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.