The Uncle Gnarley Blog stands by the source who provided
information regarding the welding defects Nalcor has encountered on the
Labrador-Island Transmission Link (LIL).

The existence of the defects has now been confirmed by a
second source.
The blog post entitled Faulty Towers: Nalcor’s Comedy (Of Errors),  published on Monday, reported that the problem is associated with the
welds on a component part located at the base of each tower.

The post noted that the corrective welds would have to be
galvanized to protect them from corrosion. However, the source confirmed that
those welds are not galvanized and that the repair need not be galvanized
— which corrects my own assertion on this issue.

Some of the welds (on tower stubs/shoes only) are given what
is called a ‘cold galv’ during construction. This is – more or less – a spray
paint with high zinc content, useless in my own experience, but evidently the
welds are designed such that there is enough “sacrificial” steel in the embedment
making the galv unnecessary. (It’s a small point, perhaps, but I intend to be thorough.)

The source added that field repairs to correct the defects are
“potentially appropriate
if executed properly”; the improperly executed
work having been the root cause of the problem.

For further clarification, the parts where the welds have
failed testing are located solely at the base where the tower attachment point
connects to what is generally called the “topsides” and the “underground works”.

The second Uncle Gnarley Blog source provides additional description
to the problem of the faulty towers.

The source states that “poor
field welds on the underground works (i.e. piles) and to the topsides (caps,
tower shoes, leg stubs) — (the) tower attachment point”
were found by

The sources have not differentiated the two transmission lines
in detail but the problems are thought to extend to both the LIL and the LTA
(which runs from Muskrat Falls to the Upper Churchill).

To date the inspections conducted have been of the “Non-Destructive
Testing” (NDT) variety. Discussions as to the appropriate “fix” – what one of the
sources calls “a path forward” – are still ongoing. Final decisions on just how
many of the welds are totally unacceptable have not been made but it is
expected that a high percentage of them will be found unacceptable.

That this problem is under ACTIVE review and examination by Nalcor
officials and inspectors is, in part, what makes Nalcor’s press statement,
released on Monday, incredulous.

The release stated that “there are no structural
integrity or safety issues with any of the towers.” In the House of Assembly the Minister of Natural Resources reiterated – repetitively – Nalcor’s claim. The Telegram quoted her saying: “that means there’s no cost implications, no time or schedule implications, and no safety implications”

The sheer quantity and geographical spread of
the defective welds, as well as the number of decisions still in the making –
taken together – is what makes Nalcor’s (and the Minister’s) claims laughable. 

Nalcor has a long history of deception regarding the Muskrat
Falls project. The Minister is warned that she may have been poorly briefed.

The Uncle Gnarley Blog’s second source confirms that the
problem extends to roughly 330 locations
on HVdc (direct current TL) and about 50 locations on the HVac (alternating
current TL) – all having some amount of topside welding issues

The source states that the inspection process on the towers is
not an entirely recent activity and that it has been in progress since August,
but that the size of the problem has become more apparent over the past couple
of months. A recent VOCM story reported that 3,224 towers constitute the LIL. 

The Uncle Gnarley Blog source states that verifying the welding
and getting to the locations — especially where winter access only was
constructed — is the biggest problem. The source suggests that the problem is
spread over a “pretty big area.”
“Welding quality has been a big issue on the
lines,” the source added.

Nalcor asserts that, during the handover and inspection
process, “it is not uncommon for items to be identified for the contractor to

That might normally be the case; but on a
number approaching roughly 400? When a time period of several months will be required for the repair? 

Again, the Nalcor Press Release  states “there is no cost or schedule impact (of the items identified for repair) on the transmission
project”, in other words
the repairs
are all on the contractor’s dime. Duly noted; we will want to hold Nalcor to that undertaking.

That said, it is pure fantasy for Nalcor to suggest that such
a large number of deficient tower foundations do not constitute “structural
integrity or safety issues” or that “there is no cost or schedule impact on the
transmission project,” as the Nalcor Release asserted. Its as if Nalcor management doesn’t know what is going on in the field.

Nalcor long ago
exhausted the public’s patience and their trust as the project whistles at a $12.7
billion capital cost, 17 cent per kWh power to the ratepayer, coupled with
“rate mitigation” costs exceeding $500 million annually.

Nalcor has shrouded
the Muskrat Falls project in a litany of falsifications layered with a cloud of
meaningless information dumps. Blogs like Uncle Gnarley have tried to cut
through this wall of obfuscation. Luckily some ethical sources, refusing to be
intimidated by Nalcor threats and muffling, have provided enormous help to the
Blog in shining some light on this financial, management and policy debacle.

Nalcor simply cannot
be believed, including on this issue on which two sources — not just one — have
now confirmed the extent of the problems on the LIL/LTA.

In addition, it is clear that the Minister, Siobhan
Coady, was misinformed by Nalcor and that she has shared that misinformation with the House of Assembly and the public. In parroting the ‘Nalcor line’, however, she has succeeded only in heightening the public’s fears as to the issues of safety and
Nalcor’s ability to manage quality control on the project. 
The Premier, too, might ask Nalcor why they hid the problem from the Muskrat Falls Oversight Committee, its Report to September 30, released just a few days ago, predictably affirming everything is fine on the MF project. 

Still, Coady having
accepted Nalcor’s version of the truth, must now do the only honourable
thing: she must immediately release
to the House of Assembly and to the public the “independent third-party
inspection” reports to which Nalcor lays claim.

It is time that
the public finally hears the truth from the Minister and Nalcor about those faulty towers. 
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. Siobhan Parrot should resign immediately, she is the minister responsible to we, the people, and obviously is not doing her job. She should know what is going on, and just not innocently passing along false information to the people. As UG says, nalcor can not be trusted, and that has existed from day one. And that is a fact, and known by the general public for years, so why should ms. Parrot not be aware of this. Minister Dally way back a few years ago, when asked if he read a certain report, his reply was, no, nalcor read it. Big deal. That's the kind of thinking by ministers and others responsible that got us in this mess. They should all hang their heads in shame for defrauding the province in billions of $, or do they think it is one big joke after being elected.

  2. Our politicians are embarrassing, the system is embarrassing. We the electorate put incompetent people in charge of billions of dollars, the system needs to change completely or this will continue forever. Unfortunately, our only choice is to vote out this bunch and put the bunch who got us into this mess back in power. What a shame, in a 10 year span we go from surplus to the verge of bankruptcy.

    • If you do an internet search on the educational and professional backgrounds of most of our politicians, you will find people are grossly unqualified to lead a government department. Cody for example has a degree in education from MUN and is qualified to be a teacher. If you look further at her various bios, she appears to be a master of self promotion. She lists Oxford University and University of Toronto as if she graduate from them. Most people wouldn't list prestigious universities on a resume unless they were granted degrees or diplomas from them. Taking a two week training course in how to be a corporate director is trivial. I see her as just another well connected political animal. She is totally dependent on advice from her staff but have a look at the contacts page of of the department of natural resources. Do you see any position that looks even remotely likely to be able to stand up to Nalcor or understand the issues?

      Unfortunately, almost all government of NL departments are like this. A political animal, rotating through a game of musical chairs, with an absolutely useless bunch of directors and managers who are solely concerned with being good sycophants. Beneath them are many good professionals who dare not take management positions because they'd be fired for doing their jobs in a professional manner.

  3. This is getting to be just silly. Time to go over the heads of our provincial representatives, they simply do not have the know-how to manage this in any capacity. We need to start making a loud enough noise for the feds to hear, it is quite clear no-one on a provincial level either has the will or the influence to do anything to correct this boondoggle.

    • Oct.6 IE report is now available on the Oversight Committee webpage. Based on meetings in July, it may predate the tower concern. It does mention a project risk with 1000 faulty HVDC capacitors on the LIL which has not been raised anywhere else. Warranty seems to apply but there are usually consequences of time and budget to a project when things like this happen. These occurrences also shake confidence that the infrastructure will be reliable for generations to come. Might there be massive repair bills in the not too distant future? Will future governments be faced with huge upkeep costs well beyond forecasted O&M?

    • With politicians such as who/what we have had and still have who are supposed to be looking out for the interests of NL residents, I suggest it is a given we will be faced with huge future upkeep costs. Minister Coady's rubber stamping of Nalcor's gospel that "all is OK" suggests she has not looked further than Nalcor's "all is good" contention which makes her look as being gullible.–imagine taking the word of Nalcor as being honest and forthright!!
      OR-she knows there are problems and is blatently trying to cover them up. Either way, she has proved she is incompetent to be Minister.
      Nalcor is running this province and will/has run it to the ground both morally and financially all with the blessing of incompetent Government (past and present).
      We are doomed financially whether they/we admit it or not. There is simply no way on God's earth the majority of the residents of NL can afford to pay the future electricity costs and the inevitable increase in everything else because of it. Yet we continue (me included)to do nothing. There are only a few of us on this blog who are voicing our concerns along with the brave souls in Labrador who have even gone to jail in protest and still no uproar.
      Dwight Ball's continueing support of Nalcor with all the overwhelming evidence that there's something "rotten in Denmark" is becoming more and more evident that either someone else is running the show or he has his hand in the cookie jar as well.
      I never, ever thought I would encourage my grandchildren to vacate this beautiful province which has become a cesspool of corrupt and/or incompetent politicians and businesspeople, but in all honesty I think they have no future here. Our only salvation is to declare bankruptcy and have the Feds take control. Would Danny and Dwight run their businesses like they ran/are running this province?–I think not!
      Also the brave media should be hot on Kathy Dunderdale and Tom Marshall's trail demanding what they knew and know. Their silence is deafening!

      Surprisingly, W5 and/or The 5th Estate is not investigating–
      Corruption and incompetance and coverups at the highest level abounds here and the money keeps flowing.
      Je–s Ch–st!! we're borrowing money just to pay the interest on our loans. Even the US Government can't get money without going thru Congress yet there is a blank cheque written here by incompetent imbeciles who have to answer to no one.

  4. Well, well UG seems better informed than the Minister once again. The question is was Coady lying or was she misinformed? If she is lying she needs to join the Commander on his Lost Planet, if not heads need to roll at Nalcor.

    Is Nalcor with all the lying, incompetence and secrecy beyond being held to account? Will the Libs cover up the incompetence and lack of quality control? How long will the NL government cover this up and shade Nalcor from the chumps stuck with the bill?

    • The ministers are just mouthpieces for the party. The party is just a mouthpiece for the corporations and wealthy people that support it. The answer to your questions is probably that she is being untruthful. I suspect that she has no clue and just repeats the message from her "messaging / PR" staff.

      I am a government employee and have been told by "communications" staff that when deceiving the public that they they work hard to select the least untruthful lie. Perhaps that is how they rationalize their trade.

    • A statesman is a person who can most cleverly lie to the pubic…….so the communications staff are trained in this approach…….so media cannot get to technical people who may be more honest and might spill the beans, so the truth is filters by spin doctors, who are highly paid, from out tax dollars, for telling us lies .The media owners often part of this racket.
      And it started with pretending that 500MW of average power , smaller than Bay DÈspoir, and no more power than Holyrood, is 824 MW……..once that was successful, it was all down hill to con the public. And the media is still in the dark, always yet using 824MW.
      Next came lie no 2………this was LEAST COST power.
      Lie 3………we NEEDED that power……..
      And so it kept on going, with Jerome Kennedy, saying we could sell the surplus for one dollar per kwh in Boston!
      Kennedy, a lawyer, perhaps foresaw an inquiry, and escaped and keeps his head low on this fiasco. Bad apples as our leaders. Strange how the corrupt and incompetent manage to get to the top and in control……front men and women for the wealthy elite.


  5. Most all electric hot water tanks have a sacrificial anode rod inside the tank to help protect the steel tank and extent its life. The rod, made from a different material corrodes instead of the steel tank.
    Here, it suggests that there is enough of`sacrificial steel`that it makes galvanizing unnecessary.
    This implied to me that they think that the steel is sufficiently thick that it will take a long time to rust away to weaken the structure.One must know how thick the steel is, and define the word LONG, whether 10, 20 or 100 years.
    It seems an inappropriate approach so to let pass a defect that may be a serious long term impact to these structures, and to safety and reliability.
    Perhaps someone can explain the term sacrificial steel if it means other than LET IT SLOWLY RUST and hope for the best.
    I Agree, with the UNCLE, that a zinc paint is a poor substitute for hot diffed galvanized……I have used zinc paint to try and extent the life of steel, with not not great success.
    Winston Adams

  6. Just what does the organization called NALCOR have over elected officials such that they can entice a project with no economic merits to be designed, built and operated, prevent information not only about the project itself but also prevent the spread of information about alternative and competing energy sources and then misinform the public about safety issues on construction without any repercussions, firings and stoppages which are normal in the course of any construction project and also walk away from any responsibility to the public? Such is the society we call Newfoundland and I am beginning to wonder if it is not the sanctity of the very construction industry itself that is the cause of many of our woes in that they have a too big to fail mentality or that they only answer to the high and mighty overpaid construction jobs and their esteemed employment statistics that makes them the untouchables.

    • Yes, agree with you, but would add that as part of he sanctity of the construction is too big to fail and nalcor is embedded in that industry and aided and abeit by government and the elite of the province. Or government created the Frankenstein monoster called nalcor,,and has lost control. Nalcor is free to roam the island by day or by night and reek havoc as they see fit without accountability to anyone, not even itself. They have infiltrated all aspects of our society with all boards stacked in their favour. In effect it runs the province, financially, politically and by other means. The government crated and can destroy if the have the will. And that is precisely what has to be done, they are in control of offshore oil and gas, minerals, and all hydro in the province. And not elected, so why do we need an elected government, other than to legitimize nalcor,s control.

    • Infiltrated all aspects of society with all boards stacked in their favour…….certainly MUN , APENG and others,………even Ronald McDonald House……Nalcor as a sponsor, Ronald owned by Cathy, and Cathy on the board of Nalcor, and then Minister of finance, who refused to bring in a sugar tax……….oh the poor sick children……..when was Ronald converted to the cause of nutritious food!

    • Sickening to the core..the whole lot!! They are all in this deception up to 'their eyeballs and we all know it!! When are we going to put our words into actions and stop this corruption that's going on?? We need to rally our troops NOW and put an end to what's going on in our Beautiful little province. We can't trust Gov't to do the right thing for us because they're too busy doing what they can to 'feathers their isn't nests!! Talk about DEMOCRACY!! They wouldn't know what it was if it 'Smacked them in the Bob's!!

  7. `There is enough of SACRIFICIAL STEEL in the weld to make galvanized coating unnecessary.
    The purpose of galvanize is that the zinc is sacrificed to protect the steel, as the steel is the component of the structure that has high strength and so needs to be protected from corrosion, long term.
    The term , `sacrificial steel`, suggests to me to mean that it will be allowed to rust, but that there is sufficient steel there to give it a long live before collapse.
    So, one must define LONG LIVE, whether 10 or 100 years, and to what degree the steel will be exposed to salt contamination, etc. and the rate of rust before failure.
    Seems a way to let someone off the hook for poor quality control or incompetence.
    And galv paint is indeed a poor substitute for hot dipped galvanized.
    This is the quality of material, construction, engineering and inspection that 15 billion buys!
    Perhaps some other engineer can clarify the concept of sacrificial steel, if different.
    Winston Adams

    • WA:

      The issue is that hot dip is not an option—the weld issues are between the undergrounds and the topside. Typically undergrounds are driven/screwed/drilled and topsides are field welded in place—only 2 options are cold galv or sacrificial steel.

      The concept is that the topsides and welds are several times more substantial than needed for the life expectancy—thus have a content that is sacrificial to corrosion and still meet design criteria, pretty normal practice.

      Granted, this practice in only used when iron works are field fit—in most steel works it more of an erector set type build.


    • WA:

      I don't know much of the foundations on the existing 230kV line—but would suggest that if piled foundations were used then yes.

      All the piling I have done in my career utilizes this methodology—granted the amount of quality problems on this job are higher.

      Methodology is OK, execution however….


    • I did electrical and some physical layout for 230kw substations, but as to the lines, outside my area too, but recall seeing photos of lines knocked down with ice loads, pretty heavy gauge galv steel all twisted.
      Presently considering adding propane back up heat to my house, being concerned about MF reliability.
      But can run a minisplit off a generator at much reduced fuel consumption. Prudent to have back up for a month , I fear. Years past never worried about that, but "times they are a changin"

    • The 340 structures listed are all of the welded driven/micropile foundations on the project. The 230kV had the same connection types, as the foundations were the similar. The welds were completed and then spray galved; the issue here was the welds had VT completed by a 3rd party, then Nalcor returned to complete their own UT testing on the welds and found issues. Most of the welds found to have issues had to do with porosity and thickness of the weld, and nothing to do with galvanizing, or integrity of the foundation–simply small issues that needed to be fixed for final acceptance.

      The rest of this is just noise.

  8. `Nalcor has shrouded the Muskrat Falls project in a litany of falsifications with a cloud of meaningless information dumps`…….seems like Churchill`s definition of Russia……an enigma wrapped in a mystery…….or words something like that.
    Present day Russia, under Putin, is said to be controlled by gangster capitalists, so is this too the root cause of our so called democracy here……follow the money and the lies and deceit.

    • This waving shiny objects before the electorate while the house is burning down due to your negligence and collusion with Nalcor is disgusting.

      This is absolute smoke, devoid of any content. No I have not talked about Gull Island to the feds or PQ, and never mind there is no line capacity through PQ or that the wheeling fees would cost more than the wholesale value of the power and never mind where the money for the shiny object would come from….trust me!

      Coady is diverting attention away from the three alarm blaze in the treasury. Will she be allowed to get away with it?

    • The federal low carbon fund only has a budget of 2 billion. The infrastructure bank has 35 billion to lend for revenue generating projects. I doubt we will qualify for any of it. If it was worth doing, private money would already be developing these projects. There is a reason that no company has gone ahead and used their own funds to build a causeway to Bell Island or Labrador or a something really stupid — like, say, Muskrat Falls. It also is amazing that Muskrat Falls ($12 billion and climbing) is in the same league (dollar wise) as entire federal programs – yet Newfoundland is only the size of a suburb of a major city.

    • The big issue is the upcoming expiry of permits, maybe in 2019 if Gull is not started then the EA etc must be redone.

      A second big issue most don't realize is that the current line construction doesn't have the capacity to handle Gull—that is to say if Gull were to proceed we would have to do this all over.

      Memory serves, the HVdc is 900MW and the crossing to NS is 500MW—not much space there for Gull. I would offer that there would be some 'good' intel if the HVdc line were to be twinned.


    • So given these obvious problems that many who can do basic arithmetic can determine that Gull is a non stater without a chump footing a monstrous bill for a money losing project.

      You know just the kind of projects like MF and Point Aconi that you seem to revel in being a part of. Who would put out 16 billion for Gull, ten billion for a power corridor to pay wheeling fees higher than the wholesale cost delivered to market. Why do you bring up this absurdity?

  9. A little off topic, but of interest to many readers here. I have four minisplit heads (one outdoor unit) installed. House was built in 2003. Locations are basement, dining room, living room, master bedroom. Baseboards are tuned down to 15C and don't come on any more. Heat pump is set to 22C at day and 18C at night. Savings over electric baseboard is 50%. I typically use 2500 kWh in this period, but this billing period it is 1235 kWh. I still have electric hot water so I will look at that next.

    The trick with getting good savings with mini-splits (say 40% or more) is to have enough heads so that your baseboards only turn on in remote areas like an upstairs bathroom or when bedroom doors are closed.

    Others will do this too — I see tremendous demand destruction for electricity.

    • I would be interested in your performance as it gets colder, as munti head units are generally less efficient than single head, and is a little worse as you add heads, ……the risk of overloading heads as it gets colder. Also, setback at night (more than 1 degree) is detrimental to heatpumps, as it works overtime at at less efficiency in the morning to get the temperature
      You may achieve 50 percent reduction now at this moderate temperature but much less in winter.
      Give me a call, I am in the book, to see yur performance as winter progresses. I can direct you to studies that show 2 and 3 head units are less efficient than single head, as well as mfg data………but multi head is less cost to install. i have monitored 6 heads with 3 outdoor dual head units, for a 3 level house (4000sq ft) including garage. COP ranging from 2 in blizzards and wet snow and freezing rain, to 2.75 range generally in winter, so 50 to 64 percent reduction. You can monitor your outdoor unit load with a cheap 50 dollar hand meter when cold to see if it overloads.
      Winston Adams.

    • At present, for a 1000 sq ft house with one head, for 22c inside, the unit power consumption, per my monitor is 420 watts…….so 0.4 watts per sq ft…at +2 c outdoors. It reaches about 1.5 watts in Jan per sq ft.
      you are right as to tremendous demand destruction with uptake of these.
      Rule still used for baseboards heaters is 10 watts per sq ft for winter.
      Winston Adams

    • Soooo…Nalcor "procured" a water management agreement from the PUB and Nalcor procured a protest from a subsidiary. Commander Coady tables it in the legislature and has no idea what it means!

      This is getting slapstick. I expect Groucho Marx to appear and honk Coady on the nose for the pompous routine. Pumping Gull Island and tabling this nonsense the same day is a bit much.

      This governments disconnect from reality is getting pathologic. Now they claim the spur remediation is "substantially completed". If you are going to lie, tell a big lie so you are more likely to be believed.

  10. Where is this hogwash talk about gull island, is that a diversionary tactic, it has to be and other transmission lines by ms. Parrot. Who in God,s name is going to pour more billions into such unknowns and probably unneeded expensive boondoggles. I don't hear private interprize wanting to throw away billions, we certainly can't afford it, are the Feds and Quebec silly enough to embarke on such Tom foolery, I doubt it. So the best defence of muskrat is lodcrouse talk about a bigger, better, more expensive boondoggle than muskrat, called gull. As ball says you have some gaull. Yes, I say lock 'em up, should they utter those words again.

  11. Good job Des.
    Did anyone notice the past couple of days' shift in dialogue (although not yet started according to Coady,this morning)to the feds dropping an unexpected "out", namely the possibility of the electricity corridor out of Labrador and into the Maritimes?

    Would such a eventuality benefit Newfoundland?
    Would the lines to the Island no longer be needed?
    Or the EMERA under-the-Strait-line, can it go too?
    Would we still have to pay for them?
    Can we take them down?
    Is this another sop to Quebec; trading something off for their superhighway of electricity?
    If this is a new transmission corridor that is to be in competition with the NALCOR/EMERA then it is the feds delivering one last strike at Newfoundland. If it is a way out it could mean nationalization of the NALCOR facilities and lines, yielding royalties; or, maybe nationalization and transfer to Hydro Quebec, more than likely.
    Either way, NALCOR and the players will have to take it, willingly, regardless of the amount of crow they will have to eat.
    The eating of which should be public and without any mustard pickles or doughboys.

  12. I am not so quick to dismiss the cooperation of Quebec , with the feds and Nfld and the Maritime provinces.
    1. To counter climate change, untapped Quebec and NL hydro can be very beneficial , especially for NS, NB, PEI and some for export to the USA.
    2. More hydro also allows more wind development in the long run, hydro being stable and wind needing that for stability.
    3. Gull Island is about 4 times more capacity than Muskrat
    4. There is considerable other hydro that is held up due to unresolved issues between Quebec and NL
    5. The boondoggle MF places the Feds maybe holding the bag of about 8 billion if this is not workable………which also required cooperation with HQ on the water flow.
    6. With the resources of Fortis and Emera, maybe some private input, and all Altantic provinces and Quebec and the feds in, maybe it is a win for all……especially if some redress can be achieved on the Upper Churchill.
    7. That big hydro is obsolete , as Bruno would say, seems questionable……sure there are transmission losses of about 10 percent, but that does not make it uneconomic.
    8. A regional renewable energy plan to counter climate change is essential, and if connected to a carbon tax to offset the cost may fly and meet the cost effective economic test.
    9. True……we do not need another boondoggle, but a good plan may help solve the boondoggle….just maybe………I'm all ears…….lets see the plan, and see if it pasts the smell test……as our nose is tuned in to bad odours. It just might be a big win for the feds to help start tackle climate change………..start, because so much more needs to be done on that front. And Quebec Hydro, not Nalcor must take the lead, with their expertise.
    Winston Adams

    • Much boggles the mind here. I was never against development hydro in Labrador in co operation with Quebec as I think there were mutual and fincincial benefits to both. And going it alone was the worst we could ever do, as grimes said, we were just going to shaft ourselves. But the questions I have, 1) is this the best time in our history to deal with Quebec, and I would say it is the very worst time in our history, because we go to the table with all the cards stacked in Quebec favour. They have the water rights etc, we go with a 15 $ billion albratos around our neck and probably a white elephant to boot along with the north spur, wher is it that we have any cards in our favor. 2) how do you change the fact that the going rate for hydro is around 5 cents, and to develop new hydro like gull is probably somewhere near the muskrat cost including transmission lines. 3) east west line is garbage unless it goes to Ontario, it is more like north south, and don't we already have that. From Labrador in the north to the southern boarder of Canada, like ns and nb, and maybe further south into the us. And basically that grid already exist. If you call us, nl in the east we don't need the power, and can't see us bringing more power through the maritime route, too far and expensive. But can see Ottawa trying to jury rig some type of settlement for their investment in muskrat, but not in our favor, so can only be in the interest , of ns, nb, or Quebec.

    • I imagine USA power costs are now rock bottom with shale gas, but are moving towards more renewable for climate change issues, so power rates must increase, so hydro should be more favourable going forward.
      True, we are holding few cards and an albatross with MF…..but that is long term debt issue, that perhaps some regional plan can help mitigate…….we would not need a Ed Martin type to protect our interests. The north Spur , if not stable , may be a wasted asset, but the island link has some value. Power to Ont may be of more value than to USA, but suitable transmission to various areas gives flexability , like highway links, , but right now there is little capacity between NS and NB… a bottle neck.
      Yes , one of the worst times in our history, but that is the hand dealth us by Williams, he rolled the dice. But NS needs to get off coal, Quebec would like to develop additional hydro when economic, all would like to add windand hydro for future export to USA…….if a good deal for all, it is something like the time of John McDonald, for cooperation……….and Nfld stayed out of Canada for another 80 years and went tits up in 1934……surely that was the worse time in our history, and would want to avoid a repeat. We cannot wait for 2041 for a favourable situation, I suggest.

    • Winston I am always surprised by how little basic math engineers seem capable of. How do you explain the disconnect between technical competence and simple arithmetic?

      Wind and solar (plus battery storage) as you know now comes in at 9 cents KwH and the price continues to drop. What possible scenario can you imagine where Gull plus new transmission plus wheeling fees can compete with the new paradigm? Is it a good idea to keep shoveling public money to an unaccountable, incompetent Nalcor? Does it matter that NL is now on the verge of collapse due to poor planning and worse execution by Nalcor? Do you want more of the same like PENG2, immediately ready to carry water for Commander Coady's shiny distraction? Perhaps like PENG2 it would be enough to build Gull and abandon it after completion like he advises at MF.
      Will rational planning, cost effectiveness and concern for the ratepayer ever be part of the calculus? I hope you don't need a slide rule to decipher this one Winston.

      One other thing Winston. What happens to DSM or negawatts when investment is made in unneeded capacity instead of efficiency?

      You can't have it both ways. Will it be efficiency or inefficient and unaffordable expensive new capacity?

    • Bruno:

      Please reread and understand my comments before slandering.

      Ensure you understand my comments and belief—you have shown no understanding and simply spew 'Sierra Club' trash. Check your own closet first.

      To others, my apologies—you never should have been party to some of this.


    • I have read and comprehended your comments PENG2. There is no news in your comments. I am one among many that have pointed out that the ML has no additional capacity and Gull would need a new corridor.

      The only "quasi news" is your claim that permits will expire in 2019. I hope you are correct because Gull needs a creditable assessment for cost and need that the MF and GI JRP did not get.

      Nalcor claimed at the JRP that the EA would remain valid until sometime in the 2030's. What makes you believe something different? I hope you are correct.

      Would you care to articulate what "Sierra Club trash" I spew? Very Trumpian of you to slander the messenger when confronted with uncomfortable truths. I prefer to think I speak as a member of the human family. You??

    • Bruno, I think we all have biases, and you from the Sierra Club bias, but the Sierra Club is of value, but often without understanding the scope of the problem of turning the planet green.
      But for a civil discourse, to suggest PENG2 is not human… is typical of you going too far, and takes away from the value of your input. This is slander, or border line being civil, in my opinion, and you Trumpian like , and to cloak yourself as the MESSENGER, ……….a more gentle messenger, that is, not a know it all, would be of more value.
      You can get there…..maybe.
      Remember the Man's prayer (Red Green)…I am a man, but I can change, maybe!
      Save your anger for the silent engineers and others who do not at all engage…… thinks might be better. But anger over this fiasco is understandable……but better directed at some others………what do you think? Try and make up with PENG2.

  13. I think we need all the tools in the kit, DSM, Efficiency , and cost effective new generation to tackle climate change……….and all those may not be enough as we are approaching the tipping point or maybe there.
    As to math and arithmetic, that was one of my strong points, and I still have my slide rule….a relic I guess now.
    Wind , solar and storage is advancing, but the economics are very much climate and location effected as to cost effectiveness……..whereas you throw around figures that are optimum for some other locations and often are subsidized.
    Example the Site C review states solar in BC has a 23 year payback, I believe, and locally here solar for a house with battery storage is 52,000.00 installed and not capable of delivering heat or hot water from this package…………so , off the chart for cost effectiveness………whereas Arizona would have a different result. And you seem to discount the stability given to wind generation when connected to substantial hydro……the mechanics of that is important, like a flywheel on an engine, or old 8 Acadia boat engine.
    Gull Island seems to have conditions for a solid dam, if I am not wrong. And 4 times the power….MF is so small for such high cost, so not at all cost effective.
    I believe Efficiency could replace all of Holyrood, as we have a lot of island hydro, but NS is not so fortunate, nor the Maritimes and USA.
    And certainly we do not want Nalcor heading up a regional plan….no competence there.
    As to arithmetic, I have calculated the effect of frost build up on a air source minisplit, form data of Nov 6, as it is now cold enough at nite for frosting:
    The load increased from 420 watts to 540 watts from midnite to 6 am and then dropped to 420 by 9am
    The increase from 420 to 540 was 29 percent, but on a 24 hr basis was only 8 percent.
    This frost was insufficient to trigger a defrost cycle, which would have used more energy.
    On a 24 hr basis, if the COP was 4.0 without frosting, this frost would have reduced the COP to 3.7 on a 24 hr period…………….so favourable with ground source heatpump at this time frame.
    So, I pay attention to field evidence , not imagined results. Cost for the ratepayer is not only the rate but the quantity of power needed…..and the average homeowner is what I try to assess how they might best mitigate heating and power needs.
    MF had most all imaginary assumptions…….and any regional plan that might be considered must avoid such poor analysis.
    As said ………show me the plan……..I have not endorsed an imaginary plan, just saying I would not rule it out without seeing the data.
    A serious plan must include robust DSM and efficiency for Nfld and other regions, as that is still least cost ( on that we both agree , I think).
    I see the scope of all renewable for the earth much more daunting a problem that you…….and whether Mother Nature will allow us the time frame.

    • Sorry Winston but you ramble without answering the relevant question. Gull would compete in N England and Ont. where wholesale price is 4-6 cents KwH. NL does not need Gull, remember? MF is surplus to need for decades to come.

      So please answer the question. How can Gull compete with 4-6 cent renewables (9 including battery storage). Comparing the cost of an individual system to wholesale delivered price is disingenuous. It does not help when you lose sight of the forest for the trees Winston.

  14. Agreed Nfld does not need Gull power, but whether Gull can be part of overall regional power is different………and I would like to see the stated economics without wild assumptions.
    Name the renewable projects , without subsidy, including storage that is 9 cent power, I assume you mean wholesale cost and not retail?
    You say I ramble, but just point out, I try to assess in detail, to separate claims from field measurements…… avoid assumptions, as you question my math skills.
    I point out the complexity of reliability issues of wind that limits its use, and you ignore it or don't understand it, maybe?
    And you ignore the limitation of solar for Nfld as compared to Arizona,,,,,,,fog and drizzel and snow cover at times, and shorter days in winter, so apples and oranges. Solar PV has some application here but rather limited.
    You say Gull would compete in N England and ONt…….I think not, at present, but I suggest gas will increase and wholesale rates will increase or be forced to increase if percentage of renewables ramp up, so Gull may be competitive going forward…….depends on how serious jurisdictions are on ramping up renewables and scaling back gas …….
    Puerto Rico is a perfect case to demostrate what renewables you mention can do……….let's see. They also have hydro power.
    I'm all for your wish of a instant renewable , cost effective energy for the world, but cannot see it as instant, even if fossil fuel companies all seriously promoted renewables……'s the scale, cost and time factors.
    As you know. DSM and efficiency is hardly on the table, in Nfld, and that is power at 1/3 the cost. That beats any renewable……..I think you agree, and robust DSM and efficiency should be priority, before Gull sanctioned, my opinion. So I do not jump up and down for Gull.

  15. Sorry Winston far from ignoring the complexity of renewables you can't accept that the last barrier–reliability–has been solved with cost effective battery storage.

    Offshore wind is now unshackled from near shore installations with floating windmills in water up to 800 feet deep. Wind farms far offshore avoid wheeling fees through multiple jurisdictions. Reliable wind (and sun) at no more than 9 cents a KWH is what Gull would have to compete with.

    You dream in technicolor if you think an east west Canadian grid will provide a market for Gull. Even so you know Ont. has a long term contract with HQ at 5 or so cents. Can Gull ever compete even if a corridor magically appears?

    Of course you know the answer is no. Why keep promoting another anchor around the neck of ratepayers? What is it they say about repeating the same mistake over and over and expecting a different result?

    • I am not promoting ( so you spin what I said) what I have not seen details of….but I not not close minded to see what might be possible. To be sure, Ball is untrustworthy, and Nalcor too, so I far from promote what I have not seen any details.
      Site C says battery storage may be getting feasible, and perhaps may be feasible as to cost effective, which is great, and uptake should progress.
      I agree offshore wind nearby better than long distance, and I opposed Beothic idea as currently seems uneconomic
      Ont also has locked into renewables at very expensive costs due to jumping too big too soon.
      Can Gull ever compete if a corridor magically appeared? Politics is the art of the we'll see if a corridor appears. Vardy asks what are we to do with our situation……..doing nothing is not good, and more bad deal sis worse than nothing.
      I do not know the answer is no, as to cost effective regional energy plans…..depends on further improvements for wind , solar and storage and rate of uptake, climate change mitigation, reduced used of shale gas etc., so many variables.
      Ok Repeating the same mistake……….insanity…..not quite there yet, I hope, but Nfld mistakes are never the same….., different each time, and Gull is the mother of all, so extreme care is due going forward…..
      10 years to build MF, years for Tesla to scale up for batteries, and can only provide a small fraction of the world storage needed, we need a paradigm shift to have meaningful curtailment in fossil fuel burning….
      You say the last barrier has been solved .I disagree.
      We need a change of culture, as Liberty would say…, how many countries are planing to leave 80 percent of oil and gas in the ground? When that is cast in stone, we can move faster…….so you stay positive, as I am just not there in seeing this shift in culture, or much any of a shift, very small, is it not?
      One example. Nissan and Hyandi both offer all electric vehicle, but not available in Nfld because no dealer is set up to service them. Tesla is the same, cannot service here. I want to buy one of these……..but not presently practical. So I continue with my Prius……….and what do you drive that is greener, Bruno?
      But think we agree more than disagree… keep your stick on the ice!

    • From Bruno: "Even so you know Ont. has a long term contract with HQ at 5 or so cents"

      That tentative contract represents a very little proportion of what Ontario can purchase and still save a bundle in the process.

      Gull costs/kw were known to be considerably lower than MF.

      If those costs happen to be cheaper than current Ontario costs (more than likely), I still see a possibilty that Ontario might buy into a Gull partnership. (As opposed to make further purchase from HQ, even if it's cheaper; let's say it would be politically more attractive -> that anti-Quebec mentality do exists a little there too)

    • I believe there may be another problem with GI as is with MF and that is the water management issue. GI is fed by water from the UC and MF is fed by water water from GI-if built. If built GI will mean less water fed into MF which may reduce its capacity even further. We need answers on these types of issues before any talks are even began since this is the main problem with MF's-the lack of information to render a sensible decision.

    • You seem to be dreaming in technicolor PENG2. What happened to engineers keeping their feet firmly planted on the ground?

      Ontario has many choices for cheap wholesale power from HQ and Manitoba Hydro both of whom have a glut of hydro, remember? Pretending the price wholesale WILL rise to rationalize a bigger boondoggle than MF is disingenuous.

      Your scenario requires the feds to sprinkle pixie dust to create a corridor and provincial co-operation. These wild flights of fancy are not constructive to a dialogue on a rational energy future or a solvent province.

      Please get real, the feds are short of pixie dust these days.

    • The problem with ONT, as Tom Adams has stated, they went too bit , too fast into renewables at shy high cost with huge impacts to rates. This approach can be as bad as MAN and BC moving to mega hydro without due analysis.
      As Liberty would say……prudence is necessary, whether large investment into either approach. Was Ont prudent with their rush (size and cost) into renewables?

    • Yes, That is a no brainer, and I suggest be managed by HQ who are partners with Churchill falls Corp………as the flood of Mud lake should have been avoided by proper control of the MF gates in May 2017, and indicates incompetance by Nalcor . All 3 plants would have to be coordinated on flow.

    • You all ignore the fundamental issue. The paradigm has shifted. The age of remote expensive generation is OVER. Renewables, close to markets, at 4-6 cents KwH is the economic reality now. I guess you old school types like to cling to the familiar, regardless that time has passed by the age of remote generation.

      I have to repeat Gull Island is like building a buggy whip factory in 1900. It may be familiar and the engineers can build a "world class" buggy whip but time has passed you by, Bye.

      That dog won't run so think about the new paradigm if you want to be constructive.

    • Bruno, I agree, there will be less many price competitive hydro projects in the future. Renewable alternatives are indeed becoming cheaper.

      But still, a grid still require a stable (flexible) base production to smooth out those intermittent renewable energy assets.

      If price competitive, Hydro (even remote) remains a perfect complement to stabilise the intermittent nature of renewable production.

      So don't disqualify GI just yet. It might be price competitive. (But please, don't let Nalcor, nor Manitoba Hydro, perform that costs/benefits analyses)

    • Ex Mil, You are badly informed. Tesla has built a megafactory battery plant in Nevada. Another is planned in China. He wants to build five others by 2021. Other massive battery plants are underway in Europe.

      Battery storage now solves the intermittent supply issue. Wind or sun and battery storage can now supply base load. In addition battery storage can do load balancing in real time cheaper than keeping spinning reserve standby. Storage and load balancing is now available to utilities as a (cost competitive)service.

      You should try to keep up.

    • You should also tell HQ to "try to keep up too". They will be using their hydro for storage / load balancing for quite some time.

      And look at what New England and Massachusetts will buy very soon; it will most probably include an optimal mix of hydro and renewables.

      We're still not at a 100% battery future (for storage and load balancing) just yet, and definitely not around here anytime soon.

      Hydro has still its place here, where it's relatively cheap and abundant.

      The battery solution will surely expend faster where cheap hydro is less present.

      And I still don't understand why you would not consider GI before knowing its actual cost.

    • What ever happened to back of envelope calculations from engineers? A quick calculation will indicate GI delivered to the only markets, NS, Ont, and New England will cost many multiples of the wholesale price. What more do we need to know?

      Good for HQ for balancing load with hydro. I did not suggest battery storage is the only way to balance loads. My point, that you seem to have missed is that renewable energy can be used for base load. As another bonus, battery storage, has a cost effective advantage for load balancing and is being sold to utilities as a service. No one suggested a 100% battery future.

      Hydro in NL cheap and abundant??? Have you missed the 60cent (and climbing) cost of MF? We should both know Gull Island is too expensive to compete where markets exist. Do you want to build Gull before you realize it cannot compete on cost? Why is this not obvious to you?

    • Bruno, you seem to ignore, or not understand grid reliability, we operate at 60cycle power and can deviate less than 1 cycle…….how to you think is is accomplished on the grid with big loads added or dropped, or during temporary faults on the line.

    • Real time……systems must respond effectively in less than 1 second or the grid goes down. I imagine battery and invertors can respond rapidly, but depends on the amount of battery storage available as a percentage of the total generation.
      Perhaps others can speak to this, as compared to conventional stability of large mass generators…..
      With Musk and his mega factories…… many years to build out world wide for such paradigm shift?
      As stated, I cannot get a electric car serviced locally by Nissan or Hyandi, nor even TESLA…….you are talking decades for major shifts……….and first a culture change is needed, a paradigm culture change, right? And where is this shift, especially in NL?

    • I hate to say it but NL is not the cutting edge of the new paradigm:<)

      It is already happening in Europe. Several countries have banned fossil auto sales after 2030. The Netherlands has set the standard. They want all cars on the road after 2025! to be zero emissions.

      We will have to move to Amsterdam Winston for the renewable future. Besides I know a few cafes there that I would like to sit with you at and chat about these matters:<)

    • Incidentally Winston Musk wants a half dozen megafactories of his own in a handful of years. He is hopelessly optimistic about time frames but he does get things done. Battery supply to meet demand is not a limiting factor. The only limitation now is political will.

    • Bruno: "Hydro in NL cheap and abundant??? Have you missed the 60cent (and climbing) cost of MF?"

      Well, MF is definitely not the norm, nor representing the North East market. It's closer to Ponzi 😉 where there are no real value added, while some players win all and everyone else pays…

    • Bruno, as we are but one planet, moving to Amsterdam does not solve the problem…….and do we fly there is s GREEN plane.
      So not a easy so short term solution……I would put a hefty tax on air travel, as part of climate change mitigation….but who would welcome that…..
      And politicians often follow public wishes……so unless there is a culture change , I think we are doomed. As humans we care more about our own lifestyle that the future of our children and grandchildren, sad to say.

    • Flow batteries may be a better option for Grid stability than lithium ion batteries. Lithium batteries are better suited for mobile devices such as cars, phones laptops etc. and are used in these areas because of their light weight. Flow batteries which can be sized upwards almost like oil tanks at a refinery and the electrolytes can be replaced and replenished without dismantling the entire system as well as the membranes for the electron exchange. Some are expensive and some are more efficient than others but the beauty of them is that they are an inexpensive large battery that can be stored at a single place. They could be installed next to a generating system close to the users such as The Hardwoods in Mount Pearl and used to ‘smoothen’ out the frequency on the Grid.

  16. For those installing minisplits: some mgs have a good protective coating on the outdoor unit aluninum fins, some do not. Just came across his from Haier installation manuel:
    The outdoor unit should be installed at least 1/2 miles away from the salt water, including seacoasts and inland waters. If the unit installed from 1/2 mile to 5 miles away from the salt water, including seacoasts and inland waterways, please follow the installation instrutions below
    If you cannot avoid installing the outdoor unit by the seashore, construct a protection wall around it to block the sea beeeze, the wall with solid material such as concrete to block the seabreeze and the height 1.5 times higher than the unit, otherwise contact the manufacturer.
    Guess they never thought of attic mounting. I am 50 feet from the seashore, the unit perfect after 7 years, and that unit had no coating of the fins.
    Corrosion from salt is not only a transmission line problem.
    Highly recommended in coastal Nfld to use minisplit units with the good coating that some factories have., and says gives 3 times the life, for outdoor mounting.

    • I saw two heat pumps on adjacent homes. One was by UTL International and after three years it had corroded through in multiple places. The entire top cover looked the bumper of a Honda Civic in the 1970s. These used to drop off in parking lots. The other pump is a Daikin and it has no rust at all although a few screws have deteriorated galvanizing on their heads. Looking around the province I have seen Panasonic / Mitsubishi and Fujitsu in great shape. Attic mounting can work if you have enough ventilation. If not, you are just recirculating the chilled air and efficiency will drop.

    • Anon, The three you mention in good shape I agree with, and Panasonic has blue fin protection on fins , and maybe some others have.
      Attic mounting is much superior, but not if you recirculate, but exhaust from the unit fan up through the roof always bringing in outside air through the eave soffit.

  17. Bruno, this from the Guardian:
    Fiji told it must spent billions, equal to its entire GDP over the next 10 years (the COP23 Talks at Bonn, Germany) to deal with climate change
    And only 2 years ago tropical cyclone WINSTON devastated Fiji killing 44 and costs to the economy of 20 % of its GDP. Fiji is asking for help from the world for drastic action, and to ratchet up committments of the Paris Agreement.
    So, maybe WINSTON is right…….a lot of talk and little action to deal with climate change. As I said God(or Mother nature vs Trump)…….there can only be one winner, and it is obvious.

    • I am not quite sure i get your point PF. Climate action is nuanced. It must be tackled globally as if we are one big family if we are to solve this looming existential question.

      That means among other things that the developed world must develop and transfer the technology to the poor underdeveloped nations to deal with problems of our creation. Paris is the first faltering step of humans acting rationally, as a species, to protect our collective future. We need to do more, much more, and soon if we are to survive as a species.

      Surely you are not saying that because these are difficult, nuanced issues we should continue our planet destroying ways. If one is moral, one has no choice but to fight to protect a future we now know beyond a shadow of a doubt is at risk.

  18. The water management issue is one thing. Offshore wind along the Eastern Seaboard of the USA is another. I think hydro from Northern Canada is being viewed now as back by planners up for customers along the eastern seaboard only to be cut in at peak consumption times. Offshore wind(out of sight and out of mind for "Visual" reasons-also the jobs and industrial benefits that go with it) is what the New England states are looking at and in conjunction with on land based Wind Turbines and solar all interconnected by a smart grid. The theory is that if enough wind mills are built along this corridor, a certain amount of electricity will be generated at any given time. If storage options such as Pumped Hydro, Flow Batteries and Compressed Air are developed then enough excess electricity from these sources can be generated to supply electrical requirements in the NE US. Hydro from northern Canada would still be used but would be bought at a much lower price as can be seen with recent negotiations between the New England states and Hydro Quebec. This leaves only Ontario as a potential customer with little room to maneuver there also. NL is being boxed in with Hydro development and I think it is time we forget about these Mega project disasters and move on. It is debateable if even Gull Island site will be feasible.

  19. What happened to nl as (the worlds) energy warehouse, just a few years ago. Who was dreaming in techocolor. Some are still dreaming about how johnathon seagull, or have they reduced that down to simply to gull. Ball talks about having the gaull, not shore what he means, maybe it's anyone having the gaull to mention nl as a energy wharehouse. Omg me nurves is rubbed raw. All the talk about gull can gaull ya. Based on muskrat, can a reasonable estimate not be made to develop gull, the transmission line cost, which route to take, maratime or due south to the us of a or Ontario, or nb, ns. Which is the most expensive, where does it link to existing grids, where is it required and at what rate will the market pay. These are all fundamental questions, not to mention the competitors like wind, solar, storage etc. Existing hydro may be competitive but think new hydro maga projects the Capitol cost is astrominical, who will invest, seems private developers won't go anywhere near it, so will this all be tax papers and hydro rate payers money, for generations to come. Don't think there is much public appetite for spending their money that way. Yep, just a diversionary tactic by ms parrot overhearing idle chatter, and thinking it is real, AMD fits right in with ball et al, gotta get her done, and finish strong, to start talking about the real big one that's coming next…the mother …GULL…wow …what a massive, expensive, beats them all, boondoggle…muskrat ain't see. Nothin yet.

    • Indeed , you are right, that a reasonable estimate can be made, but not based on Muskrat, where incompetence reined . I think HQ could assess this, being the major player, and most competent, and wanting contracts for power before sanction to proceed. And there is no rush to do this, while shale gas is so low to generate electricity, but to taper off gas improves hydro economics, while contending with decreasing costs for wind and solar down south. Climate change mitigation and carbon taxes should be part of the plan….so the feds have to assess the path forward……and with DSM and efficiency for customers as a first priority.

  20. Hawaii has six isolated power grids and very expensive electricity at about 30 cents/kWh and makes an interesting case study in what happens when power gets expensive.

    See the rates:

    Have a look at this lessons learned presentation

    Once thing I noticed was that some streets in Honolulu had solar PV on every roof top and even warehouses near the airports were covered with PV. A warehouse with PV generates far more than it needs, so they are selling into the grid. Solar hot water (flat plates) were also everywhere. The local population complains that power is very expensive and that they can pay $600 a month. This has driven people to cut demand. It also made a good business case for putting solar PV on residential roofs.

    I believe we will see distributed generation everywhere on the planet and that solar electric (PV) and the associated power electronics will become very cheap just like LED recently did. Overall demand will be reduced because of LED lighting and more efficient heat pumps like the CO2 based ones. Battery technology is already good except for lifespan and recent research shows that this will be solved soon allowing batteries to last for decades. I think that traditional power plants will become dinosaurs except for a few special cases like ideally located high flow hydro plants (Niagara Falls perhaps) or dual purpose plants like municipal waste incineration/generation and the old nuclear and coal plants will be decommissioned. Gull island and Muskrat Falls were the last thing we needed.

    • This is an interesting look at the technical and regulatory challenges of integrating large DER into existing grids. The PV penetration in the last ten years was astronomical. The biggest problems seem to be the regulatory framework and low capacity factor of solar. I wonder how much the capacity factor can be smoothed out with battery storage?

      In Hawaii where sunshine is abundant the independent household is possible with PV and battery storage. I expect many will go that route there. Interesting to note that demand declined by 30% in the ten years ending in 2014 driven by prices in the mid 30's KwH. Nalcor (and ratepayers) beware!

      Success will depend on the regulatory regime working out an equitable formula for pricing. They seem to have a workable framework proposed.

      Nalcor will never get past the self dealing and must be dismantled as a first step if NL is ever going to have distributed energy play a significant role.

    • You left out the main component in your argument and that is smaller houses. In order for conservation to work there must be a reward for those that conserve and a punishment for those that use electricity. This is best accomplished through a tax on overuse of electricity where by the first 5000 kWhs in a year used is tax free but after that it is taxed as an incentive for households to conserve. We may not like it but taxes are an effective method of curbing consumption if applied right.

    • Anom@ 07:41

      I have to agree with you on the smaller houses arguement. We cannot kid ourselves anymore in that these over sized houses have become a big problem in our society. They eat up not only an excess of energy but also resources in other areas such as wood and concrete all of which are now imported into Newfoundland creating a serious deficiency in our economy. It is the result of real estate agents and developers taking over society and practically demanding that consumers buy these monstrosities.

    • The oversized home issue is more a problem with the snob appeal of having lots of big windows. A typical wall made from 2×6 and stuffed with fibreglass might lose a quarter of a watt per square meter for every degree of temperature difference. A 3 foot by 2 foot triple glazed, argon filled, low emissivity coated window from Peter Kohler loses 1 watt per degree per square meter. That window also costs a thousand dollars. So even the best windows are four times worse at night than a simple wall, and absolutely horrible compared to an advanced wall using modern techniques. Windows only shine when they are strategically placed to ensure solar gains.

      Look at Google Earth and you will find that homes are randomly aligned in Newfoundland. No provision is made to have roofs aligned for solar PV or for the major windows to face south. Instead, huge, low quality windows are all over the house – sometimes with vast window areas facing North.

      If we were to enforce decent heating energy targets in residential construction, designers would be forced to look at house shape, have most glazing on the south, eliminate glazing on the north, and insist that building lots be oriented correctly so that everyone could get a decent amount of sun. The extra cost of high quality windows and insulation could easily be offset by making the house smaller and incorporating the excellent space saving design features of modern condominiums.

    • I had calculated that a large house with the winter loads using baseboard resistance electric heaters, it costs about a million dollars of MF capital cost per large house just to meet the demand of that one house….so goes the insanity of not addressing the prudent issues by those comments above.

    • It is called passive heating or heating directly from the sun and it is something Newfoundland Architects and Planners have a serious deficiency in. The other problem is the way we design suburbs which for the most part are designed for the Automobile and not for people. Central heating well holes could probably supply heating at a ratio of 3.5 to one at all times-far more efficient than split air to air pumps-but again planners in NL are deficient in this sort of thinking. There has been some progress in government buildings such as the new long term care unit (with Ground to air heating and cooling as well as water heating) in Pleasantville but these are not the norm. Electric Baseboard heating is probably the biggest planning mistake in our history and very little is being done to correct it. Everything is being left to the home owner.

    • Agree that ground source is the ultimate for performance, but for residential is very expensive to install. I have monitored a COP of 2.75 minisplit dual heat units at -17C , and single head units could do better, so very cost effective and significant peak demand reduction during cold snaps. So gnd source more efficient in winter but actually less efficient in other seasons giving yearly energy saving for space heat very similar.

    • Given the tower faults, the obviously defective wire that was strung and the apparent incompetence and lack of quality control everywhere at Nalcor, what will the turbines be like? Will the insulation on the electrical windings last more than a few years, will the turbines be unbalanced and shake? Do we have budget for spare power electronics components for the DC/AC converter station? Will the undersea cables have faults and be down for months like they were in Tasmania? I have zero confidence in Nalcor.

    • You raise an interesting point. Manitoba Hydro warned that Nalcor had ignored their advice to get spare parts for the converter stations. They are expensive, a billion if memory serves me well. MH warned that without the spare parts on hand a failure would result in a lengthy, months long shutdown.

      As usual Nalcor threw caution to the wind and did not get the spare parts.

    • Nalcor's gross incompetence and suspected corruption and given the inevitable shutdown of power for lengthy periods of time, is one of the reasons I recently installed a minisplit and have since purchased a 4KW generator. It's sad that we have to plan for what will certainly be lengthy power outages while still paying double the current power rates and increased taxes and diminished services. All to ensure Galway has sufficient power. Utter and total madness. Shame, shame, shame on he/those responsible!!
      And to top it off, Gull Island is being considered!!!???
      It's like a trucking company with a truck load of product which can't make any money because the are unable to charge more so the solution is to get a larger truck.
      Hard to believe we have this mentality in Govt/Nalcor!

  21. Here is an interesting site. It is a tool for tracking Pumped Hydro sites around the world. They are every where "except" Canada (One is being planned in Marmora, Ontario but…) despite all the talk about renewables and alternative energy at all levels of government. Pumped Hydro sites are essentially a giant, very efficient battery that stores energy generated at off-peak consumption times for use at a later peak consumption time. Coupled with the proven wind turbine technology, several of these could have easily supplied us with 400 to 600 MWs of electricity readily available at any time.

  22. In the fall of 2010 when I installed my minisplit heaptpump, my wife was concerned, suggesting we might `freeze to death this winter`. It took 6 months before I got full confidence that this unit would handle our winter conditions without backup baseboard heat. We have not used baseboard heaters since, and much more comfortable heat and very low operating cost of less than 300 dollars for heat for 1000 sq ft.
    This morning, with VOCM on , my wife made a couple of remarks:
    1. They are playing Christmas carols already.
    2. Back when you went down to the PUB talking about heatpumps, everyone thought it was nonsense. Now that`s all you hear (an ad for heatpumps just played on VOCM).
    Of course, I remain disappointed that Take Charge does not promote units that are COLD CLIMATE rated for good COP at -15C,as does NS, and so, too many poor quality models get installed……..but that helps their profit margin, and keeps demand for oil burning at Holyrood higher than necessary. As Perry , CEO of Fortis said : Go slow on carbon tax and climate change issues!

    • Ex- Military
      And to question by other on misc power use.
      This is my monitoring data for May month here:
      This house, my cottage is occupied about 50 percent of the time, but the heat is always on at 22C. May was fairly cold here.
      Heat only was 230kwh for May, so daily ave for heat 7.7kwh.
      Whole house was 400 kwh for May, including hotwater (2 adults) , stove, TV , fridge and deep freeze light etc, but no electric dryer.
      When occupied, these non heat loads avg 17 kwh per day, but when unoccupied is just 1.3kwh per day.
      If occupied full time one can project to be 600kwh for May total instead of 400kwh actually used.
      In a another house, hot water alone monitored 400kwh for 2 adults + 3 kids
      For the 1000 sq ft cottage, I project Jan heat to be about 55 dollars.
      This unit which is COLD CLIMATE performance is Sanyo, 20.400 btu rating (these rated at 47F, but operated down to -4F,) and has not exceeded its rating at -19C I have recorded.
      Sanyo brand was bought by Panasonic about 3 years ago.My unit does not have the blue fin condenser coating, but new Panasonic does, and a few other make have this, but most mfg do not.
      Power companies here just recommend HSPF performance, but this does not assure good performance in cold weather.
      If you google, `Efficiency Nova Scotia approved heat pumps`, they have a 2 page list of various cold climate makes and models. I suggest about one quarter of these are good makes and models,(my opinion and what others say that have experience with them). Many are rebranded by wholesalers that do not manufacture, and are likely to be cheaper and inferior in some way.
      The cottage condenser-compressor unit is attic mounted which gives it significant energy saving compared to outdoor mounting, and fully weather protected.

    • This is today monitoring, with Torbay airport temperature data
      Time……temp C…….HP watts for heat
      3 am…….0………….520
      1pm……..+3………….40 (HP off , this is standby load)

      This is a sunny day, and the solar gain in the attic reduces the HP load, from about 7;30 am onward. There is a separate unheated west side room that gets solar gain through the glass, and by noon this room was 80 F from the sun alone, and when the door was opened at 11am , it helped warm the interior 1000 sqft which gets no direct solar gain, sufficient that by 1PM the HP unit shut down entirely, though only +3C outdoors……..not likely to kick in again until about 6pm.
      And the attic retain some of its solar thermal mass heat until about midnight, so a sunny day greatly aids HP performance.

    • An attic that is warmer than the ambient outside air temperature on cold days indicates that the attic space is not adequately ventilated. The roof is consequently at higher risk of developing ice dams, and the interior attic space much more susceptible to the growth of mildew, or worse, molds.

    • No evidence of what you indicate after operation for 7 years.
      Attic is getting an air change about every 2 minutes when the unit is operating.
      Attic is naturally warmer and dryer, most due to solar absorption from black shingles, wood attenuates the outdoor extremes of higher humidity.
      Your theory is just wrong.

    • Anon, just wish you would go into some attics and take measurements for a few days. Are you a roofing contractor or professor of physics…….perhaps you would like to visit and see.
      I have another building with a roof overhang, but open on 3 sides, so under this I would expect what you describe, same temperature as outside , lots of ventilation and same RH as outdoor, or close to it………but not for a typical house roof with dark shingles……….how many attics have have done monitoring on…….tell us your technical background and experience.