V-P Gilbert Bennett’s second response to the questions raised in two recent Articles posted on
this Blog, regarding operational issues at the Muskrat Falls Site, has been
Mr. Bennett’s reply is available on this Link.  
I acknowledge the clarity of his comments and I will be paying particular
attention to how this matter unfolds especially in relation to the Project’s
said, now that I have Mr. Bennett’s attention, perhaps he might respond to
some additional questions to which this Blogger and others have been attempting
to obtain answers.
questions relate especially to the Province’s ability to avoid ‘black-outs’ in
the future.
maximum output available to the Province, in the winter months will be a
maximum of 824 MW from Muskrat Falls, in addition to the 80 MW remaining of
Recall power from the Upper Churchill. 
transmission losses are accounted for, and the deliveries to Emera are made,
the Labrador Island Link will contribute 645 MW to the island grid at Soldiers
Pond.  If Nalcor commits 80 MW to
Alderon, this will be reduced to about ~580 MW peak winter delivery at Soldiers
Pond.  Following the decommissioning
of Holyrood there will only be a net increase of about 120 MW available to the
island grid.

the Muskrat Falls hearings the Maritime Link and subsequent deliveries were
omitted from the Terms of Reference.  It
is unclear if the Muskrat Falls review included the 167 MW peak delivery to
Emera.  Let me address the following questions directly to Mr. Bennett:
you provide clarification on the following issues:
1)    What Capacity (in terms of MW)
will be available to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) at Soldiers Pond in
the months of January – May respectfully, and how does this compare to the
Strategist calculations performed by Nalcor in support of the Muskrat Falls
decision as the lowest cost option for ratepayers? 
2)    Does Nalcor’s obligations to
Emera (the peak delivery of 167 MW, or sales of any surplus energy) potentially
compromise the delivery to NLH? 
3)    What recourse (i.e. damages)
does NLH have against Nalcor in the event of non-delivery?  Would any such damages be used to offset the
rates payable by the NL rate payer? 
4)   Contractually, does Nalcor have
a priority to deliver the 167 MW to Emera, or to NLH in the event of a
shortfall in island capacity?
5)    What is the true impact in the
event that Hydro Quebec is successful in their court case in terms of peak
deliveries in the periods of Jan, February and March?  Can 900 MW be guaranteed over the Labrador
Island Link, which served as the basis of Nalcor’s analysis in support of the
Muskrat Falls sanctioning?
Is the firm winter capacity of Muskrat
as a run of the river plant 824 MW?
Can Nalcor provide a status
regarding the supply of backup power from Nova Scotia?  In the 15 legal agreements between Nalcor and
Emera, has the access and rate been agreed for this back up power?
With the departure of Premier Dunderdale
we hope a new era of transparency will unfold; one that includes the Provincial
Government and Nalcor, too.  Let’s begin
right here, right now.

Your prompt reply is anticipated.
Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?


  1. If, as Mr. Bennett states that Mr. Sullivan's comments are ill-informed, it can only be because of the iron wall of secrecy surrounding the MF Project. Nalcor has been behaving as if it is hiding behind its yet to be built dam. Now that Mr. Sullivan has his attention, we can only hope that this openness will continue. We will not be holding our breath, however.

  2. Two and a half weeks after Des wrote "Stop Being Bamboozled by Bullshit" and show Dunderdale who is boss ……Dunderdale is toast. Now we should all know that Ray Guy was most responsible for taking down Smallwood. Is not Des a student of Guy? Good work Des.
    Next target: Nalcor ., Martin and Bennett. They can ignore Des at their peril.

  3. 'Magus' Bennett is still casting spells, his memo was not a rebuttal, but a reaffirmation of his Fantasy viewed from the gold-plated solitude of the 6th floor of Hydro Place. A mantra can't protect this project from the Gnarley knuckles of the barefisted bloggers! Go get'em Des!
    Knock Bennett da F&*K OUT!