22 October 2012

Hydro’s Problem Questions #nlpoli

As the Telegram reported on Saturday, the Public Utilities Board has suspended consideration of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro’s 2013 capital works application.

The company is having trouble answering a couple of questions.

Here are the ones that are causing problems.

The first one:

PUB-NLH-1 Please provide an updated Generation Planning Issues report.

According to a letter sent to interveners in the application process by the board’s secretary, “Hydro is unable to provide a filing timeframe for the response to PUB-NLH-1.”

This seems a little odd since the planning issues report is a core document.  Here’s a slide from the company’s 2012 presentation to the board as part of the Muskrat Falls process:


The GPI report turns up prominently in background material on the Lower Churchill project on the provincial government’s website:

The [Generation Planning Issues] report signals that a generation planning decision must be made by the end of 2010 if the appropriate planning, approvals and construction can take place to meet anticipated demand. Hydro has evaluated all practical supply options for generation sources to meet the Island’s long-term electricity needs and it has determined that Muskrat Falls, with a transmission link to the Island, provides the least cost and most environmentally-friendly solution to meet this need.

The most recent report Nalcor submitted to the PUB is dated July 2010.  It accompanied the Nalcor submission to the PUB review. Kathy Dunderdale once referred to it as a strategy, but it isn’t.  It does what the Nalcor people say it does:  identify issues that need to be address.  It doesn’t recommend how to address them, which is what a strategy would do.

Here’s Hydro’s reply to the Telegram:

"We are working on this report now and will submit it to the board once it is complete. There is one additional (request) outstanding which we are reviewing as well," a representative for Hydro stated, responding to questions from The Telegram Friday.

"There is enough time in our process and timeline to accommodate the additional work we're completing.," the Hydro representative said.