Historic hydro pact signed between N.L., N.S.


Lower Churchill to flow past Quebec, promises decades of stable prices

Energy companies in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia will pay at least $6.2 billion to develop the Lower Churchill power project, supplying power to both provinces and potentially beyond.

CBC News - Nfld. & Labrador - Historic hydro pact signed between N.L., N.S.


The premiers of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia on Thursday announced a $6.2-billion deal to develop the Lower Churchill hydroelectric megaproject, bypassing a historical roadblock at the Quebec border.

"It's a huge milestone," Premier Danny Williams told reporters in St. John's, as he and Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter revealed a complex deal that will generate power on the Churchill River, and supply energy to both provinces and possibly beyond.

"We think this is absolutely huge," said Williams. "This project is a go."

The federal government has not yet decided on both an application to defray the cost of the underwater link and a separate request for a loan guarantee. Williams and Dexter said, however, that they are confident in obtaining favour from Ottawa.

The premiers agreed on a 35-year partnership involving Nalcor, Newfoundland and Labrador's Crown-owned energy corporation, and Halifax-based Emera Inc., parent company of Nova Scotia Power.

At its peak, about 2,700 people are expected to work on the project, which is expected to deliver power by 2016. Nalcor CEO Ed Martin said a contract for engineering and construction management is expected to be let in December.

The deal effectively allows Nalcor to generate energy for Newfoundland and sell surplus energy to new markets, and provides a consistent source of energy to Emera, which already has commercial stakes in the Maritimes and the northeastern U.S.

Both parties stand to profit from potential sales to other markets.

The deal will see a 834-megawatt plant built at Muskrat Falls in central Labrador, with a power supply of about 4.9 terawatt hours per year.

Emera will receive about 20 per cent of that energy, and in return is paying for the construction of the link........

Even though only the smaller component of the megaproject is now being built, Williams described it as monumental, and the fact that it is bypassing Quebec is of historic significance.

He said residents of his province "can let it go," referring to decades of ill feeling over a 65-year contract signed with Quebec in 1969 on the Upper Churchill megaproject, in which Quebec reaps the vast majority of revenues.......

.......Dexter plans to meet with New Brunswick Premier David Alward to discuss how the agreement would enable New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to strengthen the electricity system in the Maritimes and create jobs in Atlantic Canada.......... Continued

Well it's good to see something is coming out of this and it could be something to better unify the atlantic provinces a little better and allow this area to get a little more independent from what Ontario or Quebec does..... though there's still plenty that needs to be done around here.
Last edited by Praxius; Nov 18th, 2010 at 11:53 AM..
Watch the power bills skyrocket in NS now,get all they can before the gravey train slows down.
Quote: Originally Posted by relicView Post

Watch the power bills skyrocket in NS now,get all they can before the gravey train slows down.

Well they did already just mention NS Power is planning another 9% spike in bills for everybody, citing increase costs in fuel...... yet I thought that was the same excuse for the last 4 increases..... increased cost in fuel..... yet the funny thing is that fuel itself has been pretty steady for some time now, so that argument is total crap.

Oh well, I've got one more power bill coming my way before I leave the Province to worry about..... and that's before the rate hike, so It won't be my problem for much longer.

^ But that's what you get when you privatize Power..... people will find any excuse to hike the rates so they can get more money and very little can be done about it because it's a private-run business and they hold a monopoly over the entire province..... so you either pay what they dictate, regardless of their justifications..... or end up with no power.

Which is a real good ball twister for people when the winter comes around.
Quote: Originally Posted by PraxiusView Post

^ But that's what you get when you privatize Power..... people will find any excuse to hike the rates so they can get more money and very little can be done about it because it's a private-run business and they hold a monopoly over the entire province..... so you either pay what they dictate, regardless of their justifications..... or end up with no power.

You're partially right, and you have the relevant part in this quote. That's what happens when you privatize a crown corporation with a monopoly. Competition on the market would be good, but our taxes paid for NS power to build and own the transmission and distribution networks...how can anyone compete with Emera like that? The benefit of this deal though is that the rate can't go up from fuel costs when there are no fuel costs...
Related News:

Parties tiptoe around subsea cable
Liberals, Tories wishy-washy; NDP, Bloc have decided
Parties tiptoe around subsea cable - Canada - TheChronicleHerald.ca (external - login to view)

OTTAWA — The federal Conservatives and Liberals look to be stuck between the Rock and a hard place on the question of whether Ottawa should provide funding for a $1.2-billion subsea electricity line from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia.

The other parties have taken clear positions: the NDP supports funding the link, saying the federal government should fund green energy projects, and the Bloc Quebecois opposes it, pointing out that Hydro Quebec has not received federal money for its transmission lines.

But even as Premier Darrell Dexter and Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams announced the plan to build a subsea cable to move hydro power from Labrador to Nova Scotia, Quebec Premier Jean Charest was vowing to vigorously oppose any federal funding.

And Nathalie Normandeau, his natural resources minister, told Quebec reporters that federal Natural Resources Minister Christian Paradis, a fellow Quebecer, had assured her there was "no question" of the federal government funding the project.

Later, though, Paradis stood in the House of Commons to say that PPP Canada, a $1.2-billion Crown corporation established to fund public-private partnerships, would consider the provinces’ application for $375 million. Nalcor Energy is also seeking a federal loan guarantee.

A senior Conservative source says Defence Minister Peter MacKay is pushing the project behind the scenes.

"He’s driving the whole concept of the Atlantic energy corridor hard," said the source. "He sees the value in that from an economic self-reliance perspective, from an environmental perspective, and it’s fair to say most of his ministerial colleagues are supportive."

But a spokesman for federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty would only say that they’ll consider it.

"We’ve received a request for a loan guarantee and will review," said Chisholm Pothier on Wednesday. "There was also an application made to PPP Canada for funding of the subsea line. PPP Canada is an independent Crown corporation that operates in an objective, arm’s length manner. They review all applications on a merit basis and we do not comment on applications under review."

PPP Canada also doesn’t comment on projects under review.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said Wednesday that Ottawa shouldn’t fund the subsea line, because Hydro Quebec never received federal money for its lines to American markets.

"We don’t mind that they’re doing that," he said. "That’s their right to do so. But they shouldn’t ask Ottawa to pay for that since they didn’t pay for Hydro Quebec."

NDP Leader Jack Layton said his party supports the project, so long as similar projects across the country are funded.

"We have always favoured the implementation, and the federal financing role, in a green energy grid across the country, and we would invite all parts of the country to bring forward projects that can contribute to delivering sustainable energy from one place to the other," he said.

The Liberals, like the Conservatives, aren’t saying whether they think it should be funded. "I think the name of the game, today, is keep our powder dry," said Denis Coderre, Liberal natural resources critic and a Quebecer.

"We’ve got to be vigilant. I’m going to take a look at it. At the same time, first it’s between two provinces and I’m going to let them discuss it among themselves, but secondly we have to be sensitive to all our neighbours. Mr. Charest himself said we should be compensated, but we’re not there yet."

Even the Liberal finance critic, Kings Hants MP Scott Brison, wouldn’t be pinned down.

"It’s hard to ask us whether we approve of this or not when we haven’t seen a proposal," he said.

Brison acknowledged the Liberals are stuck between three provinces that don’t agree.

"I would think the Conservatives would have a similar challenge," he said.

Donald Savoie, an expert on regional development at the Universite de Moncton, says Ottawa should step up with its chequebook to support a project that could make a real contribution toward regional self sufficiency.

"When it came to economic development, they much prefer sending us transfer payments because it doesn’t threaten Ontario and Quebec’s economic interests," he said. "To me, it’s a test. Are the feds interested in promoting self-sustaining economic development or do the feds want us to continue relying on transfer payments? That’s the test."

Good points.... minus the points from Quebec.

They continually stick to the argument that the federal government never helped fund their projects..... but I have yet to hear any of them make any claims towards actually asking for funds in the first place.

If they didn't, then they have no room to bitch..... if they did and were rejected, then they should be compensated, but not stop other provinces from getting help to fund projects such at this one..... that's just childish and petty.

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