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March 20, 2015
For immediate release

Premier MacLauchlan thanks federal government for cable support, confirms province’s commitment to project

Finance and Energy

A new electricity connection to the mainland, the largest and most important infrastructure project for Prince Edward Island since the Confederation Bridge, will ensure the province’s future energy needs can be met and protect Islanders against the risk of volatile rate increases associated with the existing aging cables.

Premier and Finance and Energy Minister Wade MacLauchlan today thanked the federal government for its contribution of $50 million towards the connection and committed that the province will cost-share the project.

“A strong relationship with the federal government is necessary to foster prosperity for our province and today’s announcement is an example of what can be achieved through strategic and positive negotiations,” said the Premier. “The existing cables are no longer able to meet our energy needs; a new connection will provide electricity security, help foster economic development and protect Islanders against the risk of the existing connection reaching the end of its lifespan.”

Premier MacLauchlan will meet with federal officials in Ottawa on Monday where he will discuss the advancement of the project, which is anticipated to begin by the fall of 2016.

Work is underway within the provincial government to move the project forward. Provincial funding information and additional details on the project will be announced soon.

Islanders will have the opportunity to learn more about the project and ask questions about the project during consultations that will take place prior to the start of the work. The project will be subject to a robust environmental impact assessment.

The existing connection of two 100 MW lines is almost 40 years old and beyond the design of its operating life. With significant increased electricity demand since their installation in 1977, the two cables are unable to supply all of the Island’s electricity requirements during periods of high demand.

This exposes Islanders to significant risk should one or both of the lines break or reach the end of their lifespan as the province wouldn’t have enough electricity to meet the demands of Islanders, which would cause power rates to increase significantly.

A new connection of 360 MW will provide electricity security and allow for future growth. The additional capacity will provide the province more flexibility for power purchase agreements, allowing larger purchases of electricity when prices are favourable.

“Today’s announcement is a significant step in securing our province’s energy future and ensuring we have the capacity to support growth,” said the Premier. “We will continue to work cooperatively with the federal government to achieve the best possible results for Islanders.”

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Media Contact: Brad Chatfield
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