As reported in the St. John’s Telegram on September 6th 2012, “Based on Hydro’s current load forecasts, peak demand in Nain and Hopedale’s diesel plants will surpass available supply this winter”. Energy security issues in Nunatsiavut have reached a critical state. Energy capacity limitations and the high cost of diesel have been limiting community development decisions and economic growth in the region for a number of years. In addition to capacity limitations, the frequency and duration of power outages in the region far surpass averages for isolated diesel generating stations in the province. Beyond causing general inconveniences, these disruptions in service present safety concerns in winter for homes relying on electric heat.
We are working towards a regional energy strategy under the umbrella of the Sustainable Communities Initiative that will ensure energy and other community development strategies, including those related to housing, are compatible. Specifically, our goals are to:
- Project the short and medium term energy demand trends and requirements in Nunatsiavut;
- Document the impacts of diesel power reliance and supply constraints on social conditions in Nunatsiavut, the environment, economic activity and economic development;
- Identify options for energy demand reductions, enhanced productivity of diesel systems and energy distribution systems, peak shaving, improved demand-side energy efficiency, and renewable energy over the short and medium term; and,
- Prepare a Nunatsiavut Energy Security Plan through negotiations between government and partner organizations with the ultimate aim of putting the plan into action and securing adequate capital and capacity for implementation.