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NEWS: Energy Commission releases its report on electricity in PEI

In early-January, the Prince Edward Island Energy Commission released its report on the province’s electricity systems. The Commission recommended that the PEI Energy Corporation (meaning the province) should assume ownership of energy generation facilities currently owned and operated by Maritime Electric (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a Newfoundland-based international electric utility holding company). The Commission also appeared to support community-based wind and other renewable energy projects.

That said, the Commission also recommended that Maritime Electric continue as PEI’s primary electric utility and distribution system.

In February 2012, the PEI Energy Commission held public hearings on the management of energy in the province in Charlottetown. The Guardian reported at that time, “Leo Broderick from the Council of Canadians called on the commission to recommend the provincial government take over full ownership and operation of Maritime Electric and all energy utilities and wind farms in the province. With multinational companies in control of most of these assets, Islanders continue to pay high energy prices and in doing so, support mainly non-renewable energy initiatives, Broderick said.”

The provincial NDP had also hoped that the Commission would go further in backing the potential for community-based renewable energy. Their media release commenting on the report notes, “The Commission report discusses community-based renewable energy innovations such as small wind turbines on farms and at municipal facilities and commercial establishments, but only advocates further studies.”

For a previous campaign blog on this issue, please see http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13709. To read the CBC News report on the Energy Commission’s report, go to http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2013/01/04/pei-energy-commission-report-584.html. A Guardian news article on the report is at http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2013-01-04/article-3150415/UPDATE%3A-Energy-body-urges-power-play-on-electricity/1.