New Brunswick’s Department of Energy retained the services of Synapse Energy to map out the province’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which will require, through legislation, that a certain percentage of annual electricity supply comes from renewable energy.Frederiction, Canada – June 8, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Energy Minister Bruce Fitch said establishing the renewable standards will go a long way toward helping the environment and developing cleaner methods of producing electricity for New Brunswick. “As a government we must do all we can to encourage renewable generation for the years ahead,” Fitch said. “We are already encouraged that NB Power, for example, has put out a request for proposals for wind-generated electricity. This is a trend that will grow and be required in the years ahead.” The Electricity Market Design Committee was a multi-stakeholder group that included 16 members from large industries, environment groups, municipal and provincial utilities, natural gas marketers and distributors. Following acceptance by the provincial government and the committee’s recommendation, the authority to regulate RPS measures was written into the new Electricity Act, that goes into effect on Oct. 1, 2004. The RPS is expected to be in place by early 2005. Synapse Energy will examine the energy sector in the province and help establish a base level or minimum requirement that would have to be adhered to by distribution utilities that sell to customers in New Brunswick. The work will identify which types of alternative energy will meet RPS requirements, which are compatible with neighboring jurisdictions, and how the plan can be implemented while taking into consideration the economic realities in the province’s energy sector. Synapse Energy, a Massachusetts-based company, is a research and consulting firm that specializes in energy, economic, and environmental issues. While wind energy is the most advanced in respect of cost competitiveness, other renewable energy forms will be eligible under the standard, such as small hydro and solar.