In December 2005 The PEI Renewable Energy Act and associated Regulations came into effect. This Act requires utilities to acquire at least 15 percent of the electrical energy that they sell from renewable sources beginning in 2010 and each year thereafter.
Maritime Electric has met the 15% requirement by purchasing wind generation from on-Island wind farms. Purchase of additional wind generation is planned beginning in 2012.
Also, Maritime Electric completed construction of an 85 km transmission line in 2009 to connect the 99MW West Cape Wind Farm to the grid. Most of the output from this wind farm is sold off-Island.
Maritime Electric supports the development of Prince Edward Island’s wind resource and its integration into the overall energy supply in a timely and consistent manner. Wind powered energy continues to play a valuable role in the long-term energy supply planning process and will contribute to the reduction in fossil fuel generation.
A Government policy objective incorporated in the Renewable Energy Act was the introduction of net metering for small capacity renewable energy generators up to 100 kW in size. Since the late 1970’s Maritime Electric had allowed the connection of small generators powered by renewable energy sources to its system.
The major change under net metering is that now the customer is credited at the retail price for energy supplied to the utility that is surplus to his load at the time, up to a maximum of what the customer can use during the following 12 months during times when his load is greater than his generation. Previously Maritime Electric had paid the customer the wholesale price for surplus generation supplied to the grid. Government’s intent in introducing net metering is to assist customers who want to supply a portion, or all, of their annual electricity load from their own small capacity renewable energy generator.