Summerside Electric applies to build $3.3M power line

SUMMERSIDE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND - Summerside's electric utility has applied to Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission to build a transmission line that would bring power from an undersea cable into the city.

Summerside's electric utility has applied to Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission to build a transmission line that would bring power from an undersea cable into the city.

The utility said building its own 20-km, high-voltage line for $3.3 million would be cheaper than continuing to pay Maritime Electric to use its lines.

Most of the electricity Summerside customers use comes from New Brunswick Power.

To get electricity into the city from a substation in Bedeque, about 14 kilometres southeast of Summerside, the utility has to pay Maritime Electric to rent space on its transmission lines.

The Summerside utility says its 6,700 customers pay up to $100 a year each to Maritime Electric, a cost the new line could cut in half.

"The best result for the city of Summerside is obviously to control it own destiny as far as costs," said Greg Gaudet, director of municipal services for the city. "So, I think one of the best outcomes would be for the City of Summerside to be able to construct it, so we would know exactly what our costs will be, you know, for the next 30 years for the transmission of energy."

Having its own transmission line would also allow the utility to export energy from its new wind farm more cheaply, said Gaudet.

The utility has secured a public right-of-way to string the wires along, although an environmental assessment and public input still need to take place.

IRAC has to approve the plan first. The commission will hold a public hearing on the request October 28.



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