The NB Power/Hydro-Quebec MOU clearly states that New Brunswick retains full control over its energy policy and its industrial policy. I take that to mean what is stated. However, upon reading Nova Scotia’s concerns once again in the media, I now understand their concerns. They aren’t worried about FERC rules or any EUB issues. They want to know if they (i.e. NL, NS, PEI) will be able to string another parallel electricity system through New Brunswick if required – and bypass Hydro-Quebec’s newly purchased system. I may be wrong but here is the salient piece in the article:
Nova Scotia Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks said just that earlier last week — it wasn’t enough. Estabrooks reiterated Nova Scotia wants a written document they can point to before the sale is completed in March. He said they also want a written commitment of a new energy corridor through the province.
It seems to me that a new energy corridor is a euphemism for the ability to by-pass HQ. Based on my reading of the MOU that would be allowed but I suspect that it would be very costly. I also suspect that the final conctract outlining the sale of NB Power will limit this opportunity. I would think that one of HQ’s reasons to buy NB Power would be to earn the revenue from transmitting Lower Churchill or PEI wind power or whatever to New England. And Graham is going to great lengths to ensure that power can travel through New Brunswick under FERC. That’s not what they want.
Am I wrong on this? I don’t particularly care one way or the other. New Brunswick’s primary interest must be its own domestic market (just like the Atlantic Accord in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland). The interests of other provinces will need to be a secondary consideration. That’s common sense.