Nova Scotia regulator approves $1.5 billion Muskrat Falls hydro subsea cable

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The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s Utility and Review Board has approved a proposal to build a subsea cable to ship hydroelectricity from Muskrat Falls in Labrador to Nova Scotia.

Muskrat Falls, on the Churchill River in Labrador, is shown in a Feb., 2011 file photo.

The board was asked to decide whether constructing the cable, known as the Maritime Link, was the cheapest long-term alternative for the province’s electricity users and whether it meets requirements on the release of air pollutants.

During hearings earlier this year, consumer and small business advocates in Nova Scotia questioned whether the proposal by a subsidiary of Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA) would benefit electricity customers, who would foot the bill for the $1.5-billion project.

Opponents also doubted assertions from Emera and Premier Darrell Dexter that the project would stabilize electricity rates in the future.

But Emera has argued that Muskrat Falls would serve about 10 per cent of Nova Scotia’s power needs, bringing clean energy into the province.

Nova Scotia’s opposition parties have also voiced their objections to the proposal, saying it warranted greater scrutiny by the government.

Construction of Muskrat Falls is underway in Labrador with the $7.7-billion venture scheduled to generate power by 2017.

Organizations: Maritime Link, TSX

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Muskrat Falls, Labrador

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  • Air is Toxic
    July 22, 2013 - 12:44

    "Corrected numbers for totals" OK - access to NS share of the hydro power - 160MW = $1.5Billion (just for the link to transmit it) OR we could have built clean power renewables : 250MW Wind = $500 million 200MW Solar = $700 million (and dropping) 100MW of utility scale Batteries = $200 million (or less) (used to store excess power from wind and solar to be discharged for peak power needs) 15MW Fuel Cells = $100 million (this includes the price of hydrogen storage production equipment - the excess power of wind and solar is used to make hydrogen) Total = $1.5 Billion for up to 450 MW of wind and solar.....and the batteries and fuel cells can also supply 115 MW of power "on demand" ALL the renewables could have been built in 2 years by 2015 Tell me why we do not go full speed ahead into all renewables???....the hydro dam will only provide 160 MW to Nova Scotia.......and WE HAVE TO PAY FOR EACH KWH transmitted....SO RENEWABLES are the cheapest and cleanest direction for the future of our children.....politicians are too busy listening to the wrong consultants!

  • Bob in N.S.
    July 22, 2013 - 11:31

    Is this the straw that breaks the camel's back? I don't think so,but it's going to be close.In what kind of world does this type of deal benefit anybody but the provider? Why don't we all just go down to the mall and buy everything we want and need,then take it to the landfill. This makes as much sense as paying for the transmission line and have all the profits(they will be large)go to the power co. I say if we have to pay for it's construction we then should own it and charge the power co. to use it.