Reduction in GHG emissions since 2005 as we transition to lower-carbon energy across Emera.
Reduction in Reduction in coal used as fuel source for generation since 2005.
(55% reduction compared to 2016 level)
(tCO2e per MWh of total sales)
Emission intensity ratio per MWh of total electricity sales.
We have a strong track record of reducing GHG emissions by investing in renewables and lower-carbon energy. Our efforts are driving results. Our GHG emissions have fallen by 16 per cent compared to 2005 levels, from 27.3 megatonnes CO2e to 22.9 megatonnes CO2e.
We understand there is no one-size-fits-all approach to reducing GHGs. The availability of renewable resources varies by location and what works in one market, may not translate to another. Instead, we develop smart, localized solutions that will benefit customers and the environment in all our different markets. Collectively, it is making a big difference.
NS Power has already reduced GHGs by 34 per cent since 2005, surpassing Canada’s target of a 30 per cent reduction by 2030. This is largely due to the addition of approximately 600 MW of wind capacity in the province of Nova Scotia over the past decade and by strategically using the thermal generation fleet to meet reliability and peak load requirements. The NS Power team has achieved this important balance by helping to shape an equivalency agreement between provincial and federal governments, enabling the province to move directly from fossil fuels to clean energy.
In Florida, we’re leveraging a mix of solar and natural gas to reduce GHGs. Solar generation reduced Tampa Electric’s CO2 emissions by 27,000 tonnes in 2017 following the completion of a 23 MW solar array near the Big Bend Power Station. More recently, Tampa Electric has begun installing an additional 600 MW of new solar energy. Once complete, Tampa Electric’s total solar generation is projected to reduce emissions by more than 700,000 tonnes per year. Meanwhile, Tampa Electric has also announced plans to modernize our Big Bend generation facility, which will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 3,000,000 tonnes.
We’re also working to reduce emissions in the Caribbean. A 10 MW solar facility at Barbados Light & Power is cutting CO2 emissions by 21,000 tonnes a year – an important step in achieving our vision for the island to be 100 per cent powered by renewable energy before 2045. Grand Bahama Power recently announced a $5M USD investment to build the island’s first solar plant. The Solar Sunrise project will generate 4.5 million kW hours of clean energy each year, cutting CO2 emissions by 1.4 per cent.
Emissions are also being cut at our natural gas utilities. The teams at Peoples Gas and New Mexico Gas have programs in place to detect and repair pipeline leaks which is helping to reduce methane emissions. Both utilities are making progress by upgrading their distribution systems, replacing old pipes and equipment at compressor stations. These efforts are producing results. For example, since 2012, Peoples Gas has reduced emissions by 22 per cent.
We recognize extreme weather is affecting our communities more frequently – and often with greater impact. We’re working to prepare our operations and our infrastructure to better withstand extreme weather conditions. We’re investing in forecasting tools and upgrading our infrastructure and processes, so our grids are stronger and more resilient when faced with a storm.
We are also collaborating on solutions for restoring energy as quickly and safely as possible following a storm. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma caused more outages than any other storm in Tampa Electric’s history. With the support of team members from Emera Utility Services, NS Power, Emera Maine and New Mexico Gas, along with other crews from outside utilities, the team restored power to over 425,000 customers - more than half of its customer base- in only seven days after the storm.
After a major windstorm hit in October 2017, Emera Maine restored service to 90,000 customers, also over half its customer base, in just seven days. Similarly, NS Power restored service to 158,000 customers affected by a severe wind storm on Christmas Day within five days – 98 per cent of those customers were restored within the first 48 hours.
In September 2017, Dominica was hit by category five Hurricane Maria. The storm impacted 95 per cent of the island’s electricity distribution system. Once it was safe, the DOMLEC team restored electricity to critical infrastructure. The team has since made substantial progress in extremely challenging circumstances, effectively restoring energy to all customers who are able to receive it. DOMLEC worked with Emera’s operating companies to put together a cross-functional response team to manage and coordinate the restoration work safely and securely.
System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) – this indicates the average duration of outages, in hours, that an average customer will experience in one year.
System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI) – this indicates how often the average customer experiences an outage of longer than 1 minute within one year.
Total number of Major Event Days (MEDs)
Across Emera, we use environmental management systems that conform to the ISO 14001 international standard. In total, we operate over 77,000 km of electrical transmission and distribution lines, as well as 48,500 km of natural gas main and service lines. When we’re building new, or maintaining existing energy infrastructure, we follow a process that is respectful of the environment by mitigating impacts on water, biodiversity and vegetation. We also make certain we involve the people who live and work near our project areas. It is part of our disciplined approach to managing environmental risk.
We avoid areas of high biodiversity and protected park areas whenever possible. To safely deliver energy to our customers, we must control the growth of trees that interfere with our power lines. We practice responsible vegetation management, nurturing compatible trees and shrubs to provide habitat and a source of food for wildlife. This work includes fostering species that are important to natural pollinators, recognizing the key role that these insects play in our ecosystem. In bird nesting season, crews look for nests, chicks and eggs and create buffer zones where nesting sites are found. Our commitment to the environment is viable in our project as well. Completed in 2017, the Maritime Link enables clean, hydroelectricity to travel between Newfoundland & Labrador and Nova Scotia.
This massive undertaking included the construction of more than 400 km of overhead transmission lines, three switchyards, two converter stations, two transition compounds, two grounding sites and two submarine cables, each measuring approximately 170 km. Not only was this mega-project delivered on time and on budget, it also met or exceeded all commitments made as part of its provincial and federal environmental approval requirements. For example, construction of the shoreline grounding facility in Nova Scotia required the creation of additional habitat in the form of rock reefs. Our team is now monitoring the rock reefs to track biodiversity, in partnership with the Eskasoni Fish & Wildlife Commission.
The New Mexico Gas team completed a 10km reroute of the Taos Mainline in order to improve safety and service reliability. The previous mainline was determined to potentially be at risk due to shifting soils, the pipe was moved to a more stable location in the roadbed of a highway that runs through a rugged canyon along the Rio Grande. In planning the new route, the team was careful to avoid environmentally sensitive areas, and during construction, the pipeline was built in phases to ensure minimal disruption and faster restoration of the project area.
Building a Better GIS
To assist in restoration efforts in Dominica after Hurricane Maria, the Barbados Light & Power team developed a mobile app to assess damage and feed the data to DOMLEC’s Geographical Information System (GIS), which enables crews to respond even faster to future outages. Meanwhile, in 2017, the team at New Mexico Gas Company upgraded its GIS system to include information on sensitive species, habitats and culturally protected resources.
Fuelling a Cleaner Fleet
When the City of Orlando wanted to lower the environmental impact of its fleet of refuse-collection vehicles, People Gas worked with the city to install a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling station designed to fill up to 46 vehicles simultaneously and at a special Natural Gas Vehicle Service rate. This rate allows Peoples Gas to design, construct, own and maintain CNG stations as well as deliver natural gas to the station for vehicle refueling.
Nurturing Coral and Coastlines
The Florida Aquarium is ensuring a sustainable future for tropical reefs at its Coral Ark Nursery. The nursery is part of the aquarium’s Centre for Conservation, a 20 acre campus in Apollo Beach, donated by Tampa Electric. The team is caring for local corals that are declining due to pollution, ecosystem changes and increasing storm damage. Tampa Electric is also helping to nurture onshore coastal habitats in and around Apollo Beach, restoring and maintaining 100 acres of critical coastal habitat to date through efforts including revegetation. Partners in the restoration work included the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, Tampa Bay Estuary Program and the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
In 2017, the team at Emera Maine were pleased to see that local ospreys in Aroostook County had settled into new, safer nesting areas, close to their previous homes. In the spring, returning ospreys used the nesting platforms installed by Emera Maine as part of an effort to relocate the birds’ homes away from transmission towers. Similar avian protection programs are run by our teams at NS Power and Tampa Electric.