Someone asked me why I haven’t commented yet on the Irving feasibility study for an energy corridor connecting New Brunswick with Maine. So here goes.
I think it seems like a great idea. It should create good paying jobs and it is a fairly green energy project (natural gas co-gen and wind energy). It is only at the feasibility stage – it is not an announcment of $2 billion in spending so let’s see where it goes.
I also wonder why NB Power is not around. You know my position on energy. If Irving does it, they will want an economic return on their investment – full market value. They will sell energy at the highest price the market will bear and so they should. Therefore, this project does not mean cheap energy for New Brunswick economic development.
I have this romantic notion of using NB Power as an economic development driver – though I realize they are not currently mandated to do so. Power generation projects are capital cost intensive – lost of economic activity during the construction phase but the cost of operating facilities is realtively limited.
The good old days of NB Power building large electricity generation capacity and then offering it at incentive rates to attract and grow industry may be behind us – but I don’t have to like it.