NB power and economic development

This is not a joke. I just got a note that David Hay, CEO of NB Power will be speaking at the Enterprise Central NB Business Awards Ceremony in April on the topic “NB Power and economic development: A Partnership”.

That will be worth the price of admission and more.

No where in NB Power’s mandate, vision or even in the legislation is the term “economic development” even mentioned.

I personally read the last two NB Power annual reports and the only reference in both the 2007 and the 2006 Annual Reports to “economic development” was a sentence about the benefits of wind energy.

I, personally, am very interested to hear about NB Power and the ‘partnership’ for economic development.

Very interested.

Someone sent me an email wondering if Hay had a, and I quote, “road to Damascus” conversion.

After years of running the shop, maybe he woke up and realized that NB Power is critical to economic development. Maybe he realized that high industrial rates will force business to close and make it almost impossible to attract industry. Maybe he realized that most U.S. electricity utilities spend between 3%-5% of their total annual budget on economic development. Maybe.

It’s a long way to Damascus.

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0 Responses to NB power and economic development

  1. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Hay reads your blog and picked up this concept discussed on your Feb 23 post:

    “NBP is one of the few opportunities we have to show leadership and provide a competitive advantage for NB (similar to NB Tel before that disappeared). NBP already has significant influence with university research, drives our engineering firms to be globally competitive and challenges our construction firms to be world class.

    We have to shake our defeatist attitudes and believe in ourselves. Instead of mortgaging yet another of our precious few leadership opportunities, let’s talk about transforming NBP into a catalyst that makes us a leader in power generation and environmental technologies; building this capability can give us a competitive advantage and drive our economy.”

    NBP is one of a few scarce leveraging opportunities for NB. How about NB businesses becoming leaders in CANDU refurbishment technology? How about NB researchers, manufacturers and engineers carving out niches in wind and tidal power? Why not become leaders in emissions reduction technologies? How about researching cleaner coal options? These concepts (and there are lots more) represent opportunities for NB economic development by building on existing engineering, science and construction capability; NB power could (and in some cases has started to) be a catalyst for these developments by providing a means for testing, research, development and early adoption. NB Power should challenge major suppliers such as AECL to propose what they will do to help drive NB economy, transfer and adopt NB technology and develop our export capacity.

    The visionary leadership and commitment to NB industry demonstrated by NB Tel decades ago is still paying dividends long after their demise. With appropriate leadership and vision, NBP could have a similar impact.

  2. mikel says:

    They could, but again, the only reason any of that exists is because it is still a public company. For advanced technologies NB is far behind most others.

    In nuclear, it is true there is engineering etc., in the province, but look at who is in this new private enterprise and none of them are NB companies. Graham would have to be an utter dolt, in fact I suspect the ONLY reason this is going on is for the jobs. Why else would anybody in their right mind want nuclear power?

    The problem is partly fear, because energy is quickly becoming more localized. The only thing that keeps energy from separating completely from utilities is housing development. If you were to build a house, it is far more cost effective to add in the 20 grand at the outset to provide geo thermal heating and cooling.

    It is getting increasingly more economical to use wind and solar at the individual house level. I suspect this is NB Powers big fear because they still have a huge debt. In fact, if the province had any brains at all, he’d be getting the AECL adn this private consortium to pay off much of NB Powers debt. They definitely need the nuclear sale more than NB needs it.

    But as the above states, there are huge opportunities here, and that shows the weakness of the provinces’ investment in sciences. Virtually the only energy engineering research being done is by nuclear companies.

    But like any province they COULD be a leader, any province CAN be a leader, what is missing is the political motivation.