Stan Marshall’s Muskrat Falls Update entitled “Understanding Muskrat” ought to have been an opportunity for the Nalcor CEO to engage with
the public and sensibly discuss a litany of concerns. That’s not what he had in

Perhaps it was the air of arrogance that killed the evening at
Memorial’s Bruneau Centre, though the softening of his “boondoggle” coinage
inspired a measure of incredulity. The readiness to bully every critic of the
project — no matter the legitimacy of their claims — spoke to a man who needed
understanding less than he did validation, though condescension is not normally
known to help win friends.

Photo credit: CBC
The tone of the meeting was set by Nalcor’s well paid booster,
Dr. Wade Locke, who just made Uncle Gnarley’s “Moonshine” List.  Locke’s demeanor presaged Marshall’s with the announcement
that the CEO would take questions, whereupon he asked the audience to be “respectful”.
Perhaps, given the average age of the attendees, he could only have been concerned
that they might attack Marshall with their walkers. 
In the early days after Muskrat
Sanction, Stan Marshall went about the cocktail circuit proclaiming that he
wouldn’t touch the project with a “barge pole”. Now he declares that
politicians have a right to engage in public policy including “boondoggles” — a
dubious claim to be sure. He rightly asserts that if Muskrat was a decision
about the “lowest cost option,” it was not a good one. Strangely, in almost the
same breath, he suggests that if it was a decision to engage in boondoggle
politics, then we got what we paid for.  There
is no mention of deliberately distorted estimates, mismanagement on an
egregious scale, or of a terribly unqualified management team. 
He offers no apology for having
failed to check whether any of Ed Martin’s appointees had “heavy civil” or “megaproject”
on their resumes. He extolls Nalcor’s safety record. “No deaths” was his
benchmark of success. I wondered if the ones buried up to their necks in wet concrete following a
blowout in formwork — which, as a long-hidden report confirmed, suffered
deterioration including “rot” — would agree with his assessment. 
Ownership of the project, after
having embraced Ed Martin’s team as all “good people,” seems to have changed
The “new” Stan’s purpose seems
less inclined towards engaging the community than to do a “sell” job. Stan was
selling “Stan”. Except he had chosen the wrong audience.
To be fair, no one expected Marshall
to continue his “boondoggle” rant. After all, morale at Nalcor — and on the
Project — is as low as it can go. When the new CEO reminds you daily, by his
sheer presence, that your work is worthless, that you are engaged in a
political scheme, a “boondoggle” — and when the facts confirm the same — staff
might be conscious that they don’t work for the best of crown corporations.
That is unfortunate — because most are
good people. But not all of them. And it must feel awful when the capable ones
know that the real culprits, mostly the ones overpaid, are seated down the hall.
For that reason alone, an
approach that recognized Muskrat’s origins and how Nalcor will co-operate with
Judge LeBlanc’s Inquiry would have been appropriate. Stan was having none of
that — in aid of which his script contained the unmistakable imprint of the PR
team inside central casting.
Marshall did begin by telling us what
we already knew: that MF was a mess from the beginning; that Astaldi was
nearing bankruptcy. But he was quick to add that after he separated the management of the transmission and generation
projects, all has gone swimmingly. 
The script from central casting persisted.
Apparently, we have been characterising
Muskrat all wrong. The public, Marshall said, had neglected to see “the big
picture;” that we were assessing the project only through the lens of the
project’s constituent parts. We were drawing all the wrong conclusions.
As you can imagine, the gasp from
the packed hall was audible. How in the world could perspective change what
everyone knows is an “international cock-up” — more than 100% over budget and
more than two years behind? What in the world had we all missed?
In support of this claim, Marshall
offered the observation that Muskrat was mainly a transmission project. Even if
the assertion were true, and it isn’t, where was this line leading? I still
don’t know. 
But, for some reason, it was
important to him. Marshall bolstered the claim by adding the cost of the Maritime
Link which Emera built on time and on schedule. It is an Emera asset for the
next 35 years. The fact is that, with the ML cost removed, transmission and
generation each represents 50%. In addition, the lack of a Water Management
Agreement undermines the value of the LTA asset — namely, the transmission line
to the Upper Churchill — and underscores his dubious thesis.
Stan then moved to the next plank
in bolstering his “big picture”
thinking. He declared that we shouldn’t be complaining so much about the unit power
cost of 17.42 cents per kWh to Soldier’s Pond. After all, he stated with
characteristic bluntness, Ontario already has MF rates and we should just suck
it up. 
As if Nalcor is imbued with some
genetic fault, always choosing the shortest route to crash, Marshall likewise
was all too determined to follow the Muskrat train wreck. 
A savvy audience knew that he had
conveniently neglected to mention that Ontario has committed some of the worst energy
policy blunders; it’s just that they can afford screwing up better than NL can.
The audience also knew that, saving Ontario’s bacon, is cheap natural gas —
which Ontarians use for heating and much more. 
But that wasn’t the worst
propaganda from central casting. Obscured in his narrative was the mother of
all statistics: 17.42 c/kWh is the price
needed for every single kWh of the 4900 GWh to be produced by the project —
including the free stuff to Nova Scotia (and that number does not account for line losses.)
Marshall had failed to tie
together his own Chart 26 which sets the Island requirement at 1324 GWh out of the 4900 GWh (slide 25) the project is supposed to produce. That’s only 27% of MF
power. Let’s do the math: 17.42/0.27 = 64.5 cents per kWh.  

Marshall acknowledged that Nalcor
will net only 2 cents per kWh from the sale of the surplus power. But he didn’t
give the issue context or as much as acknowledge that Muskrat Falls will need
revenues of over $800 million just for debt servicing, operations and
management. Nalcor’s own numbers suggest export power will contribute only
around $50 million to the revenue demand. He offered no answers as to how the
difference might be bridged. The very least he could have done was provide an
additional chart showing the net requirement of 62.5 cents/kWh.
Does Ontario pay 62.5 cents/kWh
including for heating? On what public policy basis — even if political — might
he assert that 62.5 cents/kWh power constitutes a rational decision?
His pie chart described the cost
of generation at seven cents per kWh, but he didn’t tell the audience that the
financing structure is back-end loaded and the return on equity delayed — all for
later inclusion in the rate structure.
As to the impact on energy
consumption from 17 c/kWh power, there was no a mention. “Elasticity of demand”
(a very basic economic concept which predicts a drop in consumption as the
price of a commodity increases) was avoided and panned by him when I raised it
in the Q&A Session.
Where was the “big picture”
perspective he had promised? 
Obviously, an entire audience failed
to capture his superior discernment as to what is really important. Perhaps
they were too put off by his unseemly aggressiveness and bluster to have caught
The Q&A session was no more
enlightening — though I did cast an eye about to see who had a firm grip on
their walker and whether Dr. Locke was ready for sacrificial intervention should
someone interfere with the CEO of his generous benefactor.
Marshall dismissed a questioner
on FERC or open access transmission tariffs (remember Bill 61 was designed to
stamp out competition) while Nalcor seeks to export power to the U.S. in
defiance of FERC rules.
He tells us he is not fond of the
Commission of Inquiry
. “The
last thing I need is more people coming in for explanations,” the CEO commented.
I can understand that. Imagine the whining he will get from all the management
people he kept on who will have to explain their role in what went wrong!
Besides, hadn’t Nalcor long ago eschewed independent “oversight,” giving speed
to the train wreck?

“This has been the most over-governed project
ever,” said Marshall.
Except Stan should be the first to know that
not one of those individuals given an oversight role had a clue about the
megaproject, not even what questions to ask — including Cabinet Ministers and successive
Premiers. That group includes the Oversight Committee, which only recently got
a couple of independent types who are probably asking about Nalcor’s (limited) capability.
Without doubt, the coup de grâce of the evening
occurred when a gentleman named Sean McGrath challenged the Nalcor CEO for the
failure of democracy in the province and Nalcor’s role therein, McGrath noting how
Marshall had glossed over the irreparable harm to the province’s fiscal
standing wrought by the foolhardy project. 
McGrath was thanked for his thoughtful remark
with the condescension and scorn which Marshall delivered onto most of the
questioners, including the one prior to McGrath who took the CEO to task
regarding the implications of the North Spur stability problem. Not
surprisingly, the applause that erupted was not for Stan Marshall.
On the North Spur, Stan announced that Dr.
Bernander “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” (Note to Stan: Bernander is
Swedish, not Norwegian.) (Note to Memorial University: please omit sections in
Geoscience literature in which the research of world-renowned expert, Dr. Stig
Bernander, regarding “sensitive clays” is discussed.) 
As to the North Spur remediation scheme, he
adds: “I’m confident of the design — 100%” and added, “Nobody is going to drown
downstream — nobody.” 
David Vardy reminded Marshall that those
Consultants he hired were Nalcor appointments — that perhaps he would let “independent”
geoscientists review Nalcor’s design… in response to which he was given a burst
of petulance: any more studies, Marshall sternly instructed, he (Vardy) would
have to pay for.
As this narrative suggests, at the podium was
not the “able, skilful, confident” Stan Marshall long fabled in envelopes from
Fortis, tucked in with the “Notice of Dividend”. This Stan Marshall seemed
content to have been captured by the Lilliputians of the “boondoggle” whose
best skill is “spin”. 
I expected better. I think the audience did,
too. The perfunctory applause, and the looks of bewilderment afterwards, provided
the best review of Stan’s performance.
If the evening offered a single benefit, it was
this: Marshall’s performance was a much-needed reminder of the wisdom of a line
contained in an old Andy Moor lyric — “Give no one your faith undeserved.”

Updated Feb. 19/2017
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. Sometimes the devil is in the details. Within the presentation that Stan gave there was a updated forecast for interconnected sales (Slide 25). It was dated June 2017, and it predicted little to no growth in demand. In 2040 there was about 7.1 TWhr of energy required.

    Yet in the 2017 update Marshall presented an updated demand curve from May 2017 (a month earlier than the one presented last week). In that model there was 7.5 TWhr required in 2040. So Nalcor have again reduced their demand projections going forward.

    Which this in itself is perfectly ok. But in the presentation last week Marshall provided a rate projection which is unchanged from the June 2017 update. In fact rates will be higher as we are using less energy per the current forecast.

    These guys…

    • The important number is $500—that is the amount every man, woman and child will pay in Newfoundland for 57yrs to cover the capital cost of MF.

      Spreading over hypothetical energy profits etc does no good to explain the situation is amounts to spin doctoring only.


    • How in the name of god did all this happen? Was there not anyone who had the foresight to raise the alarm? Seems to me they saw an opportunity to fill their pockets and sold their souls and our futures. They all must have been complicit.

  2. Guess we could say, Stan the man met with his share holders, and they were not impressed. When that happens doesn't the ceo resign or get fired?? Should the media, CBC or others allow all share holders to see his performance, by presenting this, if not live or in prime time, then a rebroadcast at another time. Otherwise we have to take UG's summary and evaluation of his performance, maybe other bloggers who attended live may have a different take on Stan's performance, because to date the media have been rather shy in presenting much of the proceedings. But would have to say, the little they presented in short bites, confirmed UG assessment. I would have to conclude that muskrat was a boondoggle from the beginning, is still a boondoggle, and despite Stan that man's spin it will always be a boondoggle. He did nothing to convince us otherwise, unless he is the real messiah, and all the others were fake.

  3. After watching the video, I was left with a feeling I had just seen this show before. Was it when George W. Bush would use a dopey comedic relief during a public address making a serious situation awkward? Or maybe like on Boston Legal when William Shatner's character was so confused and unaware, he'd make others confused. So this was right guy for the job? Mr. Marshall, it's actually you who do not see the BIG picture. The rate-paying households of NL simply just want answers. Not sure why you can't see that. Been a BIG issue for a long time. So while you collect your $600,000 plus salary and pay your electricity bill with ease, please deal with the explanations. That salary is worth that if nothing more.

    • Funny you mention Shatner. As I watched Stan Marshall's talk at MUN, I noticed he has a physical resemblance to Shatner and that he could probably do a good impersonation.
      If Muskrat Falls were made into a movie/ mockumentary, then maybe they cast Shatner as Stan Marshall.

  4. For those not able to attend in person, the video of the presentation was available on last week, check out:

    My concern is are we shooting the messenger—is it Nalcor or the Government who owe the populace answers? As much as we want to call ourselves 'shareholders of Nalcor' etc, we are not—we elected 48 members of the HoA do deal with these issues on our behalf. I do expect it will be said in the inquiry that decisions governing MF and other Nalcor operations were strictly under the purview of various Ministers, not the House as a whole and not the populace.

    We are owed answers, I am just not sure who owes them to the public—Nalcor or the Government.

    Also, 2 other points related to other miscellaneous postings:
    1) DW first public comment saying MF was a go came in 2006, considering he came to power in 2003 I would suggest that his first act in office was to effectively give MF the go inspite of the info of the day saying it was misguided
    2) in considering the Spur issues and a lack of info to properly assign parameters, there is world-class facility in St John's that is ideally suited to this type of work and infact there is are usually members from both Nalcor and a Government Minister on this organizations BoD


    • Png2 "Is it nalcor or the givernment whi owe the populace answers", a good question but they are basically the one and the same. When nalcor was formed, and muskrat announced there was not a hairs breath between them. The govt set up all kinds of road blocks to protect muskrat and nalcor from the public and governing bodies, like the pub and public tendering act, all in our best interest they said. What baloney, that was so nalcor could operate carte blanch, and in secrecy. When my elected member came to my door for a vote he called it my company, or our company, not the minister of resources. And most ministers didn't have a clue about muskrat, one minister of resources, Dally, said he didn't read reports, he left that to nalcor. So don't give that marlacky, about the cabinet and MHAs representing us, they kept their heads down and mouths shut except to say yea, when it came time to vote. The real shareholders that represented the average Joe are some of the same people on this blog, and we all know who they are. So yes, we are the real share holders, and will be for the next 57 years, form our power rates, not the so called representives, that have their pensions and spend most of their time in Florida. But yes, I would also ask where is the current minister of resources, her silence is deafening, and if Stan the man can't give us answers, I am sure she can't. And nope, stan the man doesn't sound like the messenger, he sounds like the real Macoy, the guy running the show, and not be holding to anyone.

    • PENG2, none of that shows D.W. saying, in 2006, that *Muskrat Falls* was a "go".

      In fact, well into 2010, the charade continued to be that the "Lower Churchill" would be "developed". The Muskrat-only option was a very late bait-and-switch.

      Read the 2007 "Energy Plan" BS to start.

  5. Nothing more than you would expect from a blinkered engineer who wants to get the work done. At any Cost!!! #IStandWithTheLabradorLandProtectors…#ShutMuskratDown…. DANGER!!! DIRE WARNING!!! The Muskrat Falls INQUIRY has been set-up by the Government and is being judged by the Government. It is NOT IMPARTIAL. It is NOT INDEPENDENT.

  6. Can someone tell me if the converter station in Nova Scotia to convert AC to DC is in operation and if the inverter station in western NL is ready to invert DC to AC? If this equipment is not completed, no power will flow from NS to NL in the next few days.

  7. Good, annoy. 12:08. I am not a knobnologby, lol, I rather see the big picture as Stan would say. Cause the question I would like to know is, since it has been reported by vocm and others that we will be paying for coal power from ns this week, and my other question are we currently, or in the near future sending free power to ns. I am just asking the question, not stating a fact, but must be someone more knowledgable than I am, including the brave media. So just confirm, or deny, along with current and short term plans by nalcor.

  8. I looked the .pdf slides, especially the last one.
    What does that mean?
    Six stages of a megaproject – which one is Stan saying we are on now?
    Oh my.

    The I started to watch the VOCM video of the event and it starts with a rotund Locke waddling away from the speaking area; it didn't have his words of introduction before Stan "Take no prisoners" Marshall took over, I rely on Uncle Gnarley for his precis of Locke.

    But I soon grew disillusioned and turned it off, again relying on UG and CBC Here and Now for pertiennt details.

    And then I remembered S. Sondheim:

    Don't you love a farce? My fault, I fear
    I thought that you'd want what I want, sorry my dear
    But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns
    Don't bother they're here.

  9. Oh I found it here

    The "six phases of a project" have been jocularly described as:

    Search for the guilty
    Punishment of the innocent
    Praise and honors for the non-participants

    Pretty funny Stan, pretty funny!
    Especially from someone without any apparent sense of humour; and a nice rewrite by someone on the team that puts words in Stan's maw.

    It is a sure sign of things falling apart when the top layer resorts to buffoonery.

    • Yes similar buffoonery or profound statements as Eddie use to make, muskrat power is not only for today, but for as long as the river runs to the sea, or words to that affect. Give me a break, the top guys in those positions need to do more for their 600, thousand or 6 million than rhetorical statements, that any Joe can come up with. They could add another phase to the project, TREASON, if they are sending our cheap, paid for, reliable power from bay despoir, free to ns, in exchange for dirty coal power that we have to pay for even if it cheaper than holyrood power. And later when we will depend on muskrat power for our winters, that is on a shoestring from 1100kms over the worst weather, ice, rough terrain, and iceberg infested waters of the belle isle straits. Let emera and ns take their chances on that kind of realiability.

    • I don't think this was buffoonery but rather an effort by Stan Marshall to show just how disfunctional the MF project has been. Seems like emotion and politics has largely dictated the course of the project and that is a big reason why it has been a failure. So many politicians and private citizens have waded into project issues but most do not have the training or experience to offer any useful commentary. Just noise for someone with the knowledge of Stan Marshall and it is becoming increasingly difficult for him to hide his contempt. People think $600k in salary is a lot to pay for a guy like Stan. I can guarantee you that he pays for himself many times over each year because of his unique skillset. Stan won't hang around at Nalcor after MF because of all of the crap involved in dealing with dim witted politicians and a belligerent public who talk a lot but say very little that is useful or informed.

    • So, is Marshall an accomplice to treason, as defined at 17:10?
      Will Emera an Fortis pick up the usefuls assets for a song, the transmission portion, with the plant and dam stranded assets?
      Will Marshall, as a major Fortis shareholder, ferther his own nest if this happens, all on the backs of ratepayers?
      I mean DW donated his salary, as a gesture…..and delivered us a boondoggle…… cut the crap on Stan's largess and his worth elsewhere. Damm past time he and other wealthy Nflder gave back. The verdict is still out on Stan. On DW, a public flogging is past due.

    • More foolishness. 85% of taxes in NL are paid by 15% of the population so I think "wealthy" NLers are already paying dearly for those who largely contribute nothing to the provinces finances. These "wealthy" NLers include many middle class families who are staggering under the tax burden. DW may have promoted the project but was not involved when the project was executed. The success of projects is determined in the execution phase and this project was executed miserably. The biggest culprit in all of this is the NL Building Trade Unions who made sure that no more than a 30% productivity was achieved on the project. If you ever spent anytime on the site, you would have seen the iron grip of the unions and the pathetic work effort. Nalcor and the contractors have lost big time but the NL Building Trades are walking away with their nest feathered. If you want to blame someone for the failure, blame the right people and look for those who have actually carted away the cash. Marshall is not an accomplice to treason. He is a guy who didn't need, or likely want, this job but took it on in the interest of the citizens of NL despite the bs. His visible frustration at the MUN presentation shows to me that he is the limits of his patience trying to oversee completion of the project while dealing with the politics of NLers. He is a rare example in NL of a knowledgeable leader where leaders are expected to kiss the ass of the public. That is one reason why the best leaders never enter the political arena here. Dealing with the disrespectful and largely ignorant NL public is a hateful thing that only pretenders will do for a paycheque and a 5 star pension.

    • My orgional use of the word TREASON, means if we are exporting bay despair power for FREE to NS as we speak, and we are BUYING NS power at the same time, yes that is treason. Now maybe that is already in the CONTRACT, if it is then the person signing that contract committed treason. If it is not contractual, then the person agreeing to that is treasonous. Remember we have no muskrat electrons flowing across the belle isle straits, yet.

    • Anony @ 13:54:

      Go back about 6-8months. The power supply contract and its effect of a firm/guaranteed supply to NS was 1 of the 7 reasons I have always promoted complete to avoid default.

      Either way, NS gets their power; how we replace what is transmitted (and at what cost) via Granite Canal to NS is left to us to figure out.

      There is no power transmission right yet across the ML; infeed from LC/UC is about 1yr out.


  10. Is the reason that Stan Marshall won’t allow an “independent” geoscientists review of Nalcor's design that they could conclude that there is 50% chance that there would be a breach? If this happened he would have to stop the dam until the problem was fixed, unless he was a gambler.
    Gerry Goodman

  11. Stan the man has learned from Williams bully your audience and ensure them you know a lot more than they do. What a waste of a night? Are we supposed to be grateful to him for this and once again Ball and his clowns have nothing to add.

  12. "Marshall dismissed a questioner on FERC or open access transmission tariffs (remember Bill 61 was designed to stamp out competition) while Nalcor seeks to export power to the U.S. in defiance of FERC rules."

    FERC reciprocity (Transmission Open Access) only applies to transmission and not generation so Nalcor will not be in contravention of FERC order 888 thanks to Bill 61. If that were the case, then the other public utilities in Canada would be in trouble. Nalcor has submitted it's OATT proposed structure to the PUB and the PUB dutifully approved it on a temporary basis as so ordered by a recent Order in Council.

    I attended the Nalcor presentation myself. Condescension it seems, knows no boundaries as I find it permeates both sides of the Muskrat Falls debate and continually detracts from it.

  13. "But that wasn’t the worst propaganda from central casting. Obscured in his narrative was the mother of all statistics: 17.42 c/kWh is the price needed for every single kWh of the 7,000 GWh to be produced by the project — including the free stuff to Nova Scotia. Marshall had failed to tie together his own Chart 26 which sets the Island requirement at 1324 GWh out of the 7000 GWh (slide 25) the project is supposed to produce. That’s only 19% of MF power. Let's do the math: 17.42/0.19 = 92 cents per kWh."

    The project will not produce 7,000 GWh, it is designed to produce 4,900 GWh. 7TWh is the island system load. Lets do the correct math, 17.42/0.27 = 64.5c/kWh. Not that 65c/kWh is much better.

  14. I read snippets of the sad case of the Norris trial , as reported on the CBC website, with twitter reports by Stephanie Tobin.
    We have two "forensic" phychirists, who have different opinion…..Dr Ladha and Dr Gill. Jerome Kennedy uses Ladha to justify a plea of insanity ( a legal not a medical term.)
    Today at 3;32 PM , Gill defines delusion this way:
    Delusion is "a fixed false belief held to the point that it is immovable"
    Upon reading that, my thoughts jumped to Muskrat and Stan Marshall and Wade Locke.
    Are these guys delusional? Seriously. That they see something positive in the Big Picture that we common folk cannot see? A 12.7 billion sinkhole that can never pay its way, an official boondoggle, so called by Stan himself, and Locke having made the economic case, still Head of Economics dept at MUN, consulting to Nalcor for big fees on the side, and now inviting Stan to lay out a case why Muskrat can be good, if only you see the big picture, and lie low on exposing how the boondoggle materialized.
    After 5 years of UG and a few others, educating the public as to the deception and misrepresentation, and now about 60 percent of the public having the scales removed from their eyes……..Stan and Wade wants the public to shut their eyes closed, and believe the BS that they spout .
    So….are they delusional, that fool me twice is possible?
    And what of Jerome……the cracker jack defense lawyer? He predicted big profits, 1.00 per kwh for MF power to Boston,( to help it in the House of Assembly debate) wholesale power there now fetching about 2 cents. Has Kennedy suffered form delusion? Now , or in the past?
    Me thinks we are short on people in high places with sanity in this province. Are we led by dimwits? Delusional dimwits? Whether in our government, business, or justice system?
    Now forensic means looking into details, where they say the devil lies. Seems Stan and Wade would rather let sleeping dogs lie, no telling what you might find , if you inquire thoroughly.


    • Was not the premise by the sitting gov. that given the predicted excessive cash flow of offshore, NL could afford the Muskrat gamble of public funds, (heritage fund if you like), to buy a better future for NLers? That vision is still entrenched with a few, and that is the problem!

    • Or possibly the premise was a large parcel of land purchased with intent of building a lucrative (at the time) residential and commercial development needing access to a vast amount of electricity? Otherwise not getting approval to be put on the current insufficient grid. That's just one, but also a billion reasons to do so. Too far fetched?

    • dm @ 22:23.
      That, I suspect, is the whole crux of this boondoggle, but no way of definitively proving it. A self serving, egomaniacal little man cared for nothing but his own interests. And make no mistake, he still was a big factor in this project proceeding long after he left office.

  15. The Telegram letter"Stan Marshall and the North Spur"by Ron Penny and Dave Vardy……….says " we, along with a small group of naysayers, saw the big picture from the beginning, and unlike Marshall, we had the courage to speak up. If he and his employer, Fortis, had opposed the project, from the beginning, that might have made the difference"
    Amen , to that. Well stated.

  16. In my experience, most people in this world fit in the category of talker or doer. Most people in NL are in the talker category… complaining endlessly about bad outcomes in this province usually long past the time when it can make any real difference. Stan Marshall on the other hand is a doer, with little time for frivolous talk. Talk for Stan needs to focus on progress toward the specified objectives and endless complaining and whining about the same old issues is something to be dealt with by elected representatives. Stan's primary objective is to finish the Muskrat Falls project while minimizing any further financial damage to the province. We had politicians running the project in the beginning and we can see how that worked out so does it make any sense to expect Stan Marshall to behave like a politician? I for one am glad that he is focused on clear objectives and has not surrendered his sensibilities to keep people happy who assess him on political correctness. Thanks Stan for stepping into this load of crap called Muskrat Falls and holding it together to prevent a far worse boondoggle. Ignore the haters and the whiners, and keep your eye on the ball. Once your work is done on Muskrat, you can retire or return to a job in the real business world where your talent and resolve are appreciated. I'm sure that will be a happy day for you.

    • Thank you PENG2 for stooping to shine Stan's shoes. A tradition practised by the poor in Nfld in the 1800s to politicians when they visited their rural districts.
      Seems the problem is acting like a politician, spinning with talk. If the Inquiry has teeth, the talking is not yet started. We need talking truth…….perhaps truth will set us free, if we can ever get hear it.

    • PF:

      Not me–though I wont say I totally disagree with Anony @ 19:17.

      To be clear, Marshall came in with 1 mandate—complete MF and get MF related activities under control and not be sidetracked by the various 'minor' issues, those will be under the purview of the PMT. He came into a project totally off the rails and 1 that he had previously publically said was ill advised; he has not backtracked on his beliefs even though he now leads a project he doesn't believe in.

      His mandate was political and limited in scope; as I said above, while we the populace are the effective shareholders in Nalcor, in actual fact we gave up that privilege to the 48 MHAs—I wont say I believe we have gotten good representations from the HoA, but it is the politicians that enable spending of public funds and effect public policies.

      I will offer that in my opinion, both Ball and Marshall have done better than their predecessors, though the bar wasn't set that high in either circumstance.


    • Anon @ 19:17.
      For your info, if it were not for the "complaining endlessly" people of this province, the MF debacle would not even be on the radar and we the trusting public would be unaware of the horrendous debt which has been incurred leaving us on the hook to pay for it. Fast Eddie would still be in his ivory tower and DW would still be God. You should reassess your "evaluation" of us endless complainers.

    • Of course, I accept that the prior comment was not yours, but there is little difference, as you won't say you totally disagree, and truth is your mostly agree.
      You may be correct that Marshall accepted a mandate to finish MF, and which excluded any analysis to consider stopping MF or part of it. Seems Marshall, off the top of his head, without due explanation to the public said it only made sense to complete, not pause and reassess. Was it a mistake to accept a political mandate, without due process of reassessing the engineering and construction issues, and water management etc? One man's opinion that it was only full steam ahead, leaving the engineering, economic problems shoved aside, and so these are still at the forefront, as far as the public is concerned, and that is the Big Picture.
      You say he leads a project he doesn't believe in…..but he promised to put the project back on track. Define "back on track" as no one but Ball and a few toadies and Marshall and Wade Locke seems to know what back on track means. And no one can define it. You say the engineering failure of the past century………..and will remain so, so nothing going back on track. I assume track means a path……a path to success. You may suggest a better path, but not ON track. We are on tract to a 12.7 billion boondoggle. Spin it if you and Stan can.
      Ed Martin should have been fired with cause, no 6 million dollar man.
      Stan should not have accepted a political job of continuing a boondoggle without the ability to first reassess the engineering and economics consequences……with a team that had independent expert advise to him……not just the Nalcor crew like Gil Bennett, an engineer beyond his competence level, like Wade Locke, beyond his.
      And don't just blame politicians; much of the devil in the details are engineering related…….before your involvement it seems, but your associates.
      So called "minor" issues are not so minor, and rather major issues. To turn major into minor is spin doctoring. That is political. We now have Stan the politician, making excuses for Ball and Locke, which is not going well.
      Stan the business man, a doer not a talker……Stan the straight shooter, to some extent, can no longer shoot straight. And further, tried to talk down to professionals like Vardy.
      Of course Marshall cannot win, in the end he turns over a 12.7 billion completed boondoggle, still a boondoggle for 57 years onto his fellow Nflders. Can he say Mission Accomplished?
      And I may be entirely wrong…..Stan might bring about a miracle…….he might get sainted. But I see no signs of that. Stan now owns the boondoggle problem. The buck stops there. I wish him success. Not a easy job. Stops a guy from shooting straight.

    • That you DM, and my rant was to PENG2, and anom @ 19:12
      I am sure UG can add to and polish up on my views, and perhaps a piece titled "THE BIG PICTURE" how this boondoggle impacts all ratepayers and our entire province.
      Perhaps Wade Locke would invite Des Sullivan and Dave Vardy to make a presentation on the BIG PICTURE.

    • PF:

      The definition of 'on track' is to limit the blood letting going forward—if I used 'on-track' it would be my bad lingo as this piece of work was never going to be 'ontrack' since it was conceived, that is for sure.

      In the end, there will be 2 groups held accountable for MF:
      1) DW, EM et al
      2) DB, SM et al

      I would suggest that the bulk (if not all) of the blame lays with #1, #2 came into something that was still at that time being misrepresented publically as being $7-8B, and revised to over $10B within weeks. The turnover of MF was not a lot unlike the Government turnover—the 2011 Cabinet of grossly misrepresented that actual status to the incomers in 2015.

      I wouldn't think this is spin doctoring, rather a simple statement of chronology and events. Most belligerent to me is the fact that member in the pre-2015 cabinet (PD et al) have the gall now to ask for inquires or suggest that MF should have been halted in 2015.

      To be sure, as I said months ago—the time to halt MF was before a bucket was in the ground and the ink was dired, after that there was no going back due to contracting language.

      Also, there must be a distinction in engineering failures and failed political decisions—your posting seems to meld the 2; MF is a political failure for sure, and if it will prove to be an engineering failure is to be decided (but I believe so).


  17. Sorry but I missed from the reporting what the specified objectives Stan talked about.
    And the old issues to be dealth with by politicians:like if the North Spur fails; if the huge power cost gets rate mitigation, it will be due to reduced services elsewhere; that elasticity effects drives down power consumption; no surplus power to import from NS in emergency here, when MF goes down and Holyrood decommissioned;limited expensive dirty coal power our reward for 12.7 billion; etc, etc
    Primary objective to finish MF without further financial damage; then likely should have terminated when he was appointed, and 6 billion wasted instead of eventual 12.7 billion. We could have had a 6 billion boondoggle instead of a 12.7 billion one, or certainly terminated the generation plant and dam, and complete the transmission only.
    I cannot see the clear objectives: stabilization of the North Spur is not clear, lacking safety assurance. No agreed water arrangement with HQ on water flow, no contract terms on importing power from NS as to amount and price in winter emergency,nothing clear on MF power reliability. These are as fuzzy as ever, and Stan says , trust me, will find solutions ……….instead does Stan talk like a politician, and offers no real solutions.
    We had an accountant running this in the beginning, Ed Martin, led by a super accountant, called an economist, Wade Locke, who did not understand economics 101.
    Now we have a lawyer, with chemistry type engineering background, who lacks structural or electrical or mechanical engineering knowledge, and knows as much about HV DC as 99 percent of engineers…….very little. That as an administrator he is 5 times better than Martin……yes, but is that enough to fix a boondoggle like this……no.
    I struggle to see one clear objective except to I do see progress on an apparent boondoggle being a completed boondoggle, each day deeper in debt.
    Please define the clear objectives and milestones. A boondoggle 60 percent complete then, but now 85 percent complete is not a clear objective that makes sense or milestone achieved.
    You ask that we have blind faith in Stan, now neck deep in the murk of Nfld politics. Seems you wish we all stay blind.

    • Thanks, for your comments an 23:49, an. 1917, and a couple of others, In replying to a couple of stan's shoeshine boys, as I won't need to do it, you said most of the things that I would say. I would just reninerate, that when ball asked Stan to take over, and stands first response was yes, but it's a real boondoggle, but I will do what I can to mitigate power rates. If he were to put nl first, rather than himself, to expect to pull a rabbit from a hat on his own behalf, he would have said give me some time to see if it is best to finish this thing or shut it down, as a 6 billion boondoggle rather than a 12 billion boondoggle. But his first response was full speed ahead, the crew we have is first class, giver, and finish strong. Yes a doer not a talker for shore. A boondoggle is a boondoggle too, wether it be a 6 billion one or a 12 billion one. And won't dispute stans worth in terms of 600, thousand, think he said I will take it on for the same salary as the guy before me. But this is not about Stan, or ball, or Dannie, or a hundred more that we could name, this is about you and I, our sons, daughters, grand children for the next several decades. Our unaffordable power rates, and ability to survive in this province. Now Stan b'y, that's the big picture, not your salary or talents, or shoeshine boys.

  18. I just shake my head reading Peckford's latest piece, blaming Obama for the Russia meddling in Us politics, while Trump was the beneficiary, and continues to say nothing negative about Putin.
    And blame the FBI for the shootings in Florida, where in the USA, weapons of war, like Al Capone guys used in the 1930s, automatic weapons, like the Germans uses against our Mfld soldiers at Beaumont Hamel, can be bought by teenagers , whether mentally stable or not. Ok with Peckford with it seems.
    Here , poor Dunphy is killed, a guy who meant no one any arm.
    Yet Peckford seeing nothing wrong with the NRA, the right to bear arms including assault weapons, or anything wrong with our system here of a cowboy policeman acting rashly.
    UG links Peckford. Peckford seems as right wing as they come, and maybe likes to fry his bacon on the hot barrel of a machine guy , like Cruz demonstrated.
    And so we plan on pumping lots more oil here………..guess Peckford will be back, expenses paid by the oil industry, and promoting the hoax of global warming on the Chinese. And of course Stan promoting coal burning.
    Guess they don't believe the Pope when he says global warning is a moral issue, and must be stopped. Nor the Rockafella Foundation and many others divesting of oil shares.
    Oh, the poor capelin, scrimp and cod…..head north poor fish, Scrimp are already leaving.
    Winston Adams

    • "I just shake my head reading Peckford's latest piece, blaming Obama for the Russia meddling in Us politics, while Trump was the beneficiary, and continues to say nothing negative about Putin."

      Peckford's rabid alt-right ramblings have indeed become head-shakingly bizarre and are likely an unfortunate cognitive symptom of geriatric origin… nevertheless… what would you expect from the mind of an individual so abjectly naive as to harbour the absurd notion that the industrial-scale cultivation of cucumbers on a remote, sub-Arctic rock was a sound business investment?

  19. While we are on the treason subject, I have to ask this question again. We all know now that we are, or will in the near future, be importing power from NS. But my question, is one that no one will touch, or maybe I am so far out to lunch that it is ignored. "Are we currently, or in the immediate future exporting power to NS" ????? If we are, yes, that is TREASONOUS.

  20. Ed Hollett did a fine submission to Leblanc,(UG has a link) shows a history of the project, and cites the lack of alternatives studied by Nalcor.
    Readers may know that the so called "need" for MF power was to address our growing baseboard heating load.
    This load could have been mostly addressed cheaply with efficient heating. My intent was to submit to UG once I had completed one full year of monitoring such a system…….monitoring results and charts being evidence based data.
    With just one month to go, I sent a copy of this evidence to the Leblanc Inquiry, on tract for 300.00 for a full year for heat, so the Inquiry has this before being submitted to UG. The Inquiry has time restrictions, UG is more tolerant.
    I trust such evidence will help answer the question …Did we need the power? And why did Nalcor not evaluate such alternatives? And why did Nfld Power not press for such alternatives to be evaluated?
    Winston Adams

  21. TO Joe
    The 2 wire DC line to NS cannot send power over on one conductor and import power on the other at the same time. We can export or import, and likely several hours needed to go from one mode to the other.
    So if in the future, with MF working and the power is lost in the winter, we can expect several hours to get any power at all from NS, if at all available, as at that moment they will be getting our island power, that must be terminated leaving them in NS short on power.
    So Marshalls announcement of importing coal fired power now is mostly PR, yes technically feasible, but of little value besides being dirty power.
    Power going to NS, will now and always be our island power, not directly from MF. Our island power , produced at about 3 cents wholesale cost , going to them for free, while MF power , costing 65 cents comes to the Avalon, and when blended with our island low cost, will need rates of 23 cents, but may get charged at 17 cents, so a short fall of 500 million a year to pay for MF, via more increased taxes or reduced services.
    Expect free island generated power to go to NS when available, this spring and summer,maybe some already in testing mode. Next year when the Labrador line is operating, this allows some Churchill Falls power to reach the Avalon at Soldiers Pond,a 100 mw or so. This frees up some more of our cheap island power to go to NS , free power! When MF plant operates , about 2020, much more 65 cent per kwh cost power comes to the Avalon, allowing full legal committments of our low cost island power to go to NS,about 160 MW and , another about 160 Mw at 5 cent rates.
    That is the wonderful method of the madness. Remember the Gravy Ed martin promised?
    Well the shortfall in covering costs for MF is about 500 million per year. The gravy, exports, will be about 50 million a year, one tenth of the amount needed. Of MF power, we expect to need 19 percent? while the balance goes to NS (but actually electrons from our island power, not Muskrat.
    If this is as clear as mud, it is because it is designed that way.
    Is the whole thing treason?
    Others might comment on that, I have no expertise on what constitutes treason.

    • Thanks PF, lol, yes clear as mud. But last Friday, you may remember, I wrote about eharmony, and boondoggle scams, and wittingly, and unwittingly knowing who is talking to whom, well maybe I was right then, but can see it is all meant to confuse the hell out of the best of us. If not treasonous then one hell of a scam. I thought it was simple, we could send power both ways at the same time, in other words suck and blow at the same time, one free and the other you bought.

    • If one reads the Liberty reports, you will see the whole scheme is questioned : no expertise locally for HV DC systems, not likely very reliable power from labrador ( so we get MF power,island power goes to NS), and delays in reversing power flows if the system goes down. Not a pretty picture when faced with losing power in a cold snap lasting days.
      Liberty was subtle to suggest whether MF was wise to continue, but as they were engaged to address DARKNL, they never formally addressed the question. If they were asked , likely they would have advise Stan Marshall to terminate.
      People have not woke up to the true impact we face…..cost is one thing, but reliability 2 or 3 times worse is not yet well known to be expected as further fallout.
      PENG2 can clarify if my comment on how this is intended to work is true or not, if there are doubts. So yes clear as MUD, as it is a complex arrangement,and NS, with their PUB, made sure we got the shitty end of the stick,( as to cost and reliability) so to speak, if one is a straight shooter. Our PUB, no one there to protect us, and essentially shut out. Our consumer advocate , Johnson, a political appointment to serve the government, not the consumer.
      So completing MF is only part of the problem.

    • In 2015 the peak load forecast for this year , 2017/18 was to be about 1865MW.
      Long term growth in peak load was to be about 0.8 percent per year for 57 years.
      Feb 18, we had the coldest night of the year,at -13.6, and struct peak load of just 1468 MW. Typical avg winter loads last year was about 1550.
      1468 is about 400 Mw lower than forecast, and we have hit higher loads than 1468 with milder temperature. The 1468 MW was during low wind , and on a Sunday. But still, suggests a significant dropping island load when the boondoggle needs increasing loads. No doubt engineers are scratching their heads at these dropping peak loads…….and why so much.Watch for more forecasts going negative. Ask how forecasts could be so wrong, when they were so confident they were right. False assumptions …….a small detail, or part of the big picture? best practises not used for forecasting…….a small detail?
      Winston Adams.

  22. 108MW began flowing into NL at 7pm last night and steady to this moment. Origin unknown. Price unknown. Surely Emera and Nalcor know the deal though. Should this be public information? Is this Big Picture stuff or just annoying distraction?

    • This is annoying distraction:
      The link is for 500 MW, so 108 MW is 1/6 of what Holyrood can produce (470 + 123)
      What is big stuff is proportion of exports s imports over a year time frame, and revenue to Nalcor an revenue to NS.
      And it shows NS is ahead by several years as compared to Nalcor,in getting things functional.

    • What purpose does it serve the common good, if this contracted power flow across provincial borders is made public?

      What is the purpose of the Alberta Gov. denying BC. Hydro opportunity to sell excess power to the AB grid? Canadians need to learn what friendly neighbourhoods are comprised of.

      It is long overdue, and important as a nation that some "excess power" generated on one Province's grid is sold to the connecting province. A willing buyer of the excess Muskrat would obviously be Hydro Quebec. The Feds who used public "credit", to guarantee financing this project should lend a hand in resolving provincial squabbles.

      What is wrong with contracting sale up the Churchill, as well as under the Cabot Strait?

  23. I don't know about the rest of you, but I know when to call it quits.
    I never had a say before MF started and I won't have a say in how it ends. I've read enough of the politics surrounding it all – I don't feel the need anymore to way in on who's right and who's wrong; In the end, it really doesn't matter and who the hell cares at this point. It's too late.
    And so, my conclusion on how to live with Muskrat Falls is this:
    Peace out NL. I'll live anywhere else.

    • I've been proposing for two years now that if we all simply refuse to pay any extra for a couple of months the system will collapse and they will have to surrender.

      They can't take all customers to court at once, they can't just impose taxes to cover the difference, they can't just cut everyone off the grid.

      The first hit will be NL Power, and the cascade will immediately find its was to NL Hydro and then wait and see what happens; a cash flow restriction is the only power (pun not intended) we have.

      It will require a 100% civil disobedience from residential and commercial customers alike.

      Man the barricades, boys.

  24. Completely agree with you Robert as long as the economic case is transparent but we have no idea what Nalcor is paying or compromising to achieve this. Don't forget Nalcor is on the short end of the stick for not supplying power for about two years after the ML is ready – there shall be a price to be paid and Nalcor is not saying what it is. It is tangled up in this power delivery?

    Now some math: Stan says Nalcor will save $50k per day so IF that is based on 108MW x 24 hrs = 2592 MWh delivered then the savings computes to 2 cents/KWh. If Holyrood costs 13 cents/KWh for fuel only, then NS Power is selling at a rate of 11 cents/KWh.

    So does NS have cheaper fuel contracts than Nalcor? Not likely. More efficient plants? Maybe but NS Power will use their most efficient and cheap plants for their domestic needs and NL will be allocated the last marginal thermal plant of weaker efficiency surplus to NS needs and I can't rationalize that such a plant would be cheaper to supply than Holyrood.

    When we hear the deal and the costs, look for the slight of hand and hidden strings attached. Cheaper marginal thermal power from NS just doesn't make sense on it's own.

    • At 50,000$ per day, if we were to get that amount of power for 100 days, our winter months, that would be 5,000,000$ we would owe NS. Do we send emera or NS govt a cheque for that amount, or put in nalcor petty cash as an i.o.u. or held against the 5 cents power we will eventually send to NS, or suspect emera will extract a hell of a lot more out of nalcor than that, since nalcor is over a barrel.

    • I reached the same calculation of 11 cents, so 15 percent cheaper. But if transmission losses applied then, say 10 percent, then 11 becomes 12.1 cents , so o.9 cents different. And with coal the pollution gases come our way the following day.
      Meanwhile the cost determined if minisplits were used in Nfld was a CCE equivalnet of about 9cents per kwh(ICF study done for nfld POwer, cheaper than 13 cent Holyrood or 29 cent gas turbine.
      And minisplits offer 60 percent saving to customers as they use less energy for heating.
      NS power dirty coal saves about o.9 cents per kwh, efficient heating saves about 6.6 cents per kwh for customer heating (on local 11 cent rates) and a bit extra saving on local transmission loss, about 0.5 cents to the power company on that, for 7.1 cents saving, on heating kwh.
      Welcome any corrections that anyone might see on these numbers.
      Can we get transparency Stan?

      Winston Adams

  25. That they can manage to get 108 MW from NS took some arm twisting, I suspect.
    NS imports power from NB. The link is about 300 or 350 Mw, but the problem is, NB has little power to send to NS, and so usually getting only about 150 MW. So getting 108 MW,to Nfld , not much, but they do not have even that to spare, really.
    Now to Nfld situation and our third line from Bay d ESpire, it allow about 900 MW to the Avalon, but only to Western Avalon.
    But, Only 2 lines go east of there , good for about 600 MW. Add Holyrood, at 500 MW, and Nfld power at 100 Mw from the small plants, it gives 1100 Mw for the Avalon. Add the gas turbines we have 1250 MW.
    With Holyrood decommissioned, 500 Mw gone, so 750MW max for the Avalon, way short of our needs.
    With MF DC , no problem, until the line goes down in winter , then the shit hits the fan, so to speak.
    We do not have 3 lines coming east from the island hydro, just 3 lines as far as Western Avalon, and a gap of 50 miles to reach Holyrood station, with only 2 lines…….so the Avalon east, unable to get sufficient power, even if island power or import power available from NS. Is this a small detail, worth consideration?
    Again, PENg2 might comment if this is inaccurate.

    • Yup….guess it's all about the big picture. So guess we were able to beg, borrow or steal a 100 MW of dirty coal power from NS or NB, to show that the new toy works, a power line. And to try and grab some headlines, nl connects to the NA grid for the first time in our history, brave local media laps it up. So this power is pushed to the Avalon from maybe some 500 miles away, as pointed out there is a lost on the lines due to distance, where as from holy rood lost is minimal because holyrood power is in the centre of the Avalon where it is utilized by the consumer. But gotta show we can do it bys. So nalcor said it saves 50,000 $ a day, minas lost on the transmission, so for how many hours or days before, NS gets a cold snap and says sorry, we need it, we can't freeze in the dark for power you don't need. Some call it much to do about nothing in the big picture, I call it penny wise and pound foolish.

  26. And I too miss Bruno……he must be fuming over coal for power generation for Nfld.
    Come back Bruno…….maybe, well yes, I was too harsh on your solar ideas,as modest solar on the island to help drive minisplits seems sound to me. We just differ as to degree, and you hit hard.

  27. The link to this article shows why Newfoundland will never prosper on energy. The article shows how PV solar and batteries are being used on a small local level to satisfy peak power demands on a price competitive basis. Peak power is one of the reasons developments like Muskrat Falls are promoted here-to supply the peak power demands in the US at premium prices. This is one of the false equivalencies with the project in that the Americans would be beating down our ferry doors for deals with our Hydropower. It hasn't happened and never will. Also the provincial government somehow thinks Natural Gas is in demand while the price continues to decline.

    • Yes, you got that right, and let uncle Ottawa give the loan guarantee to NS and NB to up grade their transmission lines to bring upper Churchill power to us from that direction, including gull if it were feasible, and sell it in the maritime security, and maybe USA. And would be great for 2040, when we supposedly will own the upper Churchill. By the way we have gone, we will probably give it all away to emera and HQ. The so called Anglo Saxon route was never feasible, dozens of studies showed that, except Dannie said it was because we had tons of oil money to do it, and to get one up on Quebec.

    • I was living in NS at the time, and with others, gave support to building a true Atlantic Grid, interconnected with Hydro Quebec, and phasing out the NS coal fired generation. Coal was imported from Columbia!! The newly elected NDP were seduced by EMERA and DW to promote Muskrat, due in part by the Deux Solitude syndrome. Politics and emotions over common sense. Energy Policy has not served the common good, nor the ratepayers in Atlantic Canada. One has to suspect that the Policy is still broken when one contemplates the future. Carefully watch the Ball dependence on offshore oil and read today's Editorial in the Telegram. Pay heed NL!

    • Robert , about time for the Telegram to point out that much of the world is divesting of oil shares, and the impact of global warming. The Telegram were too silent on MF, lots of ink but no investigative journalism to expose the false assumptions.
      Perhaps they can help steer us to sustainable development, and more concern for fisheries that offshore development of oil and gas. But money talks. Where is MUN divesting of shares in oil companies? Maybe we need to bring over Pope Francis to speak at the Harris Centre, on morality of climate change issue. I am not Catholic, but I would help pay his air fare here. Does Wade Locke send the invitations?

    • Yes, I agree with you, but the maratime grid may be most applicable, as opposed to the Atlantic grid, because as others has pointed we were 85 percent green so there was no reason for us to be connected to the NA grid. As I have said before where else on earth is there such a small population, with very little heavy industry, on such a relative big island that gets as much wind and rain as we do. The only connection we needed to the mainland is a tunnel, not a power connection. We have nothing to gain or much to give in terms of power connection with the mainland. Now Labrador part of the island is quite a different story. We don't need Labrador power on the island, too far away, and we are too small of a market. We need Labrador power to be connected to the NA grid as a place to sell power, make some money for the entire province, run heavy industry in Labrador…mines. Make money to build roads, services in Labrador as well as on the island. Yes, agree NDP got seduced by emera and DW. And then we shafted ourselves with muskrat and then seduced by NS UARB, as a double whammy.

    • After just looking at my globe, I see that power from the Upper Churchill to Boston is half the distance to St John's, if one transmits power round about through NB, NS, under the Cabot Straight , across Nfld. And almost 3 times further than from Muskrat to St Johns.
      Now about 8 percent of MF power is lost (called transmission losses) heating up the wires and transformers from MF, so about 8 percent of 12.7 billion is 1 billion in value lost for that.
      Rough estimate is 24 percent transmission loss if we go the much longer route, so almost a quarter of the energy is wasted. And as to reliability, negative impact on reliability is generally proportional to distance, and St John's is at the far end of the loop.
      That is why island hydro is so much more cost effective and reliable that any power imported , whether from Muskrat or the Maritime link.That is Power Systems 101.
      So have we not already had enough of madness with Muskrat? Now we consider importing power from NS as a bonanza, or Beothic wind from St Johns, or Stephenville to Boston? A sucker born every minute, and a politician ready to a take a donation.
      Winston Adams

    • Agree with you, and even if the distance from Churchill to Boston or St. John's were similar, look at the two markets in terms of customers. A few thousand vs. Millions. And as you said from Churchill through the maritime across Cabot strait to the Avalon, the longest way round for sure. Now how about the tunnel across the belle isle strait. The opponents call it linking Labrador to nfld, not worth it, but the proponents call it linking nfld to the mainland, and I think it is worth it, as many others do. Maybe not ocean x as that is their reason for being, or north Sydney for their reason too. But most of our goods come from Montreal, ask ocean x, and they are efficient, but so would tractor trailers from Montreal to the Avalon and all points in between. But ocean transport could remain if they were competitive with road goods, and would give some completion. As for pab to Sydney, that is in the terms of union, let Ottawa pay for that as the demand required. The st. Barb ferry could go, saving millions. Tourist would increase, come one way and go out the other, as one required, tunnel or pab ferry. Or fly in to St. John's and drive out either way, leave the rented car at either terminal, those coming in through pab, would pick up a rental there and leave it at st. Barbs or St. John's for the next tourist. The west coast and northern peninsula would flourish with shorter tractor trailor routes and tourism. Tourism galore to Labrador from Montreal . And for God' s sake don't anyone mention the north shore road of Quebec, build the bridge (tunnel) and the roads will come to it. That's right think big… Not St. John's airport is the beginning and end of nl, unless you live in airport heights, then you are forgiven.

    • Anony @ 15:00:

      A tunnel while novel, will never redirect the freight from mainland Canada to Eastern NL (or anywhere else in NL for that matter) through Labrador.

      The overland route from Baie Comeau to Blanc Sablon is about 20hrs non-stop in good season along a desolate route by pickup; by comparison Baie Comeau to North Sydney is about 10-12hrs and is a significantly easier drive physically/mentally. Also, trucks delivering freight coming up from BC would empty out in Lab City/Goose and then backhaul, they wouldnt take a bit extra on to drive empty to Eastern NL. Trucking power breaks areas up in regions, not doing miscellaneous stops along a longer route–wouldn't even make a lot of sense to divert coastal Labrador traffic via Lab City.

      Despite what DD promotes, the current system is about as efficient as it can be and will remain, unless we take on another blunder like MF. If the tunnel were proposed and if the 138 were extended along the north shore it would be tourist fodder only, not commercially viable now or then.


    • Well, it has to do with nation building. If we take that attitude, the Rockies would still be a barrier between BC and Alberta. So if the 138 were extended to blanc sablon, and that would be a Ottawa/Quebec thing, nothing to do with us, and it would get done as I mentioned, nation building. And costal Labradors freight would come to BS, to be des tributes up the coast by road or ship. Even if 20 hour drive, from BC to BS and probably shortened with 138 up grade, the competition to nfld would be by sea, ocean x. So how that competition would work out, I don't know, but guess ocean x would say …nooooo way. But all around our shores the sea has always given way to roads. As for the tunnel itself, guess we are awaiting the ball study. Yes would be a blunder if it said the tunnel would cost one billion and actually doubled or tripled, that would be another muskrat blunder. But if it were completed at assigned cost then can't see how it could be a boondoggle. How much does the st. Barbe ferry cost annually. And hope this would be a Norwegian Annalise and company contracted to do the work, hopefully private enterprise money, not public. Hope the report gives specific detail, as I am no expert on these matters by any means. But given the plans most rational people can use their common scense assessment. It was done with must rat, and most rational people saw it as a boondoggle from the beginning, except those that were blinded by politics or self interest, or in haste to get one up on Quebec. Hope it this case it would be in cooperation with Quebec .

    • If Nfld voted to join the USA, then yes, Canada would say we will connect you with a tunnel… it nation building.
      Canada might have lost BC to the USA if not for the railway.
      But for economics, I agree with PENG2………not there, not now, unless firm good fixed prices that cannot escalate. Maybe not make enough money to pay the lights and vent system needed for the tunnel. Nice idea, but seems a pipe dream for now. But if we had some of that 12.7 billion back……who knows?

    • Lol, guess I am not going to get too many to agree with me, right in the middle of this boondoggle, and can't blame them… It is the old fool me once…etc. But as you said maybe if we didn't have the current boondoggle , maybe some of the 12 $ billion could be used. But only time will tell…what if every second spring a iceberg scoures the sea bed in the straits of belle isle and takes the cables with it, may wish the god we had it in a tunnel then. Or would we finally give up on the boondoggle. But looking forward when the study comes out, hope it is not being done by Eddie, hopefully it is those that have built many tunnels like the Norwegians.

    • Anony @ 22:11:

      I am just saying it wont make commercial sense because its offers no practical savings when conducting business. I put this in the same category of other ideas such as the Anglo-Saxon route or a road network going up the Labrador coast—not viable on their own unless there is another driving factor.

      So we all understand, the entire BC-BS route is about 1100kms (some 450kms left to build)—close to the same distance from BC to Goose or BS to Lab City.

      Technically, I would enjoy the challenge—but unless a political decision is made, I don't see how it would proceed.


    • It's called nation building. How many roads and highways across this island, nation or contenient have been built on a strickly commercial basis. I would suggest very few, but put the infustructure there and people will come use, and conduct their business. Maybe none of the highways in labrador were based orgionally on a commercial basis, but have become very commercial. Maybe we should not have a highway to burgeo, or have connected new world islands to twilingate or the road to the ferry on fogo island. But over the years millions of dollars of fish products have even shipped to market over these roads, but they were built on a strickly commercial basis. Yes, highway 138 for sure, but I am not certain about the tunnel because no comphrenesive re
      Orr or study is available. Let's see, a proper study first. Lots of roads and highways in this country were built for political reasons, or by nation builders as we might say, and their construction cost has paid for themselves in spades over time. Sometimes we have to think outside the box.

    • PENG2, no one considers the Baie Comeau-Goose-Straits road and then into Newfoundland (whether by ferry or tunnel) as the alternative to the Maritimes and Gulf route.

      But when the 138 is finished… everything changes.

      Look at a map.

  28. Comments at 7;16, and 8;58 show the lack of knowledge as to our situation;
    1. Yes Solar PV and batteries are competitive is some climates and locations, but trying heating your house here in Nfld with them. One company offers 4kw system for 50,000.00 and says not to use for heat or hot water! And HQ was recently low price for hydropower to Mass USA.
    But our MF has costs like 65 cent per kwh…..Churchill Falls less than 1 cent per kwh. The madness is not in hydro per se, but Muskrat, and the the idiots who promoted and sanctioned it, and still try to tell us us this will be put back ON TRACK, with a strong finish.
    2. Should we have just built the Maritime link and imported power? It shows the PR effect of Nalcor hyping the small import of coal fired power, and the lack of understanding of our power system, or the regional system, that one would even ask that question……the answer is NOOOOOOOOO!
    We are 85 percent green on the island from our own hydro, NS was 20 percent green on hydro, and uses mostly dirty coal. NS needs our hydro big time, and will get it to reduce coal burning, mandated by the feds to meet climate change regulations. NS cleverly took advantage of Ed Martins desire, or incompetence to bankrupt us on this boondoggle.
    NS has no surplus of power, and no way to get it. They opted for Nfld hydro power instead of HQ interconnections, part because there was no good tie in to HQ.
    We on the island was to go from 85 percent green to 98 percent, by closing Holyrood and using MF. This could have been achieved for about 1 or 2 billion, not MF at 12.7 billion. Now we are supposed to get excited about NS coal power for Nfld…….how does that increase our green energy? Soon we will be told how wonderful it it to send Churchill Falls power to Quebec, on to NS, then to Nfld. Cost and transmission losses…….forget that. And to think , we were 85 (or 88? percent green energy here in 2012! We go massively in debt to solve others with green energy, but could not cost effectively solve our own small green energy deficit.
    The public is still being manipulated by Nalcor with twisting the truth as to the BIG PICTURE.
    We are being told half truths which are misrepresentations and deceit, now under the leadership of Stan Marshall.
    Winston Adams

    • So you read Brian's blog, I did too some time ago, and posted a few comments, but because I was not in agreement with him, he blocked me. I disagreed mainly with is take on Trumpie, I am always respectful all blog members and try and stay on topic, and on this blog all my comments are published, so I can't be too bad, at least for UG. I even agreed with Brian on his cucumber venture, but after that brief agreement, he blocked me, he said he wanted facts and not opinions. Hoops !!! Nooo… He is not a muskrat man, just an oil man, and the Atlantic accord, and I even gave him credit for that. But think one wrong word with him and he brings down the hammer. Now maybe UG don't want me taking about our Brian either on here, so this may not get by him… But I respect that… At least he won't block me. Nope Brian doesn't believe in wind or sunshine just oil. Except some day the sun will shine, and those who have not sunshine, will be have nots no more.

    • Cute take on the sunshine phrase, and you have Peckford sized up pretty good. Peckford made us proud standing up to an arrogant, yet intellectually strong Pierre, but the cigar smoke and gold chain must have had some negative effect. He did post one comment I made on his blog, that the Atlantic Accord was not more important that Confederation, so I give him that, whether he left it there?
      We need to be a member of a larger and greater country, that Confederation provides, though like the small country we were in the British Empire, little clout, and robbed of our resources, helped by some of our own.
      Yes , Peckford , an oil man, oil more important that our fish, or fresh air, or our climate, or our children and grandchildren. Little else matters. Many of the most corrupt countries are oil rich…….and look at what we achieved!
      UG……..seems not shining Peckford shoes. One up for UG.
      I seldom read Peckford 42, mostly opinions(not facts) of others, but never miss the Uncle.

  29. More BS from Peckford blog:
    It has to do with special materials needed for manufacturing wind generators, solar panels cell phones, military applications etc, that the USA must import. So the solution is to open park lands, areas off limits now for mining, and regardless of environmental consequences, a very Trumpian idea.
    To bolster the idea, one can easily get the impression(from the article) of the scale of the problem, and picture the USA needing 100 million 1.8 MW wind generators to replace exists power generation…….so where to get the essential minerals?
    However a close read says 100 million such wind generators is needed to offset, not the USA power needs, but the world power needs.
    Further, not just the power needs for a day, but battery storage for seven days worth of power , assuming the wind stops blowing for 7 days.
    Such is the use of statistics to misrepresent a situation.
    One gets the picture of 100 million large wind turbines needed for the USA, one for every 3 people!
    For Nfld , if wind generators are 3 mw ( some are now being designed for 15 MW), then 1750 MW peak load would need 1166 operating at 50 percent average capacity, one for every 441 people, not every 3 people.
    If we were to charge batteries, say double the quantity , so one for every 220 people. And we need not store for 7 windless days, as 2 windless days is surely a miracle for Nfld.
    So the numbers stated , is a 99 percent error of what is practical, at least for Nfld, if we were to worry about shortage of these materials.
    Guess Peckford learned nothing from the cucumber affair, and the economics and efficiency of energy needed to grow cucumbers in a Sprung greenhouse here.
    As Clyde Wells (who has been silent on Muskrat) stated…….it may be technically possible to grow cucumbers at the North Pole , but is it economic to do so? Back then, he and JC had some guts, long since lost.
    Peckford has a certain facial resemblence, and gift of gab, to Joey Smallwood, and worse, similar ability for foolish ideas such such as chocolate bar factories.
    That Peckford re-posts such silly ideas ,a statistic, so intentionally distorted to cause a panic…….like Russell at the Telegram saying they did a good job covering all aspects of Muskrat, having published some 3000 letters and opinions……….statistics: Lies and damm lies, as is well known, and as trustworthy as expert witnesses in court, paid for an opinion, and exempt from perjury for such opinions!
    On the other hand, Peckford did see flaws with Muskrat, how did that insight happen?
    Winston Adams

    • No worries Winston, suffice to say there are very few who would put much credence in the ideologically-addled blather of a political refugee from NL whose legacy is, oddly enough, inextricably linked to the genus Cucumis sativus.

  30. FYI the transmission grid is congested and undercapacity between Quebec and Nova Scotia. Upgrades mainly through New Brunswick would cost well over $1B.
    This is cited in documents of Emera executive testimony to the NSUARB hearings for Muskrat approval.

    Power delivered to Newfoundland from NS in the winter must be generated solely in NS from low efficiency fossil fuel plants. Come on Liberal Stan and tell us it ain't so.

  31. This blog will soon censor me, I being stirred by the Stan Marshall performance, sponsored by MUN's Locke. And I hold off on the latest "Peer Review of the North Spur"
    Many readers of this blog now know of 300 percent efficiencies of heating equipment, using outdoor air, or ground source heat low grade heat, 10 to 200 ft down and 30 percent efficienies of coal and oil fired generation plants, losing another 10 percent getting power to you.Power Systems 101.
    But what of heat one mile down?
    Everyone knows hell is hot, right? And hell is down not up, ask any child, or priest. Oil pumped out is hot, so must be near hell.
    Well the Peppermill Hotel at Reno, Neveda, don't go 2000 miles away for energy. Their hot water for pools, resturants, shops, and 2000 rooms comes from a well drilled 4400 feet down. It produces water at 174 F at a rate of 2000 gallons per minute. It has reduced their natural gas consumption by 85 percent. Return on investment : 3.2 years.
    This type of energy use is growing world wide. Instead of heatpumps that is often limited to heating water to 130F, 300 percent efficient,(used now in some buildings in Nfld ) this approach gives much higher temperatures. And the source…..less than a mile away, near where the devil lives.
    What engineering opportunities lost by 12.7 billion that cannot get payback after 57 years. And APENG not complaining of all this waste! The cost of Hundreds of engineers and trademens jobs, for good projects, for decades, gone ……….enough to make your blood boil, as John Efford might say. And our expertise at MUN?
    Well, There once was a guy called Locke…….., who proudly crowed like a cock, ….til he ran out of wind, ….and reality sank in, …..and his office prudently locked.

    • Not surprised that a well drilled 4400 feet down produces water at 174 F.

      I spent a couple of hours in a mine (close to 2km deep) a few winters ago. You would not believe how hot it is down there. (Mine LaRonde, between Rouyn Noranda and Val d'Or).

  32. PENG2 has replied to my posting of Feb 20@11:30 (see above for full reply) but in summary he says
    Putting MF "on track" means to limit the blood letting going forward, but admits that MF cannot be put on track, a bad choice of words.
    Agreed, as under Ed Martin to finish would cost billions more, and even longer.
    He says 2 groups will we held responsible for MF: Danny Williams et al, and Dwight Ball et al, with PENG2 believing most if not all the blame goes with DW and EM
    Agreed most goes to DW and EM , but disagree all goes to them.
    PENG2 says it galls him that Paul Davis now suggests that MF should have been halted in 2015. Agreed…..He was a cheerleader and did nothing to stop it.
    That once a bucket was in the ground and the ink dried on the contracts , there was no stopping it, no going back.
    Disagree. More contracts were signed after, as NS kept tightening the screws. More was given away each time.
    A study by the Chicago School of Economics came to the conclusion that in 1934 it would have been better for Nfld to have defaulted than to go with the Commission of Govn, which was designed to protect the British Empire reputation. Almost a decade of poverty and dole and misery, changed only by WW2.
    This is again what we now face. Default or threat of default would have forced NS, Ottawa, and bond holders , to take a hair cut , as they say, and share the burden, or face a worse situation, real default.
    I have seen private Nfld companies that endured for decades, that got into trouble and filed for bankrupcy, and re-started again, and received credit and carried on. Lesser of the evil , I suggest than stay tied to unconscientable contract conditions…. that ties us to decades of hardship, already taking hold with services in this province. And this just starting.
    You drown me, you go with me, or together we fix what has been royally screwed up, by, yes , traitors to our fellow citizens, by what some would say are uncaring sociopaths. Or we beg and get a mild bail out from Ottawa, with harsh strings attacked.
    That MF is a political failure . Agreed.
    That MF is also a engineering failure . Agreed.
    That MF as a engineering failure, is not proven, and yet to be decided. Agreed.
    That I meld the two: engineering and political failure. Agreed , I do. And that unless the engineering flaws and false assumptions are exposed, by the Inquiry, the enablers, engineering consultants and engineers get off scott free of blame. Such engineers may include Stan Marshall, and Nfld power engineers,perhaps if only by their ommisions and silence, but some co-operations,(colusion) though less so than paid consultants to deliver favourable reports to move sanction forward. Perhaps 6 or a dozen key engineerings aspects that should have never got accepted as reasonable, being unsound engineering practise.
    Melt the two , yes, as without the assistance of such engineering skullduggery, this would never have proceeded. They needed engineering consultants and engineers onboard……and so it went down.
    Appears PENG2 , and Marshall , and perhaps the DB appointed Leblanc would prefer such minutiae be burried? If so, then save millions; lay blame on DW and EM…….this a known already, no need to inquire into that alone. So, a farce inquiry from day one.
    PENG2 admits an engineering failure, so let the Inquiry prove it. Encourage them to prove it. Offer our evidence.

    • I have been saying that for a while..may be better to default on the whole shebang, than face the 57 years. And saying that the ball govt. should have had economist and legal bengals working on the alternatives, so we know we are going ..before we go. Maybe some reputable school of economics (not lock) would study our current situation and give us some alternatives.

    • PENG2
      You also, in your defence of Stan, mention spin,which you do not see Stan doing.
      Importing small amount of coal fired power, while saying every bit saved in cost helps, which is true as to cost, is nevertheless, a minutiae, and has negative environment effects, not significant, and no difference to Ed Martin promising "gravy" from export sales. So, in my book,it is spin on truth, half truth or less, and misleading. The uniformed public think this is a big deal… is not, you know it is not.
      As the coal power import is actually a minutiae, it is hypocritical to accuse other of dwelling on small things , while this in itself is a small thing.It provides less power and less security that the 123MW gas turbine at Holyrood, and more pollution.

    • PF:

      1 correction: I have never said I "would prefer such minutiae be buried?"—I have no staked in the inquiry except that of a citizen. Infact, 2 things I can say would be shown if you were to check my historical posts
      1) I have always said that the ToR are find provided LeBlanc uses a wide interpretation; I have never tried to discount that work or it value. Infact I would suggest I was one of the first here to provide some support to LeBlanc and the potential value of the Inquiry—though I have never passed judgement on the Inquiry or the Justice, I believe me and you went over this 1x already?
      2) I gave reasoning for my stance that the point of no return was when the construction contract were signed,. Even if we consider what Vardy suggested was an amount to remediate Site C (~$2B) adding that to the money spent and committed means that it would have made little sense to stop once construction was in full swing—some would benefit from a good cause/effect analysis of what pausing a project like this actually entails.

      Also, it would be wise to check out the term sheet as to the definition and results of a default—it is no where near the same scenario as if you cant pay your truck note and the back seizes. you and others should review those conditions before suggesting default as an option.


  33. Stan is a business person and not a politician. Would we prefer a great orator of no substance or a pragmatic business person? There is a fallacy in this province that leaders are these larger than life personalities with the grace and charisma to please and move the masses. In my experience, the great CEOs are often mild mannered and of few words. They are to the point and experts at moving the work along and to a end goal. Most are humble and super listeners and organizers. I know this drives so many nuts, but yes a few hundred thousand a year is absolute peanuts to CEOs of successful mid sized and large corporations. Not a lot of ppl can do it no more than a lot can be a professional athlete or 1 in a million enteratainer. These are the ppl we rely on to take responsibility to keep companies afloat and ppl working. We rely on these ppl to manage and allocate billions in capital properly. These are the ppl responsiblvfor the equities component of the unions, seniors and all working ppl savings. Not everyone can do thesecjobs. And a whole lot of them burn out early under the stress. We have this problems as Newfoundlanders – we don’t want others to be given too much credit and especially not that rich crowd. If we are ever to see the best and brightest take on these jobs, we need to knock it off with the foolishness. I don’t see Stan has pursuing the limelight – he is there to do a job. He is pushing that horrific mess of a project forward.