19 June 2009

Meanwhile across the border…

The Government of Quebec is advancing plans to develop the Petit Mecatina river, according to a government news release issued Thursday. The project feasibility study is expected this year.

Media reports in early June indicated that the project had been modified to involve two generating stations from the original four.  This would accelerate the development but it is unclear if the other stations could be developed subsequently in order to maximise the power flow.  The headwaters of the river are in Labrador.

The La Romaine project recently received the go ahead.  Both are part of a plan to make Quebec the key source of hydro-electric power in North America. Some 4500 megawatts of power are expected to flow from a series of new projects started by Hydro-Quebec in its 2006-2010 plan.

The La Romaine project caused a political stir in Newfoundland and Labrador over claims by some in the province that the project would lead to a re-drawing of the border between the two provinces and that the La Romaine would adversely affect portions of Labrador.

While it initially dismissed concerns, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador submitted a brief to the environmental panel detailing its concerns.