New Brunswick: Clean electricity snapshot

Overview of electricity in New Brunswick

In New Brunswick, a mix of electricity generation is powering the province’s grid with nuclear being the largest followed by hydropower. While New Brunswick relies on some fossil fuels for electricity generation, the province is taking steps to move to a non-emitting grid. Two companies in New Brunswick are developing advanced small modular nuclear reactor technologies which can help the province to achieve a net-zero grid by 2035 and could also reuse existing spent nuclear fuel, creating a smaller environmental footprint.  

A non-emitting electricity grid can have several benefits

In addition to cleaner air and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, a non-emitting electricity grid can provide several benefits:

Long description

Figure 1: Percentage of electricity sources by type
Natural gas: 12%
Wind, tidal, and solar: 8%
Hydro: 23%
Coal: 10%
Nuclear: 41%
Other: 6%
Total Generation: 11.7 Terawatt hours

Economic opportunities and key projects

Following the historic investments made in Budget 2023, the Government of Canada has now committed over $40 billion to support the clean electricity sector, including with below-market financing through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, grants and contributions such as the Smart Renewables and Electrification Pathways Program, and a new Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit. These investments being made alongside the Clean Electricity Regulations will help drive significant economic opportunities in the province through the construction of new power sources and retrofitting of existing plants.

New Brunswick is part of a pan-Canadian approach to developing and deploying small modular reactors (SMR), which will bring well-paying jobs and business growth to the province. New Brunswick is prioritizing SMR technology as a potential non-emitting technology and energy export opportunity.

Over 400 homeowners in Shediac, New Brunswick have partnered with the Shediac Smart Energy Community Project to test energy technologies like solar panels, battery storage, and smart thermostats. Shediac also features a community solar farm and battery storage, and New Brunswick’s first two net-zero commercial buildings.

New Brunswick Community College offers a two-year energy systems technologist diploma. Graduates with training in renewable resources and sustainable energy solutions are expected to be in demand as Atlantic Canada moves to a net-zero grid.

Keeping electricity affordable

The Government of Canada is supporting households with their energy switching, through home retrofit programs, zero-emission vehicles purchase incentives and more, to help Canadians save on their energy bills.

Over $40 billion in new Government of Canada measures across Canada to meet the growing demand for clean electricity can minimize future cost impact being passed down to New Brunswickers.

New Brunswickers that make the switch to a heat pump or an electric/hybrid vehicle come out even further ahead since they will pay less in pollution pricing but still receive the full Climate Action Incentive Payment to help with their energy bills.

NB Power’s Total Home Energy Savings program offers incentives for equipment such as insulation, space heating, water heating, air sealing, solar panels, and more to reduce energy use in the home.

Today, an average homeowner who switches from oil to cold-climate heat pumps to heat their homes would save between $1,500 and $4,700 per year on home energy bills.

NB Power also has the Enhanced Energy Savings program to help upgrade homes needing energy efficiency upgrades for homeowners with a gross household income of under $70,000.

There are also energy incentive programs for new homebuilders, such as the New Home Energy Savings program, and for retrofitting commercial buildings to be more energy efficient, such as the Commercial Buildings Retrofit program.

Recent announcements

In October 2023, Governments of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia agreed to a Joint Policy Statement on Developing and Transmitting Clean, Reliable and Affordable Power in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, which includes collaborative work to help enable the phase-out of coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 and achieve net-zero electricity by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050. In support of the 2030 timeline the governments agreed to collaborate on moving forward with the Salisbury, NB, to Onslow, NS, reliability intertie, connecting Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  

As part of the October 2023 joint Canada-NS-NB announcement, the Government of Canada is providing:

In May 2022, the Government of Canada announced nearly $50 million to support the Burchill Wind Energy Project in partnership with the Neqotkuk Wolastoqiyik First Nation and Natural Forces renewables company in New Brunswick to produce 42 MW of renewable energy with a battery energy storage system of 10 MW / 20 MWh.

In September 2023, Pabineau First Nations Chief Terry Richardson announced that the North Shore Mi’kmaq Council and its seven member First Nation communities are investing $3 million in two Saint-John-based companies, Moltex Energy and ARC Clean Energy, that are developing advanced small modular reactor (SMR) technologies through equity agreements to purchase shares in the companies.

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