Vol. 10 (2018)

NB Power 1967–72: Constructing the Export Dream

Andrew G. Secord
St. Thomas University

Published 2018-11-01

How to Cite

Secord, A. G. (2018). NB Power 1967–72: Constructing the Export Dream. Journal of New Brunswick Studies / Revue d’études Sur Le Nouveau-Brunswick, 10. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/JNBS/article/view/28715


This study examines the origins of the export-led strategy of the New Brunswick Electric Power Commission (NBEPC) beginning in the late 1960s, a period when NBEPC integrated its planning with American markets to a greater extent than other Canadian electrical utilities. Utilizing archival records of NBEPC and of several federal and provincial government departments, the research documents strategic choices made by NBEPC managers as they attempted to take advantage of markets in New England to deal with limits to their organizational growth within New Brunswick. The result was a shift from NBEPC’s power-for-industry strategy of the 1950s to a power-for-export strategy by the early 1970s. The research emphasizes the power of the state enterprise managers to control the policy formation process, a capacity that originated in the 1950s. While NBEPC executives were driven by their theories of the technical benefits of terconnections and associated economies of scale, the osts were the adverse implications for air quality, federal regional policy, and provincial taxation policy.