On January 11, 2017, Emera Inc. offered an electrifying opportunity for renewable energy developers to potentially access the New England Renewable Energy market: it initiated a solicitation process seeking energy it will bundle with transmission capacity on its proposed Atlantic Link transmission project to bid “clean energy” into the New England market. This new renewable energy opportunity is yet another in the wave of projects lighting up the East Coast’s renewable energy world. In December 2016, the Province of Nova Scotia released draft regulations to establish the Solar for Community Buildings Pilot Program, expected to launch in early 2017. And in October 2016, a Nova Scotia court cleared the way for the deployment of certain test tidal devices in Nova Scotia’s Minas Basin.
Things are moving quickly, so developers interested in pursuing this new opportunity must act immediately. Here are the answers to five key questions about the opportunity the Atlantic Link Project offers renewable energy developers.
It’s a subsea cable energy transmission project that Nova Scotia headquartered Emera Inc. proposes to develop to move clean energy from Atlantic Canada to New England. Emera describes the Atlantic Link Project as, “a proposed high voltage direct current (HVdc) transmission line that will deliver 900 megawatts (MW) of clean energy from Atlantic Canada directly to Massachusetts. The project will provide the Commonwealth, and the New England electricity system, long-term access to renewable energy at stable prices”.
It’s expected that a significant RFP will be issued early in 2017 for the procurement of clean energy in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Emera has stated it intends to respond to this RFP with a two-component bid:
The Atlantic Link will transmit the energy from New Brunswick to Mass., but Emera needs to procure the energy that it will transmit via the Atlantic Link – and the provision of this energy represents opportunities for renewable energy developers and new clean energy projects in Atlantic Canada. To satisfy the need for this energy, on January 11, 2017, Emera issued a “notice of energy solicitation” to parties “willing to offer energy for purposes of establishing a bundled offer into the Massachusetts RFP”.
The Mass. RFP will seek “clean energy generation”. The Mass. law mandating the RFP (“An act to promote energy diversity”) requires distribution companies to “jointly and competitively solicit proposals for clean energy generation”, defined to include certain types of:
Emera’s project website sets out the considerations it will apply to evaluate and rank the energy proposals:
Emera has retained a third party, Power Advisory LLC, as an independent administrator of its solicitation process.
Clean energy developers that want to produce clean energy to be “bundled” with the Atlantic Link must take a number of steps – and things are moving quickly, so developers interested in pursuing this opportunity must act immediately:
To discuss this or any other legal issue, contact Michael Simms or David MacDougall of the Renewable Energy Team @ McInnes Cooper. Read more McInnes Cooper Legal Publications and subscribe to receive those relevant to your business.
McInnes Cooper prepared this article for information; it is not legal advice. Consult McInnes Cooper before acting on it. McInnes Cooper excludes all liability for anything contained in or any use of this article. © McInnes Cooper, 2017. All rights reserved.
About the authors:
David MacDougall is an Energy & Natural Resources lawyer whose practice focuses on regulatory and administrative matters. He contributes to energy policy development throughout Atlantic Canada and is extensively involved in renewable project development, particularly hydro and wind projects. You can reach David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Simms leads McInnes Cooper’s Energy & Natural Resources Team. Mike has extensive commercial and regulatory experience in energy, natural resources and environmental matters. He has worked on numerous complex energy (including renewable energy) and natural resources projects. You can reach Mike at email@example.com.
Elizabeth McIsaac is a member of the Energy & Natural Resources Team @ McInnes Cooper. With an educational background in chemistry, earth sciences and public administration, Elizabeth has particular interest in maritime law and seabed mining. You can reach Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org.