Nalcor CEO Stan
Marshall has finally provided the update on the Muskrat Falls project that Ed
Martin wouldn’t or couldn’t. He reset the schedule, estimated project costs at
$11.4 billion, and advised that we should get ready for electricity rates of
21.4 cents per KWh, roughly double what they are now.

billion and 21.4 cents are frightening numbers. They must be laid against a
deficit exceeding $2 billion annually, declining GDP, and the reality that we are
already paying some of the highest taxes in Canada — all of which is made worse
by a shrinking population.

I don’t know
if the public really understands the threat the province faces, or if they
derive any comfort from a weak Premier stating that he won’t let the province
go bankrupt. I hope the public and Premier Ball understand that words, alone,
won’t solve this crisis.

Worrisome, too,
is that we have heard little more from Stan Marshall than his disturbing

Marshall has
changed the tone around the Muskrat issue. He even concurred with the view that
Muskrat Falls is a “boondoggle”. To some it is just a silly word. But no one
should laugh. 

“Boondoggle” implies willful, intentional, deliberate, reckless,
wanton, capricious, malicious misconduct. Pick your choice. Google the word
yourself. You will find no flattering definitions.

The new
CEO’s comment is tantamount to an institutional admission of dishonesty.   

In his words,
the project failed “to reflect costs and obligations”; it was “too large” for
the province’s demand requirements; the “capital cost estimates were really
aggressive and optimistic”; “false assumptions” were employed. The project was
held up by “false underpinnings”. The CEO stated “there were clearly more
affordable options”.

Marshall’s words
constitute a damning indictment of successive Tory Governments and of Nalcor’s
senior personnel.

Yet Marshall
has made no changes at Nalcor; not in consequence of this troubling (but not
surprising) conclusion, or due to the massive cost overruns which have occurred.

How are we
to have confidence in him that the incredulous figure of $11.4 billion will not
be exceeded? Why should anyone take the figures seriously when the project is
being run by the same senior management, by the same project management, and by
the same group of contractors, too?

Stan Marshall
has some explaining to do on that account and others.

Marshall omitted reference to several key issues with financial

The financial impact of a loss in the Quebec Superior
Court of Hydro Quebec’s challenge to the Upper Churchill Renewal Agreement. The
Agreement (to which Hydro Quebec refused to sign on) has major implications for
the Water Management Agreement (WMA) which sets up an energy bank to exchange
power with the Upper Churchill to compensate for periods when Muskrat can’t
meet demand. Muskrat has a tiny reservoir and is therefore described as a “run
of river” facility.
No reference was made to the integrity or the
stability of the North Spur which constitutes two-thirds of the dam structure. Nor
did Marshall appoint an international panel of experts to review geotechnical
conditions and to assess Nalcor’s remediation plan for the Spur.
No reference was made to major Quality Assurance
problems on the project. The recent blow-out of a large concrete form, and
manufacturing of flawed transmission cables, are only the most recent examples.
Design Engineer Baffled By Extent Of Muskrat TL Flaw Reported by CBC)

Each of those issues could be a project killer.

To have concluded that Muskrat must proceed, without exhibiting a
detailed quantitative assessment of the option, suggests that Marshall is not
without his own set of blinkers.

If he wants us to trust him, Marshall will have to provide transparency regarding
his decisions.

Finally, there is little comfort to be found in Stan Marshall’s claim that
he is “trying to minimize the capital costs” of the project and is “attempting
to identify other opportunities to bring down” the anticipated rate of 21.4
cents per KWh for Muskrat power.

On the surface, that seems laudable. But the public would be foolish if
it failed to realize that nothing is for free.

We should be concerned what Stan Marshall has been authorized to trade
in order to reduce the financial burden. We need to know the public policy
implications, short and long term.

One can expect Nalcor not to pay the Government dividends or even the interest
on the debt raised for Muskrat.  The
fiction, of course, is that the savings to ratepayers will be suffered by taxpayers
— as if they can be distinguished. For that bit of fiction, you can expect
fewer services and reduced program funding in aid of a “boondoggle”.

If Stan Marshall taps the Federal Government — as he proposes, ostensibly
for additional loan guarantees — then the debt of an already heavily indebted
province will be compounded.

Marshall says he is meeting with Emera of Nova Scotia and Hydro Quebec.
Talk won’t be cheap with either of those entities, as history has shown.

Hence, we need to know what the implications of any proposal are, before
new ink is applied to any agreement. Whether the trade-off is the Upper
Churchill Contract (it had better not be!), the sale of equity in Muskrat, or
any increase in the public debt, the public has a right to know first, not

Stan Marshall undoubtedly has the best of intentions. But don’t assume
that he will give public policy issues the same weight that you will.

And his estimate of $11.4 billion is not a cap. It’s just another
estimate derived by a group of people who consistently underestimate their own

Unless Stan Marshall begins to describe fundamental changes taking place
under his watch, my  suggestion is: don’t
throw away those calculators just yet!  
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.


If a Big Mac costs McDonalds $10 to produce and it is sold for $1.50, McDonalds will go out of business. They would not declare a profit!


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.


  1. My Good God how much more bad news and back-breaking debt can we, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, put up with on this boondoggle of a contract? The statements made in this article that says "We should be concerned what Stan Marshall has been authorized to trade in order to reduce the financial burden. We need to know the public policy implications, short and long term." Now who is going to answer that question? I, personally, am not sure that we have anything left to trade-off since every natural resource that has been developed in Newfoundland and Labrador was sent off to percolate industries and population growth in the other parts of Canada and the World. And, YES, we need to know what Stan Marshall has been authorized to trade, if anything! I am sick to death of having to put up with the CORRUPTION that goes on in governments and industries that hurts the 99 per-centers of the World's population who are barely hanging on to ekeing out a living.

    • "We should be concerned what Stan Marshall has been authorized to trade in order to reduce the financial burden. We need to know the public policy implications, short and long term." ABSOLUTELY.

      I asked both government and Nalcor about a month or so ago for a copy of Stan Marshall's mandate letter(Marshall has public said several times what is NOT in his mandate), so I want to know what IS in his mandate. We all know that Marshall has already misled the public by saying that he would do a "full review" —- still waiting for what is in his mandate and for his promised "full review". Maurice Adams, Paradise

    • You are right, there is little left to barter…..save for the bones of Nalcor! Who will step up to pick the bones of Nalor? You have "Clowns to the left of you jokers on the right" and you are stuck in the middle between Emera and Hydro Quebec. They have already given Emera part of the transmission, if NL loses the water rights suit look out.

    • If you were to make a list of what Stan Marshall has and what he needs, there is exactly one potential (albeit controversial) partner.

      What Nalcor has
      1 overpriced, problematic half-built generating plant
      1 2,000 MW hydro site ready to build
      65.8% of CF(L)Co

      What Nalcor needs
      extra equity ($2B) to "finish strong"
      experienced project management help
      reduce the cost of domestic power
      reduce risk for NL rate/tax payers
      a way to save face

      I'm not saying a deal will happen, but I'm sure Marshall has made a list similar to the one above.

  2. The fact that gilbert bennett is still on this project, after the damming evaluation by the new CEO is very perplexing.

    Maybe gilbert privately stated his opposition to continuing to spend moeny and martin told him to continue? Seems very odd

    If i was marshall bennett would be done

    If i was bennet i would have resigned with such a public critique by my new boss.

    Very very odd

  3. Wallace, Danny Williams had the biggest majority for Premier in Newfoundland and Labrador's history. I don't know if anyone who marked an X for him knew he was going to create the messy and financially back-breaking Muskrat Falls Contract to saddle our province and its citizens with such a humongous burden of debt. And I am sure nobody would have thought that the Conservative Government would have had the GALL to enact Bill 29 to cover up matters that have been detrimental to our province's Financial health and its future. If the citizens had known he would not have gotten elected.

    • Yes, and I was stunned enough to feel we'd finally be on safe ground with a businessman finally in charge. Gawd, was I wrong! I felt the same way about Stan Marshall taking into account proven track record. But I said to myself: Hold on! Wait and see. What I see is I was sensible not to jump aboard the Stan Marshall shuttle bus especially since his confession The Rat will go ahead at all costs. Those costs include his confirmation of Gil Bennett and the rest of his clueless retinue at Nalcor.

  4. The 3 Amigo agreement to share Canada's (renewable) hydro power for continental conversion from fossil fuel generation, represents the future of hydro development in Quebec and Labrador. The five Quebec river development impasse, resulting from the very one sided Privy Council boundary line is the root cause of the emotional wrangling for almost 100 years.
    Would it not be in Continental America/ Canada and Labrador's interest to start negotiations to transfer the white elephant project to the stronger financial manager of northern hydro development (Hydro Quebec), and rationalize the better transmission grid solution?

  5. Keep your calculators handy indeed if the MF debacle continues without oversight, competent management and the political smokescreen of secrecy, lies and spin to hide government incompetence.

    Now that much is out in the open about the dysfunction MF must be stopped now….before NL goes bankrupt. Time to stop making excuses and demand transparency (and accountability) now!

    Your health care budget will be slashed as will more services to the elderly and infirm. Your new penitentiary will never be built, Tuition increases will put university out of the reach of all but the 1%. Your youth and future tax base will flee when NL needs them to stay and grow the province.

    The justifiable rage that is the outcome of the reality donning on all who "trusted" MF was needed and in the hands of the competent must be focused into effective action.

    The future of NL depends on it.

  6. Our Health Minister (Telegram story) says we have very poor health results and spending on health must be cut further……this is obvious with no limits on Muskrat Falls spending. Spending cuts on everything for decades to come it seems.

  7. Just a question. If (when?) the North Spur collapses, would the whole project be null and void based on the principle of impossibility of performance of the contract? I'm not a lawyer. Just asking.

  8. Talk about livin' the lie…

    My God, the idiots can't even update their own website. Check out these few scribbles from the Nalcor website on the Muskrat Falls Project.

    "More than $1.9 billion in benefits for labour and business in NL." Well, these will be the most expensive jobs and business opportunities in anyone's history. We are trading a cost of $11.4 billion for a benefit of $1.9 billion. Have I missed out on some 'new math'?

    "Once the project is in operation, the development of Muskrat Falls will mean:
    Long-term stable electricity rates for generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians
    Lowest-cost power for homes and businesses
    An end to dependence on oil and unstable electricity prices‎‎"

    "Stable rates"! Bloody hell, these guys aren't even the least bit sure that the 'new' price will be only 21.4 cents per KWh.

    "Lowest-cost power"! For whom? Nova Scotia? It sure as hell won't be for NLers. Ever. In fact, get ready for the price to increase long before Muskrat comes on line. Nalcor has totally lost the plot.

    "end to dependence of unstable electricity rates"! There will be nothing 'stable' about the rates. You can fully expect to have total instability. Guaranteed. Oil is looking damn cheap now.

    This project is total madness. Is it possible for Nalcor to get any more stupid? At the very least, have the smallest modicum of decency and remove the rubbish from your own website. How much more insulting to NLers can this company get?

  9. We must demand that Bill 29 be repealed. I suspect there are many ghosts hidden from view under that Bill. For instance I suspect there are many active and past active politicians, possibly Prime Ministers, Premiers, MPs, And MHAs from all parties who are holding contracts worth millions of dollars on the Muskrat Falls contract that are costing the taxpayers of Newfoundland and Labrador dearly. Why else would the architects of the Muskrat Falls contract have ordered Bill 29 to be enacted?

  10. Stupid decisions 100 years ago put us on the path to Beaumont Hamel. As a poor country we borrowed millions from from Britain to pay for our own Regiment. We paid in blood, and Britain wanted also wanted the war loans repaid. This, along with the Nfld Railroad, which was always a financial burden, helped bankrupt us by 1934, with the dole as a way of life for 15 years.
    This month, 100 years later, we are again on a path of financial ruin, where all services and our economy must suffer, with no end in sight. That we have wasted 6 billion is not sufficient, 11.4 and more is the new benchmark. And with that, then to try and convince consumers not to conserve electricity, even at double the present cost. We are expected do our patriotic duty, it seems, to buy it at any price, as any reduction and prices go even higher. Voodoo economics, that sounds good to Wade Locke, Danny Williams, Feehan, Ball, Bennett,…….,and even now Stan Marshall. And at last polling, even 54 percent of the population. Makes one wonder…..

  11. NL current per capita debt is $27,782 and on the rise. Fed per capita debt is $17,995 and rising. Cost of muskrat power to consumers was quoted at 16 cents by Gilbert Bennett, and now Stan Marshall says 22 cents. Where will it stop? Consumption will decline which will add to this cost.

  12. Newfoundland and Labrador came into Canada in 1949 with the finest and most coveted mother lode of natural resources that could be found in any place on earth. There were the coveted Fish, rich Iron Ore, Nickel Ore, Zinc, Gold other minerals, great Hydro Electric potential which was developed into the largest Hydro Electric Energy Project in the World at the time, the Upper Churchill in 1969, there were large Oil reserves, etc. and the best geographic strategic location in Canada, with a land mass 3 times the size of the 3 Canadian Maritime provinces combined. Also it brought to Canada hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of Atlantic Ocean Waters and the Air Space above, from all of which the Canadian Nation gained the tremendous propulsion to propel itself into the distinction of being the G7 Nation out of the 21 Great Economic Global Nations that were formed. Despite the wonderful endowment of natural resources and great location, the province of Newfoundland and Labrador languished economically while most of the other provinces of Canada flourished on NL's natural resource base. Can somebody please explain, given we were part of the so-called greatest Nation on earth, Canada, for 67 Years and the fact our province was loaded with the greatest natural resource base and the greatest location, why Newfoundland and Labrador failed to flourish economically? The Stars were certainly aligned and we should have gone gang busters economically, but something catastrophic must have happened? There is nothing in the DNA of our resources and location that should have stopped our province from becoming the richest province in Canada, also while enriching the other provinces. What was it I wonder? Is there anyone out there with some explanation?

    • Today, if you ckeck it out , our GDP per person for Nfld is considerably higher than Nova Scotia. I was surprised at that, and if you ask the question, most would assume otherwise. The reason, it seems is the volume of natural resources:iron ore,hydro power (Churchill Falls), fish, oil, nickel that is extracted by Nflders and put onto the world market. So why with a high GDP are we in such financial trouble….. and at present it is Muskrat Falls, yet another resource being paid for by Nflders for export essentially free of charge. By far the worse scheme yet.
      We have a long history of corruption by politicians and business leaders here who have not hesitated to fleece the public by misinformation, and a quiet population too willing to believe in those so called saviours. We rant and we roar much too little. A hundred citizens gathered to protest the Secrecy Act, Bill 29. We were fooled with the Muskrat scheme by the simple assertion that it was the least cost, when only 2 options were really assessed ( power systems can comprise a dozen styles of generation sources, and even reduced generation through efficiency, which was not and still not properly assessed as least cost). Ratepayers were too little engaged. That centre of higher learning, MUN, full of experts, could do no better than than give us the world class opinion of Wade Locke. Where was the engineering analysis and assessments by MUN experts to counter Locke. We now build a 400 million Core Science building at MUN… is this justified given their silence on the boondoggle of Muskrat. Where was the evidence based research, and where is it now, on these issues.
      MUN…. a memorial legacy from our blood from WW1, a war for Empire, intended to elevate our knowledge, education and understanding…. that was to enlighten the generations that followed…… a failure I suggest to achieve its objective. Freedom, they say was the cause of the need to fight WW1. How many of the MUN leaders and staff stood against Bill 29, designed to limit freedom, and how many did research or produced evidence based papers and opinons to expose the false assumptions of Muskrat Falls.
      Just listened to Ed Roberts on VOCM, use the words `celebrate` (before correcting himself) the Beaumont Hamel event today, saying every Nflder`s thought are on the courage and gallantry displayed on July 1 ,1916. Does gallantry describe this event and these men (boys mostly). And not one medal awarded for gallantry. Robert`s words, spoken like a true Lt. Governor, a suckhole to royalty and the cause of Empire, as it was. I am sickened by those who brush over the slaughter and loss by the use of a few carefully chosen words: gallantry, best of the best, elite fighting force….. And so they continue the justification of what happened, why we are where we are today.
      As President Obama said, last year, of the South, that still wants to fly the rebel flag, and the few crazy people who still want to kill the black citizens….. the rebels fought with courage, yes, but the cause was wrong. The cause for the South was to keep slavery. The British cause, for WW1 And WW2 was Empire, and we were part of it. The cause was wrong. The justification was without merit. Our young men died for no good reason. The elite and certain businesses prosper on the backs of the poor who are misled and misinformed.
      My rant… on this memorable day.
      On the documentary last night. it shows a Nflder writing in his diary during WW1… “we have a new commander,Hadow, a real son of a bitch, he hates us all, and the feeling is mutual“ (words as I best recall them). Hadow`s great grandchildren are here to present Hadow`w medal to the the Nfld Regiment at the Rooms. I trust the words of that Nflder about Hadow will be displayed next to them. A Hadow family endowment scholarship fund to MUN could have a positive impact on the result of Hadow`s order to go over the top. But I guess we are expected to appreciate his medals more.
      Winston Adams. Logy Bay.

    • A timely and well put rant Winston.

      I was flabbergasted that so few of us decried the passing of Bill 29. The implication–total secrecy about Muskrat Falls–could only imply corruption and impropriety. We now know it also masked massive project management failure. We are still in the dark about the propriety of the contracts signed. Another SNC Lavalin exec was charged with fraud and bribery this week over a Montreal bridge. Why is there not a universal demand to see the contracts? Are NL residents going to yet again march into machine gun fire without questioning the sanity of the orders?

      Yes the compliance and deafening silence from Memorial is disgusting. You had a bleating demagogue threatening anyone who questioned the emperor's vision. We are now witnessing the damage an obnoxious demagogue can do south of the border.

      In NL it led to the most stupid hydro project ever conceived. For saying so I have been attacked, sued and marginalized. Now Emperor Danny is silent, nowhere to be seen, no bleating or braggadocio about his legacy project.

      Time to rise up if your future or your children matter.

  13. Anonymous 1 July 2016 at 9:46. Thanks for your reply! I am going to agree with every thing you had to say and I will quote some of what you had to say in your own words. """Today, if you check it out , our GDP per person for Nfld is considerably higher than Nova Scotia. I was surprised at that, and if you ask the question, most would assume otherwise. The reason, it seems is the volume of natural resources:iron ore,hydro power (Churchill Falls), fish, oil, nickel that is extracted by Nflders and put onto the world market. So why with a high GDP are we in such financial trouble….. and at present it is Muskrat Falls, yet another resource being paid for by Nflders for export essentially free of charge. By far the worse scheme yet."""

    There are many fallacies out there on Newfoundland and Labrador and they cover anything from the GDP per person of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, you quoted, to the weather. Canadians think we are a bald rock with with bad weather in the Middle of the Atlantic Ocean, when we are a forested land just 11 miles of Labradors southern coast and 90 miles off the eastern coast of Nova Scotia, besides when you take the weather into consideration our overall weather is pretty good compared to some places in Canada. Many Canadians think we are void of natural resources when we were the most naturally resource endowed piece of Real Estate in the World with one of the best locations. I don't blame the lack of knowledge on the ordinary Canadian though, since that is the image that has been projected by the 331 MPs and their Prime Minister over the past 67 years of NL being a province. Ottawa wanted NL's natural and human resources to migrate to the Centre of Canada to create industries and population bases and it didn't take much to sway the 7 MPs from Newfoundland and Labrador and the 48 MHAs from our province to do what 330 MPs Ottawa MPs desired to create a vibrant country that attained the G7 distinction. They knew where they had to place their allegiance to keep their own personal economies percolating.

  14. First I must say that Mr. Marshall in all of the speeches and comments he has made to date that I have listened to comees across as credible and genuine.

    Unfortunately for the Province of Newfoundland that does not mean that this story Muskrat Falls will end well or even within the time frame and cost estimates that Mr. Marshall is suggesting.

    Point of fact there has been to date no actual physical audit of the work completed to date. People on site have been recently fired for not repeating the party line of 40% completion. KPGM did a financial audit, not a physical construction audit of work completed to date.This is pure folly.

    It is clear that Mr. Marshall is well in over his head on Muskrat Falls. The blame for his appointment lies clearly with the new Premier in not recognizing that Mr. Marshall, with his personal contacts and their long term experiences at Fortis never undertook on a hydro project like Muskrat. Ball should have seriously looked out side Newfoundland on this one.

    The simple fact is that it was a huge mistake to take the project over from SNC Lavlain and self perform (perfail) with a largely incompetent senior Nalcor team. Now to continue with this team led by Bennett and the same senior managers is frightening. The large majority of these individuals do not have the experience or resume to even rate an interview for their positions.The nucleus did off shore projects with imperial Oil, not even an analogous scope. In project vernacular they were mostly handed those positions not on merit but to fulfill "local content" requirements.

    The two year Nalcor pre-qualification of an international contractor Astaldi who had no cold weather or union experience says it all. Astaldi should have been thrown off the job site or significantly de-scoped. There is still time for this. Unfortunately the lawyers will have a field day.

    I will stop ranting here and make two serious suggestions to Mr. Marshall if he is serious and listening.

    1. Immediately conduct an independent physical audit of actual completed work to date to reconcile your completion date and cost estimates.

    2. Immediately transition and replace the Nalcor team largely in its entirety with a competent EPCM. At this moment in the writers opinion only Hatch (Acres) or SNC Lavalin would measure up to this task. Put them in separate rooms and negotiate rates and their top project people. Empower them and give them decision making ability.

    Failure to do this will most certainly result in extended time and increased costs above what Mr. Marshall is currently predicting.

    A concerned individual.

    Can't resist a post script. Trudeau during Obama's visit speculated about Canada increasing export of hydro power from BC and NL to the US. Is he nuts? How do Canadians feel about subsidizing the USA by exporting excess power for a few pennies that cost us 21 cents a kwhr. Unfortunately Muskrat, Site C, Keeyask in MB and the nuclear rebuilds in ON all suffer similar incompetencies. We will have to relocate to a trailer in North Florida when Trump gets elected.

    • You are correct about the folly of sending subsidized hydro to the US. In NL that subsidy will be paid by helpless rate/taxpayers on the hook for the MF disaster.

      Indigenous lives and culture are irrelevant…yet again.

      This is the face of the new energy colonialism, ready to exploit helpless and hapless weak cousins. This wholesale export of power at less than the cost of production must be stopped. Large scale hydro is neither clean or green. Most NE states until recently recognized that and did not include hydro in their renewable portfolio standards. That seems to be changing to exploit cheap hydro.

  15. It is small consolation that the "naysayers" are finally being listened to and given some of the respect they deserve….when it appears that the project will not be stopped despite the inconclusive final cost and the very high likelihood of fiscal disaster, possibly bankruptcy.

    Nobody, me included, would welcome the pain that abandoning this project would entail….but are we prepared for the much greater pain to come if it is pushed through to completion?

  16. thank you for the very real & honest information that we would never get from any of our elected politicians i urge you to continue publishing information for our benifit but as a 16 yr retiree my pension cannot stand the pressure being put on it by this & previous governments. thank you.

    • Ed. Nasty. I totally agree with you, the information provided in this blog serves very well to educate the citizens who receive it and, of course, who take the time to read it. And, like you say, our family's 15 year old single private pension received by our retired household that was cut 30 per cent once the old age pension came into effect will be eaten up by all the increases imposed upon us by previous and the present government. We have had bad governance, our natural resources were given to other jurisdictions to survive and our province has been devastated from the bad, sometime corrupt, decisions made by those who governed us.

  17. My comment of June 30, at 23:49,(I had forgot to put my name to this comment), stated that Feehan was among those who failed to include conservation as a alternative to MF. I recall hesitating to include Feehan, but did so. My view is that Feehan did not appreciate the extent of the value of conservation, as to the power of efficiency to counter energy use and peak demand growth. He had mentioned conservation as behind, in priority,the need for more island generation and wind generation.
    More island generation identified amounted to about 80 MW. Our wind is about 2 percent at present, at 54 MW. Wind could be 10 percent according to MHI report, so we could add another 110 MW. And wind is only 43 percent capacity on average, so on a real cold but calm winter night,there may be no wind generation available to offset the peak load.
    Efficiency on the other hand, from heat pumps for heating our houses and commercial and institutional buildings, and reducing hot water heating, can reduce these major energy uses by about 60 percent and peak demand by some 600 MW, a third of all our peak load.
    This does not include other reductions possible by improvements in insulation, windows, air sealing, waste water recovery, and reduced transmission losses.
    This approach has been taken by many jurisdictions and requires a constant, steady and sufficient investment into energy efficiency. One must tackle the large end-use of electricity:baseboard heaters especially, which use 3 times more energy than efficient heating systems. And in particular, an examination of our climate will show we have a much better climate for this technology that most of the Atlantic provinces or many parts of the NE USA, thanks to the Ocean effect giving us milder winter temperatures.
    I would not expect Feehan to appreciate the importance of these efficiency technologies, but he is capable of assessing the economic potential, the size of the investments needed,and the success of other jurisdictions with this approach, and an explanation of why we have not embarked on a serious Efficiency Program.
    Feehan, If I recall suggested a high increase in rates to curb electricity demand. Efficiency programs require a very modest increase in rates that is then offset by lower power bills from a lower electricity use needed. Is effect, NOT a need for sweaters or reduced thermostat setting or night set back on thermostats.
    Feehan has also proposed a levy on electricity to pay for MF before it comes on stream.
    I believe Feeham would have had a much better proposal if he had understood and promoted the value of efficiency to a least cost option. And we cannot stop the progress of efficiency, only slow it by not promoting it. I did not mean to lump Feehan with the others, but just wish he had studied and commented more on this aspect of conservation.
    Winston Adams

    • JOKES FROM THE ROCK 3 July 2016 at 1410

      I Want to know where every damn dime went as well! I have a feeling a few Billion will be misplaced somewhere else other than in the Muskrat Falls Contract and we, the mostly poor taxpayers and hydro consumers, will be paying off something we didn't get any benefit from for six decades or more.

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