The Nova Scotia UARB has just completed
hearings to review the Nalcor/Emera deal on the Maritime Link. That Agency is determining whether NL has committed enough “surplus” or “market-priced” power to Nova
Scotia on terms that will allow it to approve the Link as the lowest cost option. The UARB outlined its conditions in a July 22, 2013 Decision.
version told in NL.
Let me give you three examples of serious inconsistencies
that have arisen in testimony presented to the NS UARB:
key plank in the Government’s argument as to why Muskrat Falls Project is
needed is what it describes as ‘uncertainty’ relating to the Upper Churchill
Contract in 2041. Stated the
guaranteeing the availability of supply from Churchill Falls in 2041 because it
is difficult to determine the environmental and policy frameworks that will be
in place 30+ years out.”
Province released two Papers for the purpose of bolstering its position,
including Upper Churchill: Can We Wait Until 2041?”
is not feasible to defer Muskrat Falls under the assumption that the province
will have cheap or free power in 2041,” the Telegram quoted Jerome Kennedy upon
the Release. “Waiting for available Upper Churchill power in 2041 is not a
practical, economical, or sensible alternative to Muskrat Falls” the Minister
Nova Scotia, based upon testimony presented to the UARB, the
Boards Advisors MPA Morrison Park states following its review of Emera’s
Submission (which is prepared in consultation with Nalcor): “the Board
concluded that it is reasonable to expect access to Market-priced Energy after
2041 (because of the substantial amount of power that will be available
to Nalcor after the expiry of its Churchill Falls Contract with Hydro Quebec)….”
Page 1 Report to UARB MPA Morrison Park Advisors Inc.,
Review and Consideration of Energy Access Agreement…..).
words “substantial amount of power that will be available…” contains none of the reservations about which we have been warned in this Province.
- The Minister of Natural
Resources Derrick Dalley stated in the House of Assembly on Wednesday Nov.
13, 2013: (Hansard)
variance with how Nalcor’s commitments are viewed by UARB Advisors and by
based upon the representations of Nalcor VP Paul Humphries on how the company
manages it renewable energy, even if Nalcor has to resort to fossil fuels to
meet its obligations under the new Emera Deal “the commitment of 1.2 TWh per
year on average will still apply”. (Page
5-6 MPA Morrison Park)
Hearings stated that “Even absent any
surplus firm energy, Nalcor is confident that the average 1.2 TWh will be
available and together with Emera has committed to do so.”
Government says ‘we can recall it anytime’. Which is the right answer?
(More on this issue on Monday).
Falls is estimated to generate 824 MW of power.
states in its 2009 Water Management Agreement Application to the PUB Nalcor
states that without a working Water Management Agreement, Nalcor would be
approximately 170 MW of continuous delivery. Nalcor stated: it would have to “chase the
Asked about water management in the Maritime Link Technical Conference
Scotia, Mr. Humphries of Nalcor, responded:
Actually, water management will not materially impact the firm to average
questioner, a Mr. Rathle pressed him again: “So the firm output of Muskrat
Falls with and without water management is the same”.
From an energy perspective, yes.”
exactly a technical answer to such a precise and important question. But you don’t
need to be an energy expect to figure out if the water is damned in the
Smallwood reservoir (above Churchill Falls), in the months of January, February and March, when
electricity demand in the Province (and in Nova Scotia) is highest, the electrons
are certainly not running through the transmission lines on the Labrador Link. 170 MW of firm power is a far cry from 824 MW. The amount will generate barely the capacity needed just for the Nova Scotia Block.
will have little damn capacity. If the water is flowing down river in July and August for example, when NL’s
demand is low, it will either be spilled or the electricity it generates
will be sold on the spot market for 3-5 cents per KWh.
which Mr. Rathle raised is very real.
Nalcor told the PUB how serious the problem was, in the absence of a
Water Management Agreement, back in 2011.
It was evidence given under oath.
anyone can see, they are all serious
inconsistencies. They demonstrate a divergent
pattern of information and evidence over which we, in this Province, should be
concerned. Billions of our dollars are at stake.
tribunals, like the PUB, are able dissect and ferret the truth from witnesses under oath and cross examination. They speak to
why independent review and analysis of projects, like Muskrat, are
The Premier will again permit Ed Martin to say, yes.
The question is this: If the Natural Resources Minister feels unfettered by the truth can say that the ‘surplus’ power can be recalled “…at any time…” knowing, as he does, that Nalcor has given Nova Scotia a legal undertaking to supply the power, what inconsistent truth will be used next time to give the Government cover and assure us Mr. Younger’s demands were denied?