02 September 2014

Nalcor and the Eff In Way #nlpoli

Over at Uncle Gnarley,  JM’s at it again with the first of a two-parter on Nalcor and its problems with forecasting for Muskrat Falls.

Nalcor assumed that they would get 830 megawatts of electricity out of Muskrat Falls in the winter months when demand is highest.  That’s the number they gave everyone else and, as you can tell by the language Nalcor uses, it was an assumption, not a solid forecast.  Now they say they should be able to get 673 MW at Soldier;s Pond from Muskrat Falls.  That’s a difference of 157 MW, not an inconsiderable difference.


Nalcor doesn’t explain why they revised their assumption downward.  We can’t say for sure what they cocked up, either, but we can make a bit of a guess. JM seems to suggest that Nalcor didn’t take the Nova Scotia block into consideration, even though everyone seems to have believed they did.

Whatever the reason, we have yet another example of the problem that analyst Tom Adams said Nalcor would face in winter trying to feed Nova Scotia and the provincial need at the same time.  When Adams first raised the issue,  Nalcor launched a personal attack on Adams.  Turns out he has been vindicated yet again in his criticism.  Nalcor hasn’t issued a public apology and no one should hold their breath waiting for Ed martin and the rest of his arrogant leadership team to fess up that they’d eff’ed up repeatedly.

They have though.

Eff’ed up a lot.

There are a couple of other points JM adds that we need to investigate lest we find that Nalcor has buggered things up yet again.  First, Nalcor’s analysis forecasts the import of 300 MW of electricity from sources outside the province that are completely unidentified.  We know nothing about it except that Nalcor plans to import it.  Second, given the evident need for thermal generation at Holyrood not previously forecast for this project,  we need to k now the cost implications for that.

These things all tie together neatly,  by the way.  A chunk of that 300 MW that we have to import – and pay full price for, plus profit – could obviously be offset by the electricity that Nalcor has to send to Emera for free. It seems rather silly, actually, to spend billions on a plant to make electricity, then send a pile of the electricity out of the province for no return, only to have to turn around and import twice as much as that  that we have to pay for in order to meet local needs.

Silly, it is. 

What’s sillier is the idea some people still have that Nalcor has a cunning plan and Muskrat Falls makes sense.

There’s no way it makes sense, but Nalcor seems bound to put an eff in it anyway.