FREDERICTON -- The leader of New Brunswick's Green party says municipalities and First Nations should be able to buy renewable power from locally owned companies.

David Coon says NB Power's monopoly over the electricity market is holding back development of a renewable energy industry.

His comments come following a tour of the province to discuss renewable energy.

When the legislature resumes later this month, Coon says he plans to table a bill to amend the Electricity Act.

Three municipalities that operate their own utilities -- Saint John, Perth-Andover and Edmundston -- are permitted to buy local renewable power from private producers within their city limits.

Coon says every other municipality is at a disadvantage, unable to buy wind, solar or hydroelectric power from anyone other than Crown-owned NB Power.

"New Brunswick is the Alberta of wind energy with world-class wind regimes," Coon said.

"New Brunswick has the best potential for solar production in the Maritimes, with southwestern New Brunswick and the Chaleur region particularly rich in solar resources."