What’s behind the recent announcement by federal Energy
Minister Jim Carr promoting an “energy
corridor” for the Atlantic provinces? How does it relate to this province? Are
there other issues at play that should worry NL? Is the financial “dead
carcass” of NL about to be picked over?*
The public should worry when weak governments run the
province. For a decade, successive administrations have given little focus to
tough public policy issues, worsening an already difficult fiscal situation. They don’t see that successful societies harm themselves looking inward when predators come calling.
conduct their affairs with a vision narrow enough to be thought ‘in the moment,’
the real business of politics — our business — is being managed in places where
strategic self-interest has long been defined.
rather interesting messaging.
effect that Ottawa is eager to pursue a “regional transmission line connecting
Quebec and the Atlantic provinces”. There was even the offer to “kick in some
cash” to make it happen.
relations” between Quebec and NL. “I am encouraged by what I have heard from
elected officials from both provinces,” Carr was quoted. Strangely, no one in
this province was ever alerted to a chinook having passed through.
exports, with such a regional network, to the northeastern United States.”
supply and demand in many regions of the world — including the northeastern
U.S. — or he is playing the “dumb” game, the same one Williams, Dunderdale and
Nalcor used on the NL public to get Muskrat sanction.
energy sold on the “spot” market, has fallen into the basement in line with the
commodity price of natural gas. In addition, emerging and anticipated cost declines
in wind, solar and energy storage pose significant threats to Hydro Quebec (HQ) — which is
dependent on high-cost, large-scale transmission infrastructure. This is a huge
new risk and it is occurring in markets that have served as HQ’s traditional
playground and on which their newest megaprojects depend.
such a transmission corridor — even after Muskrat — knowing as they must that
it will add to Canada’s lack of competitiveness, is indicative of the size of
HQ’s problem and its influence on national politics. Exhibiting the empire
building character of bureaucrats, HQ also failed to recognize market changes before
it damned the Romaine River.
|Federal Natural Resources Minister James Carr|
behalf, where previously it was uneconomic for them or where they were
still fresh. HQ sought changes to the deal to purchase NB Power assets, leaving
then Premier Graham to conclude that it “no longer” made the $3.2 billion deal
“worthwhile”. Vigorous protests from New Brunswickers also found their mark.
Lavalin to do a deal in 2005 to develop the Lower Churchill — which foundered.
Out of the effort, SNC could still be seen grasping the friendly hand of Danny
Williams, leading to the birth of the Muskrat Falls project.
take more power but ended up with a quite tepid agreement to trade surplus
power back and forth, in the end giving HQ none of the export gains it had
of La Presse having invoked the Churchill River’s third hydro prospect — Gull
Island — for potential development.
short-sighted, but the changing electricity market — one enjoying the fruits of
new technologies and increased competition — has reduced a large megaproject,
like Gull Island, to the status of “bait” for the exuberant and the uninformed.
that she is too busy talking to Quebec about mining to “have that conversation”
on the electricity corridor. Had she said, ‘what’s such a corridor got to do
with NL?’ we might have acknowledged that — for once — the Minister is on her
toes. “Too busy” only confirms that she lacks a capacity to walk and chew gum
at the same time.
confirmed what has long been suspected: the talks allowing the Feds and NL to ‘settle
up’ with Quebec were under way.
Quebec’s intergovernmental affairs minister saying that “his province never
received similar help from Ottawa for its hydroelectric development.” He added
that “Quebec is looking at its legal options to fight the deal.” As quickly as
Cloutier began his pout, someone told him to shut up.
deserves a veto over matters that even peripherally touch La Belle Province,
including the Federal Loan Guarantee for Muskrat Falls, Quebec MPs had passed a
reminder on to PM Harper and later PM Trudeau.
powerful positions. It has been a long time since a Minister from this province
weighed in on “big picture” issues. Admittedly, though, they are very good at ‘photo-ops’.
of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of National Defence and Minister of
Foreign Affairs, understood power — the political kind. He is the (real) unsung
architect of the FLG — having designed the Guarantee in a way that enabled a
veto over the project by Nova Scotia.
status is more than just tangential to that of an electricity corridor.
essential if Muskrat ever works — though Nalcor is still in denial that it was
orphaned by the Quebec Superior Court.
fail’. The sums piled up are simply ‘too big to be paid back’. It constitutes a
worrisome footnote to the Federal Loan Guarantee, raising the question: does NL
have some assets that an entity like Hydro Quebec might need to help reduce the
ass-covering required for both levels of government, the bureaucrats and the politicians,
too; all having played a role in effectively bankrupting a Canadian province
for the first time since Confederation.
such issues, affording our elected suitable political cover?
corridor’ a one-dimensional interest of HQ. They would be foolish. Even Emera
had better not get too big for its britches.
in purchasing the assets of NB Power, it had no interest in Atlantic Canada —
Link is instructive. Questioned is Rick Janega, President of Emera Newfoundland
and Labrador, who is speaking about a meeting held with Hydro Quebec in 2009 to
determine if HQ would sell them a quantity of firm power. (“Firm”
energy is a source that is always available.) Stated Janega:
far more attractive Muskrat idea.
infrastructure was sub-standard.
categorical on the point. The UARB
comments are based upon analysis conducted by Morrison Park, its consultants for
the ML Application:
generation, some of that via MF.
when electricity neophyte Ed Martin came calling. Not just Nova Scotia’s point
man, Peter McKay, could see a sucker all the way from Ottawa, Emera CEO Chris
Huskilson wasn’t exactly blind.
TWh is expected to lower that province’s thermal footprint, as will power
committed under the “Energy Access Agreement” and the “Supplemental Agreement”
— which together, at least for the first five years after first power, represents 50% of MF generation (and 12% of MF
costs, according to David Vardy).
agreements, there is little price difference between the “sold” power and the
“free” stuff, Nalcor having netted just 1 cent per kWh from Upper Churchill
“recall” power last year. (HQ profited more than did Nalcor just from
the “wheeling” fees to transport the energy.)
of Canada — is that it backed Muskrat, having given the project scant analysis.
Scotia to wonder if they have bargained for a ‘pig in a poke’. (Though Emera’s
recent application to run an undersea cable to the Eastern Seaboard assumes that
the cheap energy it negotiated will be available — presumably to be mixed with
wind/solar from other sources.)
federal seats — all of them Liberal. You can well imagine that this issue plays
into Jim Carr’s mission, too.
northeastern U.S. having become so oversupplied that prices are at historic lows.
To make matters worse, local State politicians want at least some of the
sought-after “green” power produced locally.
left by the rejected 2010 New Brunswick deal and permit HQ to return to that
province the “value… unacceptably taken away”, as NB’s Premier discreetly described
the failed negotiation over the purchase of NB Power.
and is getting short on its useful life. But of more immediate interest is that
25% of NB’s power needs are generated with fossil fuels, and it therefore remains
a juicy market for HQ.
it offers them a new value proposition. There is less competition and wholesale
electricity prices are higher than in the New England states. If the Feds “kick
in” a subsidy for transmission line construction and upgrades, all the better. Besides,
it will square Quebec’s demand for commercial parity with the value given
Muskrat via the Federal Loan Guarantee.
NS nor NB having extended the welcome mat to HQ, one could assume that the idea
of an “Atlantic corridor” has been skilfully misnamed. Is it not a “Quebec
corridor” that the Feds actually seek?
Montreal area mayors, including Denis Coderre, put political pressure on the
Quebec Government to oppose the “Energy East” proposal? Did the Quebec
government tell them to be quiet? I don’t think so.
Quebec, the province was denied by that province, then derided by Ottawa because,
ostensibly, we were putting at risk the fabric of the nation — interfering with
Quebec nationalist sensibilities — by merely raising the subject. But a
corridor for Quebec? The ‘fabric’ is not nearly as brittle when it is someone
in order to screw Quebec — even if that wasn’t Williams’ sole motivation for
the project. But the suggestion of an electricity corridor — with federal
backing — is justifiably a sore point.
part of the smallest economic region of the country — can get national
attention when Quebec demands it!
national politics and in the business of influencing its own economic
interests. Newfoundland and Labrador is not.
back-channel those negotiations — should not proceed when the province is on
its economic knees. And they should never be undertaken by two of the parties who
were complicit in the Muskrat Falls debacle: the Feds and Nalcor.
even at the table, as Minister Coady has confirmed.
power monopoly in Eastern Canada, and about the Feds insulating themselves from
the uncertainties of a big mess in the context of Muskrat.
“Atlantic Energy Corridor” is about.
carcass that is a bankrupt Newfoundland and Labrador.
in CFLco that Hydro Quebec does not own, will be eyed greedily by them.
financial problem. Other assets will have to be stripped from the province too.
picture” politics, our Ministers and MPs send us “selfies” oblivious to the
issues and their implications.
We are destined to make a
virtue of stupid.
Editor’s Note: This piece was written with research contributions from David Vardy and PlanetNL. The opinions expressed are mine.
Thank you Uncle Gnarley for a clear eyed analysis of both the economics of energy pricing falling due to the natural gas and renewable revolutions. Remote generation and shipping long distances no longer make money or break even.
I am glad you point out that the cost of shipping power to New England, the wheeling fees, are higher than the market value delivered. This means of course that even with a corridor through PQ, Gull can't pay for itself. It is a fact i have been pointing out for a while now.
Your assessment that a federally funded corridor for PQ is in the works sounds about right. That PQ will be the only one to benefit from the largesse is spot on. Sadly the fact that the Nalcor assets will be picked clean by either HQ or Emera when the MF chickens come home to roost, is also inevitable. What I fear is what else will the bondholders demand NL do to pay up the massive debt accrued by Danny's Destruction of the treasury? Will they demands cuts to health care, education and infrastructure spending? Will NL become Canada's Puerto Rico?
Excellent outline and insights into the extent and how our government has been and continues to be a key player in making sure that our electricity resources are being exploited for the benefit of others (and we even pay and put our province on the brink of bankruptcy to make sure that it happens).
When will our provincial leaders stand up for Newfoundland and Labrador, and stop subjugating themselves and us to the wily maneuvering of the federal government, Quebec and Nova Scotia?
Surely, we are no longer that stunned! Are we? (Although Muskrat shows otherwise, and even thinking about Gull suggests —- "the more things change….").
When I read "Negotiations with Quebec (…) should not proceed when the province is on its economic knees": Maurice, it sounds like you contributed to Ed's piece… 😉
Agree. shes gone by, shes gone. 🙁
Beautiful timing; By-elections across the country. Site C going ahead, free power for Alberta, coal plants shut down in NS, NB, AB. Liberal candidates get elected. Natives, ranchers in the Peace and Mud Lakers get moved away. Smallwood is dancing. Williams looking like a visionary. Power Monopolies galore, Imbedded contractors earn a Christmas bonus, Jobs, jobs, jobs. A turkey in every pot! Meaningless Inquiry not needed and will be shut in, etc. Merry Christmas, Wot?
Nice to see your comment Robert. Let us hope that the old adage that it is always darkest before the dawn is true.
Hold on to your Bitcoin. Here is a sure bet for your hard earned savings:
Betting 3:1 on continuance; Dirt movers win!
I am glad to see St. John's is pushing back against the Gall Way Grinch.
Compulsory arbitration to settle disputes is way over the top for the Grinch. He wants to be able to use the little mans biggest sticks, money and the courts, to have his way.
It was stunning to hear him admit that city planners think they run the city, imagine the nerve of them to get in the emperor's way? He actually said they think they run the city and he will show them otherwise!
So far council has shown some backbone and is supporting the work of city planners.As this plays out we will find out if the brash bully will get his way and ignore city planning as he has to date with the TCH buffer and plans to guide growth.
We will also find out if it is the new council or the Grinch that is in control.
I have often thought that the mastermind behind the loan guarantee was Peter McKay. He knew Muskrat was a severely flawed business case. Unlike Williams & Martin, he saw the big picture. One where "pie in the sky" 50 year predictions would ultimately bring the whole thing crashing down around Nls head. He & the other Emera shareholders would steal the golden goose, Churchill Falls, from under our noses & sell it off to Hydro Que….& it wouldn't cost them a cent. Vindictive Harper was all too happy to approve the loan guarantee as retribution for Williams many insults & especially the flag stunt. In the end, McKay, like Tobin before him, saw an opportunity in NL & seized it, ensuring their own personal future is secure. To hell with the rest of you poor naive souls…I'm all right. So, how do we get out of this mess without giving away Churchill Falls? The answer is certainly not in those ego driven nitwits in the Confederation Bldg.
Fantino made his rep, locking up gays and druggies. Now he is a drug capitalist.
McKay and Tobin are likewise opportunists, probable insider traders, facilitators of the Power deal of the century. Ratepayers are not on the winning side.
Is Canada far from this?
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
2 years on and HDS (Harper Derangement Syndrome) is still infecting souls across the land.
Anonymous 17:23. HDS is alive and well here in unemplodia. And it really got going here with Williams, CBC, The Telegram and VOCM. Funny the limited criticism of our feminist PM Trudeau from the big three media here despite what continues to happen here in the fishery for example.
Muskrat Falls in the open market would yeild about 150 million a year in revenue, net the transmission fees. The annual operating costs is near 100 million. 50 million a year to pay off a 12 Billion dollar capex.
This project was born from arrogance and ignorance. It was nurtured by apathy and fear.
Labrador schools might want to step up the availability of French immersion classes in The Big Land… the financial wreckage resulting from the Williams/Dunderdale MRF boondoggle may yet result in the provincial government being forced to sell the Labrador territory to Quebec so as to remain financially solvent.
It's a given. Williams/Dunderdale have ensured it and Ball has no balls to even address the looming crisis. We are in big trouble. It's unbelievable that such incompetance could exist in provincial "leadership".
"Sell Labrador territory to Quebec"
Forget it; for WHATEVER the price paid, it would bring endless Quebec bashings and robbery/murder/rape complaints from Newfoundland down the road. Definitely not worth it.
Worst case, maybe negotiate water rights for those north shore rivers that are sourced in southern Labrador.
Competent leadership from an NL politician is about as likely as Des Sullivan receiving an invite to Danny Williams' Christmas party.
There is a case before the Supreme Court of Gerard Comeau vs the provinces where by his lawyer is arguing that he has the constitutional right to buy beer without restrictions from provincial legislation anywhere and anytime he likes. His lawyer argues free trade between the provinces is garruteed in the Canadian constitution. What does this have to do with electrcity and its transmission? Quebec and the federal government may well say a crisis looming if the SC rules in Gerard Comeau's favor since it will throw open restrictions on a number of things such as dairy, poultry, fish processing, construction contracts and maybe the transmission of electricity through other provinces. By attempting an agreement before the ruling, Hydro Quebec may be trying to secure a contract which like the UC contract-is a contract is a contract is a contract. It is a SC decision worth paying attention to.
Not if these comments from our Supreme Court Justices is any indication.
An on. 12:30, you may be right….and agree with you on the Harper take, but that was also inflicted by Danny, indirectly by him and Harper having personal grudges against each other. But as for Mackey, seems that is always our way out, when things go wrong blam it on others, upalong or where ever, but first we as nlers have to take responsibility for our own actions. I didn't see any ns holding a gun to Danny's, or eddies, or Cathie's head when they were signing the deal with emera and ns, rather they were smiles galore. So let's first of all be big enough to admit our errors before we begin blaming others, but that is our history, when things go wrong ….blame others. First we have to admit our mistakes, then fix it. I see no effort to fix anything just full speed ahead, finish strong, get what we can out of it…and then blame others, Ottawa, Quebec, nS, americans for not buying our power. Stop the dam thing, default on the flaming lot, bring it all crashing down, get rid of nalcor, to hell with emera, where is bill Barry or someone who has the guts to stand up, show some leadership, and do the right thing……amen….
The idea that long distance transmission of power is obsolete, most often stated by Bruno: define please what distance is long……and what is not long.
When the wholesale price in New England is 2 -3 cents KwH and still falling you tell me how far is too far Winston? One pays by the mile to ship. And oh yes you have to produce and show a profit at energy paying 2 cents.
It is not rocket science that the age of remote generation and transmission is over, except for the dinosaurs fond of building expensive buggy whip factories that crush rate/taxpayers.
You evade the question, Bruno, as to how far is too far? There was a movie…….The Bridge too far.
At present I assume HQ is making profit selling into NE USA from Churchill Falls, and more profit for power into Montreal. NS is retail about 17 cents, an not getting 2-3 cent wholesale power cost, (leaving aside MF).
Power rates at 2-3 cents is not sustainable, not from offshore wind nor solar, and adding storage. The 2-3 cent shale gas impact must be temporary if climate change is to be rolled back.
MF is perhaps the worst case in the world for economics of long distance or short distance power costs.
But in Texas, they generate wind energy in the west Texas and transmit about 300 miles to east Texas……..so you agree that 300 miles does not make transmission obsolete? The old genius Tesla's methods are still highly valuable.
Likewise transmission on the island of Nfld from south to east to west is economic. But generally, the closer the source to the load the better. That is why demand reduction by customers with efficiency is Super Efficient…….zero distance, and frees up transmission losses.
So "long" must be defined by the economics of each situation, And I wold not throw Churchill Falls into the buggy whip bin. MF …….a different story.
"But generally, the closer the source to the load the better(…) So "long" must be defined by the economics of each situation"
I definitely agree with Winston here. You just can't make a blanket statement pretending that long distance transmission of power is obsolete.
Only a detailed cost-benefit analysis will tell you how profitable a project is. (Engineering defines the costs part, and that includes transmission costs)
“The scuttling of the NB Power/HQ deal in 2010 is still fresh. HQ sought changes to the deal to purchase NB Power assets, leaving then Premier Graham to conclude that it “no longer” made the $3.2 billion deal “worthwhile”. Vigorous protests from New Brunswickers also found their mark”
Des, here's my take on subject: in reality that deal was cancelled due to New Brunswickers protests and from vocal external pressure (well, Danny William was extremely vocal). DW made us believe that HQ would have blocked the Anglo Saxon export route – despite the fact that NB transmission/distribution had been TAKEN OFF the deal on January 2010.
In the end, NBers could just not accept having its power generation infrastructure falling into evil "foreign hands" (I liked Robert Holmes wordings here, from a year ago 😉 )
The reasons for that deal was that NB Hydro power generation was not too flexible: it produced too much power off-peak than it could store (thus some was wasted), and its peak power production (any sources) was somewhat costly.
HQ immense set of reservoirs were the ideal complement to those NB base production assets. "Evil" HQ was therefore the best fit to serve NB clients, at a lower cost.
So HQ offered NB close to $5B for some power generating assets, and a long term freeze on rates.
FWIW: "An economic analysis (commissioned by the Graham government) to Washington's NERA Economic Consulting estimated that the tentative deal would save New Brunswick ratepayers $5.6 billion over a 30-year period compared to the status quo. The study also showed that residential, commercial and wholesale customers would reap 60% of the savings, but the savings would happen later than the discounts granted upfront to large industrial customers."
In Quebec, that deal was more and more perceived as giving away 100% of the cost savings to NB Hydro clients (well, "subsidizing" was the term used), while taking over crumbling assets that would need huge repair investments down the road. (It would have committed the utility to sell power to New Brunswick for about 7.5 cents a kilowatt-hour while its newly developed power costs 10 cents or more to produce).
I personally believe NB missed a golden opportunity here. (It smelled like a similar knee jerk reaction as in MF – we can’t allow ourselves to deal with “evil” HQ)). New Brunswick has lost a lifeline that will leave it stuck with heavy debt and a crippled utility. (If you are not convinced of this dire situation, just look at the NB Power current dept, crumbling assets, financial performance and electricity rates…)
But hey! Luckily NB avoided that some of its power generating capacity fell into "Evil Hydro Quebec"!!!
Correction: HQ originally offered $4.75B, but that went down to $3.4B (or $3.2B?) when the transmission/distribution grid and some power generation assets were taken off the deal in January 2010.
So Ex, what are the great Energy minds of NB dreaming up, to be a key player in the power wheeling business? Is the expansion of the Atlantic Public Smart Power grid up and running? Is Vallard not knocking down doors in Fredericton? Is Lepreau making any money, or are the innards of the rebuilt plant about used up its service life? Is thermal coal generation still in service?
Please give us an update. There must be a mega power project about to break out, with all the expertise on Muskrat and Site C about to be idled.
Sorry Robert, I did not hear anything brewing up in NB. The only thing I looked into were NB Power recent financial statements.
I'm not expecting any big news in the short term either, due the limited inter-connexion capacity.
The next big news should be if Massachusetts accepts Emera's long term power proposal, that includes this direct underwater transmission lines to MA (well, conditional to MF actually producing something I guess).
No mention here of the HISTORIC event yesterday. Not since about 1858 was it, when Nfld linked with the mother country with underwater cables for the telegraph……..why no cheering here yesterday……..where was DW , Jerome, Kathy, Tom Marshall etc……no celebration, no clanging of glasses…….
The Rock is now linked for electricity transmission with NS and therefore the North American grid……..didn`t you feel the tingle of more security and reliability today……..
The Maritime Link came in on time and on budget at 1.6 billion, ….achievements like the Upper Churchill, and there was some celebrating:
First power yesterday and commericial operation on Jan 1, less than 3 weeks away…….to help power the holiday load…….in NS.
NS Power says its a great day for NS, while Emera Nfld and Lab says it`s an historic event…….changes the system forever.
Emera Nfld and Lab CEO says this will allow NS to achieve its 40 percent renewable target in 2020…….just waiting for MF to complete……but the link is in operation in 3 weeks……..so where does the power come from……
Emera says for NFLD it will allow them to shut off Holyrood generation (oil fired) , in fact using Maritime Link power `in advance` of the MF project coming into service. WOW, and WOW again.
This suggests we will import (cheap) NS power……maybe all the way from them there USA shale gas plants, right to our Confederation Bldg….or will it be expensive dirty coal fired electricity….
Is this fake news…….
NS has no surplus power, and insufficient link capacity with New Brunswick
We are likely to run short of island hydro power this winter, our water supply being so low.
We may have to use Holyrood not only for the island, big time(already doing that), but maybe also to export to NS ( or make up for our island actually hydro going to NS….which is the reality.
And to say that by 2020 MF power will go to NS…….then why is all MF power coming to Soldiers Pond, a few gunshots from Sin Johns…..
MF can produce on average about 500MW that can reach Soldiers Pond, not near enough for Sin Johns, not alone feeding NS.
NS gets our more reliable island hydro power, and our island hydro shortfall is to be made up from MF. They will argue it is the same thing…an electon is an electron…….true…..except that some electrons are more reliable than others. The Labrador electrons have many loops to jump getting here, and once it goes down…….the fur will fly ……as to why we now have to wait hours to try and some of our island power back, and beg for a few MW of import from NS , who has shortages themselves.
And in such emergency conditions ……..we have no Holyrood to fall back on! Sound like the winter of 1817 for Sin Johns, for decades maybe, on and off. So that is the benefit of linking to the NA grid!
Historic event indeed. Why no celebrations here……….Not even mentioned at the event at MUN last night. Think Nalcor would have been there to inform the naysayers of this historic event, and all the benefits coming our way.
Don't be confused by the Emera spin it is entirely self serving and false.
This masks what Emera is really up to, making excuses to keep our filthy, unscrubbed coal plants running beyond the 2030 national deadline. Emera/NSP can claim a reduction of GHG taking MF power while they lobby to keep burning coal.
When MF delays even further or hits those bumps you refer to Emera dreams they will victimize you again selling power when MF stumbles, while they penalize Nalcor for non delivery of the MF block.
By the way Nalcor never planned to shutter Holyrood and they still don't.
This is nothing more than the Emera vultures circling overhead above Nalcor.
Agree Holyrood will not close……..but may be less used. It will be essential for backup…….so for firm power at times. One big lie from the start to justify MF. But they still suggest Holyrood to be decommissioned……a cock and a bull story at best, as many of the assets there must be kept.
Power peak load for today forecast is 1435 MW…..
For the past week it has ranged from 1153 to 1307, ……so today maybe
about 125 MW more………wonder why……not very cold.
The PUB lists the daily status reports, and item 6 note includes imports form NS and item 7 includes exports( but there is no break down as it is mixed with other data)
Appears to me that today we are exporting to NS……..but not yet commercial……but non commercial and commercial is the same cost …….ZERO cents per kwh……as they supplied the extension cord.
How much and at what cost to us to generate…….is this coming from Holyrood……..
I guess they are on the testing phase for the next 2 weeks……and I await eagerly for the amount, MWs of import and cost of imports…….maybe that will initiate the cheering in the streets.
I hear that Ed Martin will return from Florida for the import event, and appear with Danny, and take media questions. Talks that CNN and Anderson Cooper may show up, upstage the local media, for such an historic event.
Watched the webcast of the MUN affair last evening. Had to leave before windup, Alan Doyle and the CPR Holiday train came through Fernie, and played to very enthusiastic fans.
I thank all who participated, in particular, Sister Elizabeth who emphasized the importance of looking to the future very grave impacts of the Muskrat development. Don't get the impression, other than the few passionate NLers present, that many of the public give two bits of the rather dire circumstances you all face. A valiant effort made, but a very complacent community. The new Liberal in Burin, etc. with an 80% support is a bad omen. What does he stand for? If that's the best you have to offer, good luck.
Winston….are you saying that there will be a big celebration of Eddie and Dannie et al when we ship bay despoir power to ns for free, while we flash up more generators at holyrood so we can generate more expensive power for ourselves. Please clearify, but that's what I understand you are saying. Are we all as dumb as that, because that's how dumb we were to start muskrat and now my God we are acting dummer by celebrating and that includes Dannie and Eddie and all. Please tell me I am wrong….. Or maybe the brave, fearless, dummer media can enlighten us ….
Well, an historic event must be celebrated by those that had the vision of this legacy project, and if for no other reason, rejoice for the ability to circumvent Quebec , by the Anglo Saxon route, which must mean something other than the French route.
Seems race had a higher priority than economics. Small minded people.
I recall Clyde Wells made the rational argument against Peckford….and the Sprung deal….. that you could grow cucumbers at the North Pole, but was it economic to do so? Too bad Wells did not speak out against Muskrat.
What percentage of Nflders even realize that it is actually our island power going to NS, (paid for over 50 years and costing us about 3 cents per kwh)………..but now we generate at Holyrood for 18 cents for the old units, and cheap oil or 28 cents for the new gas turbine…..and our low cost hydro goes free to NS ( via their extension cord)
Ryan Snodden , the CBC weatherman asks what Santa can bring Nfld for Xmas………….I say a good dump of rain………it could save us on our bills, 25 to 50 million for one dump……..or maybe save us nothing, depending how much of the electricity generated from that dump goes east to the Avalon, and how must west to NS. Follow the electrons.
So let me see if I can make scense out if this….we will celebrate the sending of our free electrons to ns, and receiving some back across the Cabot strait, as someone said something similar was done over a hundred years ago with the first Atlantic cable to hearts content, so no big jump in technology, electricity has continued to be transported via underwater cable ever since. Because it crossed my mind that maybe that was the real reason for the maritime link from the beginning, that Eddie could prove that if we built muskrat and the towers got knocked down on the gaff topsails or an iceberg took out the cable in the belle isle straits, then we could import our power needs via Cabot strait from ns,….but not sure where they would get the power to send our way. So would have to be Quebec power, maybe upper Churchill, through nb coming back our way to the Avalon. Or would it be pei power from their forest or cow dung. (Yes we can do anything, like growing cucumbers at the North Pole, think Stan the man said he could put a line to the moon, easier to do than calculating the difference between stopping muskrat than keeping it going….) Wow ..my God what a plan, you could not make this shit up. And we will celebrate this great technology advancement with all the bells and whistles, along with Santa, Dannie, and Eddie et al. God save the queen for creating this Anglo Saxon route, never knew we had it in us. Yes sir, she's worth every last cent of the 15$ billion. This is an insight into the speaches that will be given at the celebrations, I know because I am one of the few that has won the contract for the speaches writing, keep her going boys, I might make a few dollars on this myself. The givernment is good for it…be rubbing shoulders with ball et al, Eddie, Cathie, Dannie, Stan the man, and all the former elected politicans, yes, by she's going to be a big event, bigger than the upper and lower Churchill all put together….go gull go, right for the gullies……yes, another one of them dam dreams…
And the overall scheme has another kicker…
As Bruno will attest, Wind energy is getting more competitive, in Mexico just coming in at about 1.8 cents per kwh. However Bruno generally overlooks that wind energy to be a bit unstable to the grid, but works fine when anchored to the more robust hydro generation. In some places wind is feasible to 30 percent of the hydro capacity. Now our island hydro is nearly 1200 MW, so 30 percent is 360MW of wind allowance. We have a mere 54 kw of wind operating here. Reasonable wind additions was ignored for the island option (as well as customer efficiency)
Now with NS getting our island hydro, up to 500 MW of capacity of the Link, enables then to use 150 MW of additinal wind allowance to their grid,(they are now about 200 MW already) and deprives our grid from that wonderful economic renewable wind resource for our citizens. Another bonus handed to NS by our 6 million dollar Eddie.
Can't make this shit up…… it is written into contracts ,I believe. We lose not just our hydro but our wind power too.
Of course you can put up a wind generator, but not allowed to sell the energy. Even Nfld Power is not allowed to generate wind power!
So much to celebrate when the Link goes commercial on Jan 1, 2018……..an historic day.
I guess they are currently ramping up the MWs during the testing phase. Electrons are flowings across the Straits,to NS, but no revenue coming back. All according to plan, as MF was never evaluated to be the least cost option for Nfld, just a scheme…….
Wind energy is not "unstable" any longer Winston. You know that. With battery storage wind and sun are stable, can meet demand in real time saving money on deferred spinning reserve and make load balancing cheaper.
Yes the renewables are banned by the Nalcor bills. It is a clumsy attempt to discourage cheaper alternatives and can and should be changed. It would be a good question for the Liberals now.
As ball would say, do they have the gull to show their noses at that kind of celebration, someone has got to be kidding me, yes, and trying to justify it all, as it was the best plan with the knowledge and information available at the time, and Cathie d. Would call it all hogwash. And yes the wind that blows here is all taken, sin John's is the
Third windiest city in the world, all the others are in South America, and now all going across the straits. They are all a bunch of criminals, giving away our cheap wind and hydro power and saddling us with 30 or 50 cent kWh power. Treasonous for signing away our heritage and bankrupting this tiny province. Our population is similar to the city of Hamilton and we have very little heavy industry on the island, can anyone imagine building a muskrat for that city located a thousand miles away, nit even rob Ford could think of that in his wildest binges for the biggest city in the country. They must have had input from the great tycoon Trumpie, he could build us a wall in no time flat and call it a dam. This could be all so humorous except most of it is true, and you and I and generations to come are going to have to pay for it….and they want a celebration….can they not volunteer for a public flogging instead…and be exiled to mud lake, after it has been resettled, and call it square…..just a taught.
Build a wall and call it a dam……..that too:
At the Spur they install a cut off wall. (a COW they call it). This is suppose to prevent water penetration into the muddy sandy soil, to keep it stable. Now according to DR B, once flooded, the pressure will be too great. That wall and all goes with the North Spur as it collapses.
So our COW, a great wall that…….except it will fail. It will not stabilize the Spur no more than Trumps wall will keep out the bad dudes of Mexico.
So like Trump, Nalcor too has built a great wall!
PENG2 is still assessing Dr B latest analysis, and will likely comment on this blog soon.
As to Bruno and wind stability with batteries…..there is the issue of battery cost and capacity. The 100MW Tesla system in Australia provided storage for less than 2 hours. This can be important for short term peaks in many climates, but our winter peaks here are like for 3 day cold snaps, so say 72 hours. And cold climate minisplits can ride our a 3 month cold snap(especially when attic mounted) at 50 percent reduction of peak load for the space heating component of the grid…….that is why must YOU AGREE with me, Bruno, that Demand Side Management is #1, and minisplits is #1 among the many efficency options…right? I'm talking Nfld climate, not Australia. You and I must get to agree on this sooner or later.Even the Bard thinks it is pragmatic! On this great poem , you said not a word!
Listen to the wind Winston. Listen to the sound of the best wind regime in the world. You do have a fixation on your pet projects.The industrial batteries are getting more energy dense, lighter and cheaper. Please let the facts, rather than your bias speak.
"It has the capacity to power 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a blackout, but is more likely to be called into action to even out electricity supplies at less critical times." In other words it will be primarily load balancing and 30,000 homes for an hour is a lot of backup power.
Bigger cheaper batteries are on the way. The result you will not acknowledge is that wind or sun and battery storage are now reliable, stable and cost effective. They would work well with mini splits in efficient homes don't you think?
Bruno……clicked your name by error above, and showed you have 4 followers and you are male…….so many more follow you here…..maybe.
You keep jumping around, Bruno, like a jumping jack. As to which is best, you must define for what location….I refer to Nfld, and you refer to Australia, then maybe you jump to Germany.
100mw will heat only 16,666 houses in Nfld for 1 hr, each with 6 kw of baseboard electric heat. Some monster house near me, wit 35 kw of heat…..your batteries would only heat 2857 of such houses for an hour! In Australia for AC, you get cooling etc for 30,000 houses…….but I talk chalk and you talk cheese……..
As much of the world is hot climates , the batteries is more useful there……but what good is hour of heating here for a few houses when a cold snap and possible outage is say for 3 days or more?
I acknowledge wind, sun and storage is making leaps and bounds for many areas……..but wind is about 40 percent capacity of name plate rating, solar is about 20 percent efficient, and HPs 300 percent or more efficient, and has negative transmission losses for the grid compared to baseboard.
Who, in theirr right mind would not fixate on the HP technology for Nfld…. and NS and now Ontario is jumping on board.
Minisplits work with either hydro, thermal , wind or solar as imput………but require very little power from either.
I think you are playing dumb for the sake of argument….as HPs are HUGELY effective for Nfld.
Put all under a cost effectiveness and reliabiliy analysis and see the result which is best FOR NFLD…..and Australia.
And wind and solar are supply solutions whereas HPs are DSM, Demand Management, Efficiency solutions….and you have already conceded that DSM is number one!
Now don't jump around in your response……., people see through that. I have a little problem with tangential thinking……..but you turn at right angles,me thinks.
Bruno, max heat load today was 500 watts about 2am, presently 390 watts for 1000 sq ft house. Your toaster is 900 watts.
At 10 watts per sq ft , Nfld power would recommend 10 kw of baseboard.
HPs freighten the S..T out of them Fortis shareholders and Take Charge scallyways……….and you seem in bed with them to deny the savings potential for ordinary households,,,,I don't get your stance on this….did a minisplit fall and split your head or something…..you seem intelligent to grasp most concepts , but this…..your arguments fall flat.
You are getting cantankerous Winston. Please re-read my post. The only difference between our views is your obsession with HP. I get it. They make good sense for well insulated homes. The installation should follow manufacturers direction. For less well insulated homes, insulation and efficient windows are more important.
Why must you be disagreeable when we agree? Yes HP save energy. Many other things do too. Your evangelism blinds you to the bigger picture.
Cantankerous……who would not be when also dealing with a close relative with stage 4 cancer, and I the caregiver, to supervise home infusion chemo. The process started, oddly about the day you advised in your post that you sadly had lost your wife years ago. I felt your pain.
So this blog and energy issues is a ok distraction more so than a fixation. Chemo…..a concoction of poisons with severe and dangerous side effects that may have benefits. Healthcare here now seems to have declined in quality…..waiting for one to bleed from the bowels before doing preventative appropriate scope tests,with stage 4 results into other organs and making surgery to risky. I guess less scope testing allows money to funnel for Muskrat.
As to my " obsession" with HPs…..I have obsessive traits that I see as beneficial that allows me to focus, usually, but not technically obsessive personally.
And no…..you do not "get" HPs ….except maybe a little. They are tricky creatures.
The bigger picture , as I see it, is that we are losing the battle with climate change. The change is more rapid that the solution…….almost every week there is a new study saying the effects from climate change were underestimated…..it is worse than scientists predicted.
For the smaller Nfld picture:
Myths of minisplits:
1. that for Nfld they will all shut down in adverse weather, therefore assume no reduction to peak load.
2. that they save little if any energy at cold temperatures, so cannot reduce peak load.
3. that energy savings for heat is only about 25 percent instead of 50-60 percent, so questionable cost effective.
Those 3 myths is fake news, used by the power companies here, Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro (the Take Charge Scallywags) not wanting to lose revenue.
4. They make good sense for well insulated homes. This is fake news by you Bruno. Here is why:
A R2000 house (which is well insulated) has about 10 year payback with a minisplit, a typical house, about 5-6 year payback, so more cost effective for standard houses. The reason being, a R2000 has substantial investment costs into insulation and windows and air tightness,and has less heating energy to save, as compared to standard houses. This is not obvious, unless you give it some thought……so a common misconception.
However high quality construction combined with minisplits will give the lowest energy savings per sq ft. My monitoring shows achieving 1.5 watts per sq ft needed for a typical house, and o.9 watts per sq ft for R2000 , at say -17C.
For poorly constructed house, better insulation, windows are recommended prior to , or along with HPs.
5. Your reference to following mfg installation direction seems intended to discredit attic mounting. To suggest appropriate attic mounting is not superior is a myth, that you imply…….not being convinced of the 5 or 6 benefits.
6 Me an evangelist for MSHPs?……maybe some truth to that, but few adherents ……yet 4 have commented here of their very excellent results ……a long way to get to NS 20,000 per year rate. Should I ramp up my evangelism?
I regretted my cantankerous remark of my previous post….but a minute too late.
Item 4 should read "will give the lowest energy use per sq ft"
And add Myth 7: that MSHP defrost so often that their energy use is about the same as regular baseboard heaters. This myth likely by contractors promoting oil or gas heat, as a caller to Patty Daley on VOCM made the statement…..and Patty replied he knew nothing to comment for or against the notion.
So…..what is the truth to that idea? Largely BS.
Winston I share your pain. My wife endured all the indignities of the crude and ugly treatments when she was diagnosed, radiation implants, radiation treatment and a chemo regime so toxic once is a life time dose (read the second would kill you).
I vowed I would never submit myself to that kind of torture or my family to that kind of misery. The unsavory choices that left before the assisted death laws haunted me. Finally treatments are becoming less systemic, more targeted and much less blunt and horrific.
I know that does help your present situation but there is some hope for the future. My wife stayed at home until days from the end with the help of in home palliative care nurses visiting weekly. They were a godsend (even to an atheist) and all concerned, including my doctor learned about effective pain management from them. I hope you have access to palliative care help.
Palliative care and pain management is an art. Finding the balance between pain management and being lucid is the goal. Even when you find the balance that point keeps shifting as the disease progresses. It takes a skilled and coordinated team to allow your loved one dignity in their final days.
Best wishes Winston.
On the HP in poorly insulated homes you are correct of course but the amount of ENERGY saved and therefore the cost savings are greater with insulation, windows etc. first.
At present I read, research and learn and hope….that the outcome will be favourable. As for faith, if a scientist like Einstein believed in God, and there is no certainty, but why should lesser mortals rule it out? With 3 of 6 chemo now done, there is some positive indicators. Hope reigns, yet.
Thanks for sharing such difficult events.
As readers may know, there was tiff between Brian Jones of the Telegram and Bruno. Jones also took a swipe at Ed Hollett, calling him a troll.
When I was a kid, 60 or more years ag, a troll was a very ugly creature that lived underneath a bridge,that looked like a cross between a goat and a dragon, that preyed on innocent children that happened by. So, as kids , if they could not frighten us with talk of fairies and hobgobblins, there was always the troll.
So I was at a loss when I saw Ashley Fitzpatrick , about 2 years ago, if memory serves, refer to MF naysayer Maurice Adams, as a troll. Surprised given Maurice , like Dave Vardy, is ralatively handsome, more so than say Bruno, or myself. I had no idea of the computer age lingo….of computer trolls.
So,…. Jones calls Hollett a troll. Now, certainly Hollett could improve his appearance if he got rid of that silly bow tie. Yet, he certainly don't meet the standard of the creature that lived under the bridge, that creature being a real troll. And Hollett is not picking on children…is he, if critical of local media people.
As one might expect , Hollett has responded to the occasion, a piece called "Don't blame the media". Under Gnarley has a link to the Sir Robert Bond Papers.
Hollett reminds us that the Telegram did not cover all the angle of Muskrat, as Jones claims. He quotes the telegram "Build it and they will come…….and Danny, saying…..you can't be in the energy game if you don't roll the dice.
But Hollett don't totally blame the media…he reminds us that 71 percent of Nflders supported MF, and 40 percent still do!
Winston how dare you say " Dave Vardy, is ralatively handsome, more so than say Bruno, or myself"? I thought I looked like that 400 million Da Vinci?
Like Trump calls every news story he does not like fake news, Jones calls anyone who criticizes him a troll. it is especially hypocritical since he trolled and trolled me by email trying to inflame and lead me without telling me what he was up to.
Don't recall saying you looked like the 400 million Da Vinchi. I said, I believe, you reminded me a LITTLE of that painting. You interpreted that to say your image may be woth at least on million. There is online photos of you with long hair. The 400 million painting is of a man with long hear, but also, I thought, with very compassionate looking eyes and face. Not sure if this meant to be representation of Jesus. Maybe that explains the high value.
Why don't you submit a piece to UG, including your photo, that I might assess your relative handsomeness. But more so, your piece be on the topic of our feudal system here. Your most important contribution to this blog, I think, is a constant reminder of our lack of true democratic system here. There is much truth to that. And your looks should be secondary to the make up of the grey matter between your ears. Perhaps that is reflected in your face, whether a painter or camera can capture that? Beauty is merely skin deep, right? And in the eye of the beholder. George Bush said he could see into the soul of Putin, praising him, after having met him. One bad dude praising another. Might we see your soul, Burno?
Now you are starting to sound like a politician Winston. I am only a little like that photo? Is that like being a bit pregnant?
This blog is doing so well why would you risk my image cracking the blog like a mirror?
Do you not think the case to end the feudal grip on your politics is best made by a native son? The evidence for the feudal undermining of your democracy is buttressed with evidence of PUB interference, JRP interference, FOI decimation, the Nalcor bills creating an unaccountable state within a state, absolute secrecy in contracts and contractor salaries and who the "agents' were that "facilitated" the contracts, the impotence of your Opposition, now obfuscators in chief, etc.
It is up to someone there to point out that democracy is more than electing unaccountable despots. It is about transparency and accountability. If that is not apparent by now I can't help out Winston.
Certainly, Vardy has commented on the democratic deficit. But your theme mostly, and very true. Perhaps you worry that some would say we don't need outsiders to tell us our problems. But you tell us that in bits and pieces…..so an essay would be good.
Now come on, Bruno…..you want me to say you look entirely like the Da Vinchi? Even the on line photo of you was poor quality. Give us your best shot……Hair length alone says so little.
So sad to see the MUN event audience not filling the room.
Two years ago I stated that reasoned arguments seems to have no impact…….only when the bill arrive in the mails, and other services cut will there an outcry. All the time and effort by the naysayers for so little benefit yet.
The MUN event did have overtones of a separate citizens inquiry, as proposed by Robert Holmes……..and i wonder if it might produce better results that the flawed official inquiry.
To the topic
UG says "Quebec is not our friend…Quebec will have the last laugh"
I generally agree with most everything the Uncle writes…but
I have never thought of Quebec as our enemy, nor as laughing as us.
I do agree that that Quebec is more astute in matters of business and politics.
Business can be win win, as too for politics.
Certainly, given the history of exploration and settlement, Quebec got a raw deal in 1927, and there was bias for Nfld, and that not easily forgotten by Quebec. But that is old history. I do not see Quebec giving up rights gained by contracts that were agreed to……but we in this province have made a shit of it by the Muskrat decision. Our fellow provinces can only pity us, not laugh at us. We deserve pity, or as the saying goes, make a hard bed and lie on it.
The Maritimes needs Quebec and Labrador and Nfld hydro power. The US market will be saturated with cheap shale gas power for some time, but slowing add to renewable hydro from Canada, unless some other cheap renewable comes along; as hydro , wind and solar all complement each other and has a place in the energy solution to reduce fossil fuel use. HQ assets will not soon be obsolete. How the hell this can happen with some degree of protection for Nfld is the problem. That the feds help financially…….sounds a bit like the railways that tied Canada together, or the TCH……..the devil is in the details, and maybe no devil at all. Danny knocked humpty Dumpty off the wall, putting him together is not easy. And who can we trust, from our province?
We need a Robert Bond . Is Bill Barry a next best? Dammed if I know….but I would like to see him challenge Crosbie and the other fella.
Robert I see the NDP in BC are shameless hypocrites. This quote is almost beyond belief for the chutzpa.
"Look, there has been over 150 years of disappointment in B.C.," he told reporters Monday. "I am not the first person to stand before you and disappoint Indigenous people.
"But I think I am the first to stand before you and say I am going to do my level best to make amends for a whole host of issues and decisions that previous governments have made to put Indigenous people in an unwinnable situation."
The saddest part of this farce is that the Greens voted with the government to let this proceed. I had hoped Weaver would put principle above expediency. I guess holding the balance of power means more than either the environment, the treasury or reconciliation with First Nations.
Nikiforuk has a good piece that outlines the Trudeau plan to create hydropower for export and the myths that underlie it.
The similarities between Site C and MF are obvious and the GHG free myth are exploded.
Bruno, this is what you get, when we the people are not prepared to adopt a collective plan to reduce carbon footprint. The pushback by the fossil fuel industry is mighty, just like the failure of the imperial whites to accept that the Indigenous culture, are the only true protectors of the land. Sister Elizabeth Davis, bless her, is messaging "We are borrowing the lands from our grandchildren". Indigenous we are told out here, consider the consequences of important decisions on the next seven generations. Compare that with only the next election. Our NDP/Green coalition is just a blip before the fossil fuel/fracking dirt movers will take back control.
Sadly it looks like the fossil fuel/fracking dirt movers already have in BC.
"When NL sought “wheeling rights” to transmit power through Quebec, the province was denied by that province…"
Des, I don't really subscribe to that statement/victim syndrome.
Simply put, there was just not enough room on the existing HQ grid to carry all the amount of power requested. (Obviously, included the future production of La Romaine in its capacity calculation)
HQ instead proposed capacity improvements to its grid that would have enabled it to carry the power requested by NL.
Instead, NL elected to spend WAY MORE money (via free power to Emera) on the Maritime Link – well, the Anglo Saxon route.
Correction: Obviously, "HQ" included the future production of La Romaine…
The beat goes on in Ontario. Just think of the energy savings, (Indefinite deferral of Muskrat, $1B per year), had Danny's legacy fund, AKA Cap and Trade, been put into programs like this;
Time for bright Engineers to step up and save future grandchildren, make Sister Elizabeth smile.
Imagine rebates of 60 to 85 percent for minisplit (and other style) heatpumps that then can save you 60 percent on hour heating costs.
That's what Ontario is now doing. Must have read the Bard's poem. And this paid for from cap and trade carbon reduction climate plan.
Units are almost free…….1.5 billion would have retrofitted every house in Nfld,and cut power bills about 30 percent…..we opted to spend 13 billion and double power rates.
This from the Ont Green Plan. Nfld has no green plan…..just too green to burn seems appropriate.
Thanks for the link Robert.
Wow. Ontario has a substantial overcapacity problem, they've really screwed up rates for decades to come, yet they can still offer this program. Could there possibly be hope for us in the future to do something similar because it is the right thing to do? Well, let's not hold our breath on that.
Coincidentally, I just put in a new 24kbtu tri-zone MSHP last month anyway with zero rebates. Using an Efergy power consumption monitor and it appears to be right on track to reducing heating by COP factor of 3 (unit is rated at 4 but I was never that optimistic).
Look at this, Rachel Notley in a "Rich Revenue" oil producing province, is announcing Renewable Energy Projects. Why is Tom Osborne crying about the tax sharing formula? What Renewable Energy project list is he about to announce?
Alberta going big on wind energy.
They went for bids for 400 MW and prices were so attractive they will go for 600 MW. The price for wind energy came in at 3.7 cents per kwh…….muskrat is over 60 cents per kwh! Alberta is the oil capital of Canada, but going Green as is Ontario.
Look at Ont and Alberta today and suppose Nfld has done both, wind and heatpumps…….equals least cost option.
If engineers with Nfld Hydro and Nfld Power are not all stupid, they must have known this was the way to go…….will the Inquiry expose why they turned a blind eye, and this was shut out of proper evaluation?