunswickers are expected to use power and what sources will be used to meet those needs, based on the best available information of today. The plan follows three core principles: least-cost planning, economic and environmental sustainability, and risk management.
“The IRP addresses key questions that New Brunswickers have asked: How do we get to net-zero with and without the Mactaquac Generating Station? How do we get to net-zero with and without small modular reactors? How do we get to net-zero with or without large transmission projects such as the Atlantic Loop?” said Clark. “This plan will help NB Power transition to a net-zero electricity system and inform our decision making as we look at current conditions and expectations.”
The IRP identifies numerous pathways toward a net-zero electricity system. Achieving net-zero will require new carbon-free generation projects such as the Mactaquac Life Achievement Project, small modular reactors, Belledune fuel conversion, new wind, new solar and new battery storage projects.
The IRP was informed by an extensive engagement process between summer 2022 and spring 2023 that included a variety of New Brunswickers, First Nations, and key stakeholders to better understand what matters most when considering the province’s energy future.
NB Power is required to update the IRP at least every three years to reflect new technology, new policies, and changes in customer expectations and demand. Once updated and approved, as per the Electricity Act, NB Power submits the Integrated Resource Plan to the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board (EUB), which was done on July 28, 2023. The EUB will consider the most recent IRP when it makes decisions on rate setting and major capital spending. While this plan supports that process, it does not include information on electricity rates or detailed financial statements.
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