26 February 2015

Nova Scotia won’t get Muskrat Falls electricity #nlpoli

As part of its deal with Nalcor,  Emera will get its electricity from Bay d’Espoir, not Muskrat Falls. 

The Business Post’s March 2015 edition reported that confirmation of the arrangement came from Emera Newfoundland and Labrador chief executive Rick Janega following a speech to the St. John’s Board of Trade on February 23. Janega took the view, though, that the company will get power from whatever source of generation was operating at the time.

As the Business Post reported, the “deal between Nalcor and Emera is not specifically to supply Nova Scotia with Muskrat Falls power, but
rather to supply the equivalent of 20 per cent of Muskrat’s generating capacity from any source.”

The line from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia terminates at the Bay d’Espoir complex.  Electricity from Muskrat Falls will travel to a point just west of St. John’s. In order to receive electricity from Labrador,  Emera would have to convert the electricity from direct current to alternating current, ship it back along the island’s alternating current grid, then back to direct current to travel along the Maritime Link. 

That’s inefficient to be sure.  As noted here previously, the arrangement also reflects the way the Nova Scotia portion of the Muskrat Falls development was a last-minute side deal.  The main Nalcor concept in 2010 was to transmit Labrador power to the island and force domestic consumers to pay for the whole thing. 

Consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will pay for the entire Muskrat Falls project through their electricity rates.  Emera will receive a basic block of electricity at no charge. The company can buy additional electricity from Nalcor at market rates, which are currently far below the price consumers in Newfoundland and Labrador will pay.