Letter to the Editor: Electrical Discussion must be public
Regarding the application by Maritime Electric (MECL) to purchase a $68 million diesel generator :
unless the Island Regulatory Appeals Commission (IRAC) posts another delay, the period for public comments to IRAC on MECL’s application ends September 15th. Also, the deadline for comments on MECL’s proposal for reducing the peak electrical demand is presently set for September 30th.
Besides the information in MECL’s application (which is of limited value since MECL has vested interests to promote), IRAC will have only received a few comments on the 2 applications and a quick consultant’s report on the first one- not sufficient input to rule on those MECL proposals that we and others consider inappropriate.
Surely there are better solutions for PEI’s electricity system than spending $68 million on a diesel generator that is to be used only a few days per year.
Since these important IRAC decisions will have a major effect on our PEI economy for many years, it is imperative that IRAC hold extensive public hearings to gather meaningful information and input from many more sources, so all the alternatives can be properly considered.
Those sources would include independent scientists and the general public, as well as engineers and officials of utilities elsewhere that are using innovative solutions such as electrical energy storage and time-of-use rate discounts.
Those public hearings should also be used to clear up any misconceptions held by the citizens and ratepayers of PEI on how IRAC determines rates, and other decisions regarding. MECL.
We look forward to well-publicized, informative public hearings, and a good public education campaign, on the future of electricity policy on PEI.
Tony Reddin, ECO-P.E.I. Energy Project Coordinator