16 October 2011

Cheap power for Nova Scotians #nlpoli

No, this is not about the official policy of both the Conservatives and new Democratic Parties in Newfoundland and labrador, although both parties have that as their major energy goal in the near future.

Rather, it’s a report in the Chronicle Herald this weekend that a coalition of environmental groups in Nova Scotia wants Nova Scotia Power to buy cheap power from Hydro-Quebec so the province can stop burning coal sooner rather than later.

"Quebec power is immediately available and the Newfoundland and Labrador project is an idea," Neal Livingston with Black River Hydro Ltd. said Friday, referring to the Muskrat Falls megaproject.

Because Quebec hydro is readily available, it’s "an opportunity for Nova Scotia to get off coal burning quickly," he said.

The story quotes independent energy analyst Tom Adams.  regular readers will recognise his name.  Adams said that HQ’s average revenue from exports to the US this past summer was 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour.  The average American wholesale price was 4.9 cents a kilowatt hour.

Electricity is cheap, in other words, Hydro-Quebec has more than enough and – as the story notes, HQ could wheel the power to Nova Scotia through New Brunswick.

The Nova Scotians also raised the need for an independent review in Nova Scotia of the Muskrat falls project:

Brendan Vogel with the Ecology Action Centre echoed her concerns, saying the province needs an independent analysis of the Lower Churchill Falls development, which includes the Muskrat Falls project.

"We need an arms-length analysis that thoroughly scrutinizes the benefits of the Churchill project for ratepayers," he said. "The cost-effectiveness of this project needs to be weighed against the other options on the table."

- srbp -