QUEST, the national non-government organization that works to accelerate adoption of efficient, community-scale energy systems in Canada, says New Brunswick is at the forefront of energy innovation and has an opportunity to shape the utility of the future.

QUEST executives Cheryl Ratchford and Eddie Oldfield say New Brunswick is setting an impressive pace in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, pointing out it has exceeded its target of 40 percent of electricity from renewables by 2020 and is continuing to work on forward-looking initiatives for the green economy.

In a recent commentary, the QUEST executives say the provincial Crown utility, NB Power, has forged collaborations with industry and post-secondary institutions to advance such programs as smart grid, smart habits and smart solutions.

The desire to innovate has led the utility to partner with NS Power and Siemens on a $92-million, four-year, federally funded research initiative called Smart Grid Atlantic, with three Smart Energy Community projects to take place in N.B.

QUEST also likes what it sees at Saint John Energy, which is embarking on an array of innovations from a world-first on energy storage to a large-scale wind farm that will power about 15 per cent of the city.

The local energy company partnered with Natural Forces to bring a $60-million wind farm project to the city to save it up to $5-million a year in energy purchasing costs and it engaged with Tesla to install the world’s first utility-scale Megapack battery that will help balance energy demand and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“These are companies that are demonstrating a commitment to developing energy solutions for the future right here in N.B.”

In New Brunswick, there are more than 50 communities implementing community energy and emissions reduction plans, including measures to improve efficiency in buildings and vehicle fleets and harnessing local renewable or waste-to-energy opportunities.

“This has the potential to create local economic development opportunities and reduce energy costs, while reducing GHG emissions,” state the QUEST executives.