Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board effectively “REJECTS” Maritime Link Project as proposed by Emera and Nalcor!

MEDIA RELEASE, July 23, 2013

For Immediate Release: July 23, 2013

Yesterday’s release of the NSUARB report on the Maritime Link Project was touted by Nalcor’s Ed Martin as a WIN; as a POSITIVE; as an APPROVAL ; of the Maritime Link Project.  This is MISLEADING!

The Board imposed a condition on their approval that will be very difficult for Nalcor to comply with!

The Board’s exact wording is as follows:

 “Accordingly, the Board directs as a condition to its approval of the ML Projet that NSPML obtain from Nalcor the right to access Nalcor Market-pried Energy (consistent with the assumptions in the Application as noted in NSUARB IR-37 and Figure 4-4 when needed to economically serve NSPI and its ratepayers; or provide some other arrangement to ensure access to Market-priced energy.” (bolding emphasis added)

And the very last paragraph in their report:

 “This is a simple remedy to the fundamental risk underlying NSPML’s Application for approval of the ML Project. If no such condition was imposed, the Board would fail in its regulatory oversignt by approving an application that could potentially be commercially disadvantageous to NS ratepayers.” (emphasis added)

Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, Inc. believes there are only 4 possible scenarios with which Nalcor, Mr. Martin  and the Newfoundland Government can proceed!

 1.  Comply with the order of the Board and provide an “enforceable covenant” or contract to provide the surplus power used in the application to oust other alternatives. (ratepayers in Newfoundland are then on the hook for approximately 3 times the cheap power originally proposed, and for 35 YEARS (180% of the Nova Scotia BLOCK  @ 5.5cents to 8.7 cents up to 2039) By Nalcor’s own documentation however,  they won’t  have the amount of power they would have to commit  and would have to hurriedly build expensive new generation on the Island to add to the power from Muskrat Falls in order to provide their commitment!

 2. Refuse to sign an “enforceable covenant”.  In that case, the Maritime Link won’t happen, nor  will the Federal Loan Guarantee, effectively creating a situation where Nalcor, if they continue on their current path of destruction  on the Grand River,  would have to spill water for approximately 60% of the energy from the Muskrat Falls Project, effectively building the entire project simply for Island use, or 40% of its total capacity!

 3. Sell excess power from Muskrat Falls to the mining companies in Labrador! However, those mining companies would likely extract a very low price from Nalcor since Hydro Quebec ‘s CHEAP power (4 -5 cents KWh) is even closer than Churchill Falls,  plus,  add the  cost of transmission lines to get the power to the mining sites, all of which effectively puts the ratepayers in Newfoundland on the hook again!


 4. Do the only environmentally and economically sensible thing and “cut the losses”, spend what it takes to put the Muskrat Falls site back as close to its original condition as possible and SHUT DOWN this INSANE, IMPERALISTIC PROJECT!  Better to lose $700 million than $5 BILLION!

Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, Inc. challenges  Ed Martin, Nalcor and the Newfoundland Government  to  “do what’s right for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador” as Mr. Martin stated yesterday in his press conference!  SHUT DOWN THIS INSANE PROJECT! NOW!

For further information contact:

Roberta Frampton Benefiel,

Vice President, Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, Inc.

709-896-4164 or cell 709-987-9414



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