According to some observers, John Mallam, P. Eng. ought to
have been — minimally — the Vice-President of Nalcor. He had served in senior
roles at Hydro for most of his engineering career and rose to the position of
Vice-President of the “regulated” subsidiary — utility speak for an entities under the control of the Public
Utilities Board. He now serves on the Nalcor Board of Directors.

On the witness stand at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry, Mallam did
not seem to fit the pliant mould that afforded cronyism to run rampant at
Nalcor’s senior level. Upon Nalcor’s creation, becoming the parent of Hydro and
other subsidiaries holding provincial assets including Bull Arm, some senior
executives were shown the door following Ed Martin’s arrival. 

Perhaps it was just that retirement beckoned and that it was
time for Mallam to go. Whatever the case, the long-time mechanical engineer
exhibited for the Commissioner a level of confidence, clarity and expertise
that spoke to why he had been given leadership roles in the Province’s once-esteemed
Crown Corporation.
Mallam didn’t need to say a whole lot. But what he did say had
impact. Mallam came ready to drop a bombshell about how Nalcor had lowballed
the whole Risk Allocation for the Muskrat Falls project. 

In place of adding to the confusion around the employment of a P factor (rating given the probably of cost under or over estimation) and the failure of Nalcor to apply sufficient contingency risk reserve, Mallam brought clarity to the not-so-simple
issue (unless, that is, you possess the iron ring of the engineering profession). Contingency allowances are added to estimates to
take care of everything from lack of project definition, incomplete engineering
design, inflation, weather, labour scarcity, productivity — and everything in
between — especially the Project Schedule.
The Contingency Reserve was also an issue of concern for the Forensic Auditor. 
Grant Thornton reported that, among other things, Nalcor’s
decision to lowball the Contingency allowance resulted in the project Risks not
nearly being covered. An allowance for Risk — which manifests as overruns

GT noted that Nalcor may have understated project costs of
about $1.3 billion and that the estimate at Sanction ought to have been $7.5
billion (plus financing costs).
Mallam suggested that that even Grant Thornton’s estimate may have
been too low. He was a Member of the Independent Project Review (IPR) , a “Cold-Eyes” review team chaired by Derek Owen, an
experienced oil industry project manager.
Mallam notes that an updated Risk Assessment was not available
to the IPR but believes that Nalcor had only allocated a 10% contingency, when
he suggested that the figure should have been much inflated – by “25-50% or higher.” He stated
that the cost at Sanction might have been over $8 billion. Concerned Citizens
Coalition Legal Counsel, Geoff Budden, doing the math with Mallam, suggested
that an even better figure might have been $8.4 billion. Mallam stated that was
the right place to start.

Mallam based his assertion on published studies conducted on
projects at a similar stage of development. Asked what the perfect P level is,
he replied that a P90 is not always realistic. He suggested P70 or even P50
could have been used for Muskrat, but only if the project was more developed
(including the engineering) to justify the lower contingency reserve.

Mallam joined the entire IRP Committee in reserving the
harshest criticism for the Contingency allowance given the Construction
Schedule — which contained no “float” or period of time to allow for delays. Mallam
suggested that six months to two years was necessary for this purpose. The project
is now two years behind the original February, 2017 Schedule.

The Schedule was given a P1 — or a 1% probability of being
met. He noted that the amount of contingency applied to the Schedule was
“negligible”. As GT confirmed, Nalcor announced the 2017 target, knowing that it had
no chance of success.

IPR Chair Derek Owen took the Witness Stand at the Inquiry in
the afternoon. Owen took some considerable time to explain when different P factors might be employed. But as to the Contingency Reserve for Muskrat, he left no doubt that the whole Committee had been
like-minded on the matter.  He also
confirmed that CEO Ed Martin was informed of the observations of the IPR team and
that he seemed “surprised”.
Eventually, Martin will be able to tell the Inquiry why, in spite
of the warning, Contingency remained recklessly low at Sanction. He can also
inform us why $500 million Strategic Reserve never made it into the project
costs, got hidden as a management reserve, and was omitted from the calculation
that favoured the project. 
Perhaps he can also tell us why the public was never told.

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.

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?


I've been wondering if the whole "ethical wall" business has prevented the Premier of our province from acting where he might and should act?


  1. Or the Chair of Hydro, experienced and qualified professionals pushed out so a project can be pushed through is negligent on NL Govs part. Filling the BoD with project proponents/ PC Party friends and appointing Ed and Gill rigged the entire process from day 1. Ed Martin needs to have his severance put into escrow for the slight chance he willingly didn't lie or misrepresent to see the project start. Gov Canada and NL Gov need to start building their cases for charging the people involved with Muskrat Falls in court under fraud when the inquiry ends. Tommy Williams bush league antics won't be tolerated when some of his current clients become criminally charged with negligence, incompetence, failure of fiduciary dust, fraud, misappropriation of taxpayers money at 2 levels of Gov.

    Can standing be taken away or revoked at an inquiry once it has started?

  2. So it all comes down to least cost option. The new nalcor group was hell bent on doing muskrat, come hell or high water. So they started from there and worked backwards to show that it was. They low balled it, omitted contingencies, P1 factor for completion date. They inflated the isolated option by finding every excuse in the book, that oil for HLR was going through the roof, that the kind of wind we get here is no good, to HLR was on its last legs and too ancient to do anything with. Plus lots of other excuses. Someone will have to pull all of this together. Will it be a technical person to lay it before the judge, or will he have to figure it all out for himself, ask Joe blow.

  3. Excellent review by Uncle Gnarley!

    Yet another example of how Nalcor/Ed Martin and company refused to pay heed to advice from anyone!

    You can see the pattern already, ignore anyone, or anything that doesn’t agree with Nalcor’s predetermined assessments!


    • Owen's very erudite recall paints a story of chaos at the higher levels, which spins the management team towards Integrated Team, "trial and error", or a research type project. Project control, Line of control on contract administration became diluted.

  4. I have been following this blog for a few years.

    I would like to thank “Uncle Gnarley” for having this platform to keep people informed.

    Quite often for me I have gleaned a wealth of information from others who post comments on the various posts.

    I certainly don’t proclaim to have a wealth of knowledge like many who post here.

    However I can say I have certainly received an unexpected education from a definitely unexpected source!

    Congratulations to all, and keep up the great work!

    Thank You!

  5. Thanks UG for the update, especially on John Mallam, I had missed most of his testimony, My instincts were right to his credability, > I was not aware they he may have been pushed aside form Nfld Hydro. Seems the way for most all Nfld govn controlled operations that incompetence too often rises to the top.

  6. As we are now seeing, we have given away the shop to Emera, and where do we get the power, especially if MFs is not reliable, and even Holyrood not reliable.
    So , back to wind power, mow at only 54 MWs. What does hatch say is our limits and maintain stability? Add 25 MW? How about 600MW? What does hatch say?

    Page 6-1 refers to sensitivity : if no minimum thermal generation. I take that to mean if the old clunkers at Holyrood was replaced with new gas turbine s of the more combined cycle type that is ore efficient than the recent one added.

    Hatch say " significant more wind could potentially be economic if there is no minimum thermal restraint. They say 600 Mw of wind is possible , thought "clipping " the wind during ow loads would be needed. So in summer say , some winds generator would not produce power at times.
    Also with this 600 Mw possible, the efficiency of th ewind generation is over 90 % up to 300 MW of wind, and 78 % at 400 MW. They note that 600 MW is lion ayer fo rfuel, it is now 20 million. If 600 Mw of wind was used, this fuel cost may drop 90 %, so only 10 million for fuel.
    The Hatch study was for an island load of 9008 Gwh, compared to about 8400 now, so a 7.5 % difference. (see Hatch chart page 6-2)
    So 600 Mw would be a lot , about 30% of our peak, 300MW would be about 17% of our winter peak. Should we even now add wind to help our contract commitment ot NS?
    And what when wind and CDM is combined? That was leas t cost, including also small hydro.

    • Hatch at page 4-4 for year 2020 and 9008 Ghw total generation, show with 279 MW of wind the thermal generation reduces from 1624 t 1279, so only a 21 % reduction. This assumes we keep the old clunkers at Holyrood.
      But page 6-2 ( no year given ) for for thee same total generation of 9008 Gwh, shows with 300 MW of wind we see a thermal generation of 1605 Gwh is reduced to just 595 Gwh of thermal generation. this is a reduction of 63 % of thermal energy! This is exactly 3 times more reduction.
      Also the earlier post should read with 600Mw, the fuel could drop from 100 million a year to 10 million.
      Would apprecaite if PENG2 or other, Fred Wilcox maybe, would confirm my understanding above as to the difference of no minimum thermal restraint( as the old clunkers need to be fired up and is very inefficient.

  7. A bit of topic…but anyway…THE Anglo-Saxon ROute!!! Where the hell did we come up with that term. Europeans, Germains and other Europeans invaded England, I think, in the 5th century. Now think the term was used for a power route for Churchill power to the USA, during the Frank Moores era of the 60's and 70's. Then in Danny's era, it was changed to the Maratime Route. Now as we all know the Maratime provinces are NS, NB, and PI. The Atlantic provinces cosist of the 3 maratime provinces plus NL. So guess the Atlantic route would not be an appropriate term. Well there are really only two ways for Churchill power to get to the US market or anywhere for that matter, is through QC or NL. So why not keep it simple, KISS, then it is the QC Route, or the NL route. Cheers, Joe blow.

    • Joe, sometimes I wonder if you and I are joined by the Spock Vulcan mind meld. As just recently I too wondered about the Anglo Saxon name. Now the Saxons were from the North of Germany, and basically barbarian, much like the Vikings, invade and conquer and plunder. So that is our heritage. , and much aligned with German roots, so then in WW1 we kill each other, by the millions, so all in the family say. Now even the Romans had problems with the Saxons, and the Saxons repeated invaded England and eventually established there. Now the French was a bit more civilized, and norhtern France we had the Franks , see. Now Christianity took hold earlier in France then in Germany or England. , but eventually we all got a bit more civilized. But the French had a head start. So that is why we see in Quebec a bit more justice and here not so much . And that is why the French treated the first Nations a bit better than we did. So Heracles and Etienne and Ex Military, Eric, all a bit more civilized, , but far from saints Joe. Now see Frank Moores, well his roots was probably from the Franks somewhere, and he had a big attraction for women and for Air Bus kickbacks maybe. So a Frank is between a Frenchman and a English Saxon type.
      So the Anglo Saxon Route , it was doomed from the start. Raiders, plunders and maybe most modern one ended up working for Nalcor? So if I was Leblanc , I'd consider that. The Saxon heritage is fulled with bias. Nothing criminal maybe, just bias. I may even have some of those roots, not sure. Bias is a hard thing to root out. Like I prefer the Labrador Retriever for a dog. Big bias there.

    • Anyway Winston, not sure of my ancient ancestry, but may be a decedent from the ancient Spock clan, maybe you are too. But I get a kick out of all those agreements about shipping power to NS and beyond. First of all does anyone actually know how much power we are talking about. 20 per cent of some unknown number going to NS for free in exchange for the cable after 35 years. What is the life of those underwater cables! Less than HLR no doubt, and maybe under utilized too. Plus some of our cheap reliable, paid for power going too at market prices, 5 cent power is it. And then the spot market power to US, for what price, as $ sign dance in their heads, along with some with oil on the brain. This Maratime power agreement is bigger, and more complicated than the Atlantic Charter signed by Rooselvelt and Churchill in Placentia Bay, desposing of the spoils of the second Great War, and laying the foundation for the world post war. But then again, we are an energy warehouse, even if we don't have enough power for this winter, as they have been warning us of a shortage, and possible blackouts. Maybe we will get power from NS coal in the dead of winter. All too complicated for Joe blow to comphrend.

    • So, Joe, a little more on wind power: Every Nflder knows of our tremendous wind power, enough here to provide power for all of Canada or more, but we have but 54 MW , only 3 % of our peak load. There are truly technical limitations to keep our existing power stable, as wind is not stable , but up and down. So Hatch says we could possible go to 600 MW, which is 34 % of our present peak load,without storage . Probably no wherein the world is that achieved , unless there is storage of wind power . Storage is very expensive. But 300Mw is more practical , this is 17 %. Yet hatch suggest only 10 %, so 175 MW. Even that they want to delay for a long time,maybe 20 years, while spending 100 million a year on fuel and plus the emissions. Why?
      So to counter the critics they do another study : use wind only to offset Holyrood. They come up with 1375 MW, plus battery storage. the cost about 15 Billion, some foolish number. It made as much sense as Peckford Pickle Palace,, but Jerome Kennedy said it proved the critics wrong, our wind was of no use to us. We needed Muskrat, it was cheaper than wind. Such was their false assumptions and false logic and tunnel vision.
      As to efficiency, Holyrood is about 30 efficient, maybe 35. Your baseboard heater is 100 % efficient, but of the energy in the fuel overall to warm your house , it is still only no more than 35 %, since oil fied Holyrood. Then there is transmission losses, say 4 % to get the power from Holyrood to your house, so overall less than 35 %.
      Now according to Hatch , wind , with no minimum thermal , page 6-2 , is an average of 96.5 % efficient at displacing thermal , up to 300 Mw of wind. The fuel is free being only wind. So even with transmission loss is above 90 % efficient delivered to your base board heater.
      If we use a minisplit instead of a baseboard heater, that triples it to 300 % efficient compared to the baseboard heater.
      So Oil plus baseboard is about 30% efficient.
      Wind plus minisplit is .9X300 = 270 % efficient.
      Comparing the two, 270 /30 = 9 times more efficient . Wind plus efficient space heat is 900% more efficient than burning oil at Holyrood. And transmission losses are now lower as well. If 4 % before, , that is now about 2. 5%, which means we get a little more than 900% efficiency increase.
      So they ignore efficient wind, and today we still burn oil, and now this winter , warning of a possible blackout, our oil burning monster is getting old and cranky. Our world class experts now under Inquiry inspection are hiding behind their lawyers, who sit and ask no questions. They are exposed naked. How will they handle a blackout?

    • Cost of wind power: presently from our 54 MW capacity units : about 7 cents per kwh. Holyrood runs from 10 to 20 cents, the gas turbine at 28 cents per kwh using diesel.
      Wind average capacity factor Hawaii 30 %, our existing Nfld units 43 % , so 45 % better than Hawaii. We have a law preventing private development of wind energy. Why ? Because we need to pay for 6O cost power instead of 7 cent cost power. Why ? Ask Nalcor . 60 cent is least cost. Ed Martin said so, and we see how this was engineered by world class ……….? can't find the word.
      What do we have that is world class? A wind resource, about 20mph on average.

    • Now Winston, you are talking my language. I have always said where else on earth is there more wind and rain than on this island. No heavy industry and a small population. What is it 1700 MW peak power we need, and not even half that for most of the year. And we had to go 1100 km to get it and 13 $ billion dollars. "Lock 'EM up" , and I din't mean down by the lake, I mean in the aslyum. So I figured it out about wind from common scenes, and you figured it out from basic principles and your engineering background. But I did know ohms law, and played around with it in my education, and think it is still E=IR. Plus Stan gave us all a refresher on the stand, understand. And I have been known to run wires through my basement and cabin over the years, if I wanted to hook up a heater, here or there, or a few extra lights or plug ins, whatever. Was never shocked yet, except with the price of muskrat power at 60 cents a kWh as you mentioned. Plus I have been around all this island, and all the capes, plus I had a sail boat so I know all about wind. Even made small windmills when growing up. But not allowed to mention the word now, as you might be called a traitor of nalcor. Yes, a few years ago they told us we had lots of wind, but it was the wrong kind. They needed horizontal wind, and all we had was vertical wind, so was blowing up where the sun doesn't shine. But I understand that too, because they were the same crowd that had oil on the brain, and $ signs dancing in their heads, so they didn't know up from down, or their ass from a hole in the ground. I used to throw up every time I heard the word muskrat, but now I get mad, and fighting back, dam the torpedoes says Joe blow.

    • Joe, I wake early wanting to know how many millimeters this little tumor is now shrunk away from critical veins. I could get no detail info from here, as to the distance or a picture to see, but when I obtain a scan result on a disk, email the data to Texas, they then email me an atttachment with pictures of the size from scan on Aug 15, and now Oct 10 , with a large reduction, so now down to 3/4in x 1/2 inch. For a full year I could nothing on details on a picture from here, despite the scans being done here. So that is how you see what progress is made on that. So, we have a plan for removal in Texas, where they do most everything,….and last nite the new kid on the block for Democrats there in Texas on CNN boasting about all their wind generation! I know they have all this wind energy going from west Texas to east Texas, and here , our wind goes up and down, inside out, or the wrong color even, it can't work, but in our back yard.
      So my mind then switch from tumors to MFs and wind, and a little more from Hatch.
      They conclude that for 2020 , for technical limitations, 300MW is good for summer and 500 for winter, (we now have 54 MW) and this seems with those thermal restriction in place, when gone, even more wind here is possible .
      Yet in the end they recommend much less then the technical limitations and only 10% energy penetrations and at the slow rate of 50 MW once every 5 years.
      Yet for Nova Scotia, Hatch study says 13.5 % energy penetration (20% wind capacity is "very positive". And NS is adding wind , now over 200MW and adding much more. NS may benefit a little with their tie to NB, but NS wind resource is not as good, as to wind speeds.
      For isolated systems Hatch studies show New Zealand is good for up to 20 % wind energy penetration and Hawaii 20-25 % , so double our 10 % they propose( and our wind resource is 45 % better than Hawaii).
      So why the big difference?
      Many times in Hatch you will see the statement "Nfld Hydro provide a revised report for further review" So Hydro tailors what Hatch does.
      If a client like NS wants 20% , this is how you achieve it. If NL wants only 10% , this is the restrictions and limitations here and there to show only 10% is good. So they also take 20 years to add wind that could be done in maybe 5 years, and first units could be added in 1 year. So very slow and small amount, and it hinders the Isolated Case and helps MFs case. And put in the thermal limits and no CDM and keep the old clunkers instead of gas turbines ……all to the desired end.
      So. Hatch gets a lot of repeat business, to give you what you want. And what Nalcor wanted was wind that gave shitty results for the isolated option that was hamstrung in many ways, and MFs was polished with false assumptions to show least cost and provided lots of gravy, said Ed.
      Now, I stick my neck out with these comments. So, I strongly invite invite PENG2 or PENG3 , or any engineer or non engineer to refute this. We surely need a "cold eyes" reassessment of our optimum wind with CDM and small island hydro. I suggest we have been terribly misled on our wind contribution for our energy supply. And wind cost drops about 2 % every year due to improvements. And the wind itself as fuel, the old man above gives that free.

    • Hi Winston, there are several reasons to limit the wind penetration on an isolated NFLD grid and the Hatch report touches on all of them.

      Wind turbines are asynchronous generators connected to the grid behind inverters. This means they have no inertia and little in the way of voltage control as would a synchronous generator. The low inertia of wind turbines lead to reduced frequency control and possibly more load shedding events as the rate of change in frequency in an event will increase. These issues can be dealt with though using synchronous condensors, and/or capacitor banks, and/or dynamic VAR compensators, and/or batteries. The down side in the past is that these additions have ruined the economics of wind farms and they still don't deal with the lack of capacity in wind farms.

      Wind farms generally have a pretty low capacity factor and therefore don't provide much capacity. Here in NFLD, they CF is actually pretty good at roughly 40%. Still low though compared to a Holyrood or Bay D'Espoir. At 40% CF we would need to build 1225MW worth of wind turbines just to get the same capacity of Holyrood. That's roughly 60% penetration for wind power and is an unheard of level and lead back to the frequency/voltage control issues I mentioned earlier.

      Higher levels of wind power here on the island would also lead to increased spill at the hydro plants or spilled wind which is uneconomic. Holyrood production could also be reduced but only too a point as it has minimum load levels and is required to provide reactive support to the Avalon. Now with the HVDC links we have somewhere to dump that potential spilled energy. Perhaps the links also help make a business case for BDE unit 8 and Cat Arm unit 3. Particularly if we have excess energy to sell over the HVDC links. With zero fuel costs, the incremental cost of that energy is essentially zero.

      Nova Scotia does have more wind power than us and you are correct in saying that their interconnection to the North American grid helps them. However, having spoken to engineers familiar with the system there, NS is seeing some impact in terms of frequency control on their system.

      Part of Hatch's reasoning to limit wind penetration in NFLD to 10% was caution around ramping up the amount of wind power on our system when there was little experience with higher levels at the time the report was written. I believe we could go higher now, especially with the interconnections.

      Most of the small hydro sites on the island would provide little to no capacity in winter as they would have little flow. BC has recently installed a bunch of these little run of river units under their govts desire to have IPPs in the province. However, they generally only have water in the spring and fall. That's precisely when we don't need the energy for domestic consumption.

      I would suggest Hydro should be re-evaluating our wind energy mix now in light of the addition of the HVDC links. However, there has to be a market for the additional energy as we don't need it here on the island or in Labrador. We need capacity.



  8. The FLG; Sounds like a "pig in a poke" to me. On expected default, Canada gets the Muskrat "asset". Then writes off the bad debt, and hand it over for 10c on the $ to whom? Emera seems interested?

    So what NL Company gets the remainder of the Astaldi contract? Or will NALCOR step up with their Integrated EPC team, and run with the Trades contracts, taken from Astaldi fiasco? Why is Stan staying around for this inglorious wind down to commissioning, soon to be "gated" by the Owens team?

  9. Re: "He also confirmed that CEO Ed Martin was informed of the observations of the IPR team and that he seemed “surprised”."

    People at Ed Martin's position are often surrounded by Yes Men or sycophants whose every thought and action are guided by the official narrative, which in this case, the official direction is that MF has been decreed to be the low cost option.

    When you bring up the ugly truth to these kind of people, they are NOT surprised at the content of the message. What does surprise and even amaze them is that you dared say such a thing. They may even be angry that you are destroying their plausible deny-ability. If you really want to anger them, put it in a form that can be ATIPPed such as a letter that is attached to an e-mail and sent to multiple people.

    I've done things like this, documenting hundreds of millions of dollars in waste as well as pointing out things that are likely going to get many people killed. The end result is harassment via HR for fake discipline issues that are never documented and black listing for advancement. You get labelled as a trouble maker, malcontent or even bottom feeder. Unfortunately, whistle blower legislation can't protect you so you need to be close to retirement. I was told that the only safe way to blow a whistle from within in this government is to thoroughly document everything and put in a brown envelope to be slipped under their door a few days BEFORE you retire.

    I hope JM kept copies of anything that proves he communicated these inconvenient truths to upper management and that he provides them to the inquiry after others have purged themselves by denied that the documents ever existed.

  10. It seems (from today's testimony) that whether Nalcor would have FERC compliance would be fact based (determined based on the facts of the matter when Nalcor wishes to sell power or perhaps when/if Newfoundland Power might want to import cheaper power). It seems that such FERC compliance may potentially be challenged by Quebec or Newfoundland Power.

    • Brings up the recent Supreme Court Decision on Churchill Falls contract. Are we to understand this information is not made public for political reasons? FLG and Canadian taxpayers need to know of financial risks that the Federal government continue to assume. Why is this covered in Parliament Debates and Question period? CBC? Anyone?

  11. Never seen much of today's proceedings, but FERC is a USA standard that has a lot to do with power reliability, to prevent problems in one area from cascading in to other areas and causing a major regional blackout, which has happened at times. So it is possible that a problem in Nlfd , if not isolated with protection schemes rapidly, can trigger an outage in NS, then into NB , to Boston etc.
    Several years ago I mentioned GIC's , which triggered the big 1989 outage and caused outages or trips from Churchill Falls to NY.
    Our DC lines may have problems in this regard, and our island AC grid is exposed to this, But I have never seen reference that this was assessed or designed for, and there may be other issues as to reliability. So yes other utilities may challenge Nalcor I assume if there are potential problems that could negatively effect their reliability. Shocking if this not allowed for and all the ts crossed. But given Liberty's warning about our culture of operations here, it would not surprise me if FERC compliance is not received. Maybe others in the know can comment? I had put this to PENG2 last year on this blog.

    • It may very well come to pass that the main demand for QC/NL power will be Ontario Hydro. Does anyone, (Tom Adams?), know what negotiations are under way between the two behemoth power utilities, which would gobble up surplus power from the QH grid, including Lower Grand, (Hamilton/Churchill to you Colonials:)), generation? As long as Trump is in the Whitehouse, don't count your chickens with regards FERC.

    • From 2007 to 2017, Ontario reduced power use by CDM from 157 Twh to 132.1 Twh, so 24.9 reduction. I'm not sue but think that MF has 4.9 Twh?
      If so then Ontario has reduced by 5 Muskrat Falls energy production over the last decade. % MFs is 65 billion. CDM generally costs about 3 cents per kwh, so a LITTLE more economic than MFs hydro.
      Now recall that CDM was not considered for our Isolated option, and detrimental to energy sales as we await the 60 cent cost of MFs to be blended here. CDM has been little explored in this Inquiry, as to part of MFs alternative. . Maybe Black and Decker makes that blender for Labrador and Island hydro energy, and that Wade Lock is working on that. : a Mitigation Special type of blender.

    • That's been my point too Winston. The little bit of power we need. Imagine if they were dealing with real power like 100 or 200 Twh. What kind of a boondoggle would they have. But we are still an energy warehouse, so says Ken, on the stand, or did he say it was in his hopes and dreams, or just dreams now. Bloody buggers, every person in debt by $24,000, who do the hell they think they are ask Joe blow.

    • So Joe, how do Ontario accomplish this wonderful CDM stuff, that is foreign language here, even way behind French.
      Heck, Latin is better known here than CDM, as my generation, many still around studied Latin. Maybe back then, it was an indicator how backward we were. We had no science lab, no chemistry or physics in school, but Latin. So once at MUN, the Baymen had a lot of catch up to do, even with engineering.
      So, to get CDM, no need to beg to the Consumer Advocate in Ontario, Nor to the PUB chairman there. Nor have back door deals all settled behind the back of the PUB with, like here with Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro lawyers that happens here. No sir. In Ontario, Straight and simple. How? A Directive is sent : reduce energy use and peak demand by this much this year and for this rate for the next 5 years or ELSE. The else, I think is fines. Fines results in loss to shareholders . So they say: Yes sir , we will get it done.
      That simple Joe. To get it done means they have to use the best measures. If LED light and plastic on your windows and 3 sweaters don't work , and it doesn't , then they get serious and achieve it by best methods and you see the demand and energy use rolled back, so they avoid now the equivalent to 5 MFs .

  12. Irving oil has a backlog of propane installs that as of today extends past November 20. Gas fireplace installs are also backlogged many weeks.

    I am switching to a gas counter top range and adding a propane fireplace and next year may install a propane condensing boiler for floor heating. I also have heat pumps. My demand reduction for electricity will approach 90% and I won't be the only one based on the backlogs of orders at local fireplace dealers and Irving Oil.

    So much for electric consumption not being elastic. It might be elastic for small fluctuations in price, but for large increases (threatened or real) it is not elastic at all. A better analogy is a rubber band. Stretch it a little and it can return to its original shape. Yank it and you break it.

    • And didn't Straton, our forecaster for Nfld Hydro, say whether .3 or .4 or .5 , it was still all inelastic and so infers it makes no difference.
      And didn't Kate at the end today get GT to say that a price of power of 15 or 16 cents will see a reduced demand, which is contrary to our man Stratton?
      And why did she not press Stratton on that? She's an electrical engineer who worked in the power sector , remember, so not just a lawyer. She has talent she is not using to the benefit of ratepayers here.

  13. All is quiet on the Eastern Front. All in shock maybe. Not a comment in the last 24 hrs.

    Our friends at the Tely are paid by the word, so they they are engaged.

    Pam writes : The Inquiry delved into behind the scenes communications leading up to project sanction.
    She gives a quote from Harold Pinter "It's easy for propaganda to work,and dissent to be mocked" Pam says it appeared briefly on -screen at the Inquiry on Tuesday as the four former board members gave testimony.
    She says: And it was only a hypothetical action plan; who knows if it was ever purposefully enacted. But PM used no question mark. So no investigative journalism to find out? So I ask the question : Who knows if it was ever purposefully enacted? Surely some one knows. Is it part of the Inquiry mandate, or will someone leak to the Telegram or to UG?
    Pam says: One of the risks identified was " non-governmental organization/stakeholder protest" , including philosophical protests and criticism by concerned citizens who weren't convinced the project was based on sound or viable assumptions. By gar, that sounds like UG readers, and MFCCC members, who Tommie Williams almost brand as communists. Tommie is going over the list with a fine tooth comb. Is Pam a member? Or anycmedia person a member? What about even one Nalcor employee? A Nfld Power company employee? Tommie says Steve Bruneau is one. A red commie? Did not his father help create Fortis?
    Pam asks if Nalcor should have communications people like Dawn Dalley,( who devised the plan), putting out straight information so people could assess the project on its merits and flaws? Use used a question mark. She answered her quetion:The old board members nodded approval. She was just doing her job they said. And how much does she get paid for this job I wonder? Should she be dismissed immediately, or has she been promoted since then? The plan included stoking anti-Quebec sentiment.
    How the hell are we to get a new skidoo each, as Eric from Quebec suggested, with a plan like that? How are we to get a chance at power rates of 5.8 cents for the first 1000 kwh? Now we are really at the mercy of Quebec, thanks to Danny and Dawn and crew.
    Was the Dalley Plan carried out? Just like the Marshall Plan, on the same scale, that cost 13 billion to rebuild Europe after the war, so how do we rebuild?
    Pam then quotes Dunderdale at the Board of trade in full flight jingoism-fueled speeches, mostly aimed at Quebec.
    Mission accomplished , I guess, says Pam. And she asks: Anyone feel manipulated? Not me. Was Pam and the whole Tely tribe?
    I wonder, Did the Tely carry the content of those speeches of Oct 3 , 2013?
    Pam says she has friends in the communication world and she knows the importance of messaging. Does she mean communications like Rogers, or Belle, or CBC, or VOCM, or the Tely, or just PR types? What does PR mean?
    Dawn Dalley was then vice president of corporate relations. Does corporate relations by definition include the idea "It's so easy for propaganda to work, and dissent to be mocked" Sounds like from the playbook of Joseph Goebels.
    Winston Adams

    • According to the sunshine list for 2017, Dawn Dalley was paid $249,600. That's probably the wage of 3 or 4 Telegram reporters so she damn well better work hard getting her version of events out. I say that in jest and certainly not to insult reporters.

  14. I find it particularly galling that Richard Alexander of the Employers Council is so concerned about the changes to the WHSCC while not a word about the Boondoggle and all its financial ruin it has rained upon this province. The silence of our business community on this matter is deafening.

  15. And what does Russell at the Telegram say? Troubling Testimony.
    He says little things count too. The big news is that there was clear warnings before the project even got stated, warnings from the COLD EYES fellers. They included Mallam, Owen and especially Richard Westney.
    Some may recall COLD EYES is what PENG2 suggested he might to verify my minisplit research performance results. That is what I was looking for, that my methods and results were valid and reliable. That tern is what Bruno calls technobabble.
    Well, the Cold Eyes, got the cold shoulder from Paul Harrington, of Nalcor. Paul didn't like straight talk. He proposed they change their wording, so that the language couldn't be taken in a negative sense. Harrington said "we exist in a climate where words can be twisted and used in a manner that was not what the writer meant"
    The COLD EYES fellers stood their ground. Westney emailed Owens " we absolutely cannot allow our work product be dictated or edited by Nalcor or LCD management…this violates our obligation to the Gatekeeper and our IPR charter, not to mention our professional ethics. …. I do not agree that the changes are acceptable as given."

    Russell picks up on the key words of Harrington: "we exist in a climate where words can be twisted and used in a manner not what the writer meant". That sword cuts both ways says Russell.
    Russell asks ;What was more important : the facts about the project , or weather the project had to be cast in the best possible light?

    What of the alternative fact Number one : That MFs was a 824 MW hydro project? Bay d'Espoir is about 600 MW. Holyrood plant is 490, but can give only 470 to the grid, itself using up 20 MW. MFs has 4 generators that total 824 MW peak, but has insufficient water to produce 824, except for brief period. It's average power, if lucky is about 560 Mw. It loses about 8 % getting to Soldiers Pond, so MFs is more like 515 MW, smaller than Bay d Espoir. The figure bandied about for years is 60 % higher than appropriate.
    Was 824MW factual or PR, and manipulation?
    And this trick has been repeated hundreds of times to make MFs seem least
    cost. Facts are stubborn things, they say.
    Winston adams

  16. As a non-Newfoundlander I did not think it was my place to make comments on this thread, but I believe that, since debate has largely subsided, I can make a request to the regular commentators here who are from Newfoundland.

    I think a number of you owe me and the other commentators from Quebec an apology.

    I and my fellow Quebec commentators have repeatedly denounced, here at Uncle Gnarley's, a persistent and omnipresent anti-Quebec bias. In response, we have had to deal with a continuous stream of denial and of passive-aggressive reactions ("Have you ever lived here?" "You don't get it") which, inasmuch as it failed to find -or indeed seek- support in any verifiable fact, did nothing to advance the conversation.

    And lo and behold, in the most recent TELEGRAM article by Pamela Frampton on the topic,


    she writes, on the topic of risk posed to Nalcor by criticism of the project by individuals/protesters:

    "One of the responses to that risk fell under the bailiwick of Nalcor Energy’s Dawn Dalley, then vice-president of corporate relations. Among the actions suggested should the need arise, was “Leverage Quebec versus NL debate to rally support for this venture.” "

    I must confess I am surprised they actually put that in writing.

    The very fact that even many opponents of MF here at Uncle Gnarley's remain bitterly anti-Quebec shows one thing: however incompetent Nalcor may be as a company, its corporate relations division definitely understood and still understands which buttons to push to make Newfoundlanders rally behind the project.

    Waiting for the apology. I admit: I am not holding my breath here…

    • The fact of the matter is that NL politicians have always scapegoated Quebec whenever it was politically expedient so as to distract those naive and gullible NLers from the chronically inept and corrupt governance they endure because of these bloody skeets.

      These buggers have always strategically used the ingrained xenophobia afflicting NLers to their political advantage, knowing that those poor, misled fools will always be looking to blame anyone but themselves for their wretched plight.

      Always have, always will…

    • Etienne , I have not seen much at all anti Quebec sentiment on this blog.
      I do not,and hardly ever hear from the public, thought I know it exists, as do anti this or anti that, and even a bit of anti Christ. But most opposed to your extreme view on this blog is Bruno, and he has a short fuse, and he is not even from the ROCK. For me, I have far more praised Quebec that condemned it, or so I think. I think the engagement of you guys has allowed many to see that the CFs deal was not so bad for Nfld as many believed, as they heard just one side for decades, and an asset worth billion to Nfld, or it was.
      As for apologies, I still await one from Heracles blaming me for profiting from minisplits. My research of monitoring is technically called END-USE research, and it is such modeling that is best practice for forecasting power needs, especially where space heating is by far the biggest use of electricity here. So even Manitoba Hydro International recommended it as best practice, but it was ignores by our world class forecaster ;Stratton. And ignored by Nfld Power also . So should I expect 2 apologies, one for false accusations, and one for you nor Heracles understanding End-Use modeling helping lead to the boondoggle. Anti Quebec stoking was useful after they created the false forecast Etienne. But the false forecast ranks higher in priority to the root cause o the boondoggle. Your feelings beings hurt was calaterial damage, but not insignificant.
      As for apologies, if not sincere, then they are worthless. Do we not hear worthless apologies all the time. We have the Chef of Police from here, Boland, and maybe one from Toronto this week in st Johns giving apologies for mistreatment to first nation women. One thousand killed or missing. This in Canada. And just recently including Northern Quebec the rape of 2 women. . And we hear apologies and no accountability. So like the Inquiry, no criminal charges to be laid.
      Winston Adams

    • Anon 20:40
      right on
      remember "beware the Canadian wolf".. anything to agitate the torch & pitchfork crowd

      from the merchant princes on down… remember the Rhodes scholar, "L'il Trump" arsekisser, Bill Rowe stirring up the village idiots on the radio doing Jerry Springer better than Jerry Springer

    • Etienne,if the truth be known,NLers in general are not anti QC. It is the politician ass lickers who stoke the fire. Don't forget who created NALCOR and placed his cronies in positions of power. If the truth be known DW still had (has) great influence within the walls of the Nalcor castle. Which ever way the cut goes, everything points back to DW who is the main reason for our demise. J–us Ch–st he still maintains MF is "Good" for NL and QC is "Bad". You equate all NLers with the likes of DW and nothing is further from the truth

    • Wayne: you wrote:

      "You equate all NLers with the likes of DW and nothing is further from the truth".

      Where did I write anything about "All NLers"? Could you please not put words into my mouth? Better yet, could you actually address the point I am making? You and Bruno definitely both need to work on your reading comprehension.

      In any case, you and others do appear to acknowledge that anti-Quebec statements appear in your politicians' speeches rather regularly. Okay… err, remind me: WHO exactly voted for these NL politicians?

      (Rhetorical question, as I hope everyone here understands).

    • We got agree that in NL, the anti-Québec rhetoric is real and politically beneficial, anyways you look at it. It definitely attracts votes in general, and we all know it’s been continuously used by NL politicians (and a pseudo historian) to steer the province into that MF & Anglo Saxon route disaster.

      Luckily, UG blog's gather a more progressive and critical crowd. Most participants (ok, there are a few exceptions 😉 here are indeed able to differentiate reality from fake news / propaganda – when presented with facts. I personally witnessed that shift as a participant in the last couple years.

      Now somehow we have to spread the word so we get out of that victim syndrome vicious circle – to inch closer to a more accomptable / responsible governance.

      (Don't worry we also have our issues in Quebec. Mostly resulting from our past despot catholic dictatorship)

    • I agree with the Maurice Duplessis dark ages (he also used / collaborated with the catholic church big time).

      I just was not sure what you meant by Parti Quebecois's "sordid" politics. (PQ's was center-left by the way)

  17. Among those with standing the Inquiry is Charles Bown. His legal begal, Fitzgerald pops up, almost like Tommie, when anything sensitive arises: like when when they mentioned wind , and the cost of wind, and even Kate wanted to hide that information, and Leblanc over ruled her.
    Now I had mentioned that in Ontario in the past decade they have reduced power needed equal to 5 Muskrat fall projects. They do this by a Directive, an order from a government official. Which official? The deputy minister of Natural Resources. So that official just sends it out in writing , this is what you have to achieve, this much reduction, and for Ontario , instead of adding more power generation, they reduce the need for power.
    Recall the rally cry here : Do we need the power ? Yes Nalcor and govenment said , and to the Board of Trade, and spent millions to PROVE we did, with false assumptions.
    Now, in Nfld, if instead of MFs, they gave a Dirctive to reduce the need of electricity, to upgrade houses, make them more energy efficient , enforce building codes, more efficient heat systems, things to the the customer stay warm at less cost of electriciity, who would make such a directive? Well Charles Bown, as Deputy minister here of Natural Resources, Maybe he would need govvn authorization, but once done , his Directive could flow every year, to roll back energy use, burn less oil at Holyrood, and help big time have the Isolated option a very cheap solution.
    Will we hear about this from Charles? Was he watching other jurisdictions to see how these thing were done?
    Winston Adams

  18. OMG. Just read on VOCM, Chess says that since ball et al took over there are troubling management issues at muskrat, and the cost has risen by 3.7$ billion. That's a real streatch, and shows how far politicians are willing to go to lie, spin and and try and deceive the public. Will chess resort to Trumpian style politics, where he blames everyone in sight and he becomes the only Saint left on earth, hope the people don't fall for that crap, as he would also be in the Danny catagory as well. If that's chess's best to add to the debate, God help us. Plus, he is a leader now and need to be telling us his plan, of how he is going to deal with the boondoggle. His side line days and cheap political shots are over. The people must demand more from a potential next premier says Joe blow.

    • Chess Crosbie is ignoring the biggest mistake this province has ever made hoping that the media and the public won't notice until after he has secured a majority in the House of Assembly. He is nothing more than another NL politician who is in it for one of two things. To further his own career and business as so many have done or he is in it like Danny Williams was for his own ego. These types of politicians are more dangerous than those that are in it for career or monetary gain since they refuse any criticism of their beliefs and policies and its not possible to have a democratic society without freedom of expression.


    What is the value of Pi? If you don't need to know that, then you probably forget having learned it. Pi is 3.141559265359…..and you can go on, and on. For me I just remember 3.14
    When I forget what Pi is, lock me away. Pi day is March 14. Who knew? Pi , the Greeks found out long, long ago, is the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle. So the circumference is 3.14 times the diameter. Now the area of a circle is Pi x r squared. So take a diameter of 2 inch, and a radius, r of i inch, and the area is 1 squared times 3.14 , which is 3.14 sq inches. So the area is roughly 3 times the diameter.
    So back to wind power. Wind generators have a big prop that makes a circle, the area which is about 3 times bigger than the diameter. The power is dependent on the area of that big prop.
    This is the progress in wind technology as to the year and the prop diameter.
    1981> 15m, 55 kw
    1991> 35m, 450 kw
    1999> 66m, 2 MW
    2007> 126m, 6 MW
    2016> 187m, 8 MW

    15 MW turbines are now now being designed for wind. 187 meter prop is 614 feet diameter. An average house is 35 feet, so about 17 times the length of an average house.
    Did I mention that wind power contracts now in the USA is typically coming in at 2 cent per kwh PPA contracts. This s partly because the federal govn , they give incentives for wind. Without that it would be 4 cents. OMG, is it true that MFs is over 60 cent per kwh? And 60 cents is least cost for new generation?

    • Good stuff Winston. Here is a question for you or maybe others. Wondering, as I think you plus others have said that we can only have so much wind in a system, maybe 30 percent, or what ever, as it has to be anchored to something stable and robus, like a flywheel, or hydro, or thermal power. And guess that's for times when the wind doesn't blow, or too strong maybe. So hypocritical speaking, let's say the wind is always blowing, min. 20 km 24/7, then is the same kind of anchor required to keep the system stable. The reason I ask that, I think there are places, especially at elevations of 300 0r 400 meters that the wind never stops blowing on this island. Because it is not the wind at low elevations that is required but the wind at higher elevations. Even on a warm summer day there may be no wind, say on the waterfront, but atop signal hill it can blow your head off. Maybe it's also a question for meteorologist like Snowden, or Walsh, or Eddie on ntv, or research work at specific locations. Wondering how the guy that was looking for fog make out. Should have come to the Grand Banks especially in May, June, and July. He might get one clear day. Or of course we could ask the Nalcor people about wind, they are world class experts in everything.

    • AJ – go to http://www.windatlas.ca and fill your boots.

      You are a few clicks from seeing that the whole of the eastern Avalon is quite excellent and there is a tremendous spot not far from Sunnyside. The west coast of the island has a lot of potential too.

      For extra reading try this 2016 report out of McGill University covering all renewable resource opportunities across Canada that you really should browse – it's only 51pp and you can speed-read it easily.


      The key finding is that NL has more than double the onshore wind resource of any other province. Besides that, typical wind speeds on the best sites are much better than elsewhere in the country.

      I would hazard to guess that to select a few economic sites to deliver a few hundred MW for in-province usage and have them located close to major transmission sites would not have been hard to do. Integration with other generation assets is not that hard to do – everyone else is doing it and the technology is improving every year.

      Most of the McGill report references are sources from the period prior to Muskrat sanction. Nalcor and GNL most likely had the same data and knowledge.

      Tell us what you think of the information. Maybe it merits a more extensive posting on the path not taken.


    • 1.Beothic is promoting off shore wind, which is nearly twice as expensive as on shore. And they look off govn money input when the time is right.
      2 the promote west cost Nfld off shore, , so there is transmission losses when shipping to NS and beyond. They cannot compete wit hwind closer and generated in NS or offshore near Boston even
      3 they need approval from nalcor to connect, and Nalcor will not or cannot permit it.
      4 nalcor has given for free the right to NS to add more wind, based on the maritime Link , giving the anchoring ability of our island hydro and thermal generators.
      there is only so much anchoring ability, and what we give to NS we take away from Nlfd, even though that wind is right on Signal Hill. Red Cliff , The south Side, The barrens of witless bay or Roaches line etc.
      So the grand wind resource give away. Would Stan talk about that? It should have been Fortis building those wind farms for Nfld.

    • I guess not Fortis, as wind suppliers would provide a PPA contract, say for 4 cents per kwh if nogovn subsidy. Transmission is low cos so this would be best by Nfld Hydro to connect to the grid, but perhaps Nfld Power could do the transmission, but seek a profit on the generation too. So with MFs they are both screwed from the wind option, unless they get a big outage at Holyrood this winter of 500MW for weeks, and wished they had the wind then .

    • Good insights Winston. NL needs a radical shift to its energy policy. I gather Ball is not joining with Seamus and MacLellan to do the cap and trade. (instead, joining Kenney Ford SK!!). Has Ches spoken up yet on climate change strategy? Feds will go ahead with the carbon tax to raise funding for renewables, fund heat pumps, ration hydro use, ie. restrict baseboard heating and such. We have natural gas fired hot water in 70's apartment bldg. Cranbrook BC. (low bldg. envelope thermal values). But heating included in 2 bedroom rent, say $800/mo. and electrical at about $25/mo. I don't think QC. (Mtl Island can beat this)? Etienne? Heracles? Easterners like ourselves, (seniors), seem to be recognizing benefits of moving West.

  20. Winston: A few days ago, you were seeking comment on Hatch report re wind penetration to isolated island option. I looked up the report and have found it a very good reference source, in consideration of voltage, frequency, stability technical restraints as well as economic dispatch of available power sources. My personal (non-expert) opinion is that 10% wind penetration with an aggregate 300 MW around year 2035 is reasonable for an isolated island. I do note your point that wind plus energy efficiency (CDM, mini-splits, etc.) would have served as an economic way forward compared to MF. That may have well been the case. At least, wind penetration was studied. Energy efficiency was not. I do hope CIMFP recognizes that fact. Regards. FLW.

    • Hi Fred, UG readers may remember you, Fred Wilcox, an ex_Nfld Hydro engineer who was involved in forecasting and planning especially for rural sites and diesel generation in the early 70s.
      As to Hatch: they have a section which permits much higher wind capacity if the thermal restraints are removed. Thermal restraints seem to suggest each of the Holyrood units needing to be at a minimum of 70 MW each , so 210 Mw( the nature of those units) Also they include a west coast transmission lime going down from Deer Lake plant to Massey Drive, so that reduces the grid stability restricting further the wind capacity.
      Also a third line from Bay dEspoir , now underway , wwhich should increase grid stability to allow more wind, but this was not considered.
      It was intended to spend 700 million for environment upgrades to Holyrood, a very old plant, where the same could perhaps have supplied all new gas turbines that jive with wind much better, and eliminates the thermal restraints of 210MW of generation of the old thermal units.
      If from that approach, would not more wind be deployed more rapidly, over 5 years, instead of over 20 years, Fred? In conjunction with more small hydro and CDM, the total wind needed may be less than without that.
      Please add your 2 cents worth, as we both know more detail studies were required to pin these these things down, for optimum amounts of each for least cost to consumers. But how were they ignored when any utility would normally assess all of this for alternatives.
      CIMPF ( MFs Inquiry, yes for the Inquiry to not address this would be shameful I suggest)

  21. Joe , you will notice that with increased diameter from 35 to 66 m , the power increase 440%, then from 66 to 126 m , another 300 % increase in power, but then only 30 % increase for the last one.
    So up to 6 MW units a very large increase.
    Our exists units of 54 Mw has a capacity factor or 43 % , meaning on average they deliver 43 % of rated capacity, so 23 Mw. sometimes they delivedr full capacity so 54 MW.
    Now other jurisdiction show capacity factor 10 year ago 30 % as likely lower wind speed than we have. So with these newer units we can maybe get our capacity factor up from 43 to perhaps 60 %.
    I made a boo boo to say area was about 3 times the diameter , it is about 3 times the radius, Bruno should have jumped on me for that, as this grade 9 stuff.
    Yes higher elevations give higher winds speeds and more power. Yes , steady winds let the operators nap more, but winds are not steady for long.
    Our grid operates at 60 cycles per second , and the wind generator have varable speed that is converted to 60 cycles , but is not stable like the big 150 MW hydro or thermal plant units. So they can throw off the grid voltage and frequency some. The more wind units you connect in, the more the problem with grid voltage and frequency. So the range 10% wind is usually easy, and it is harder if you go more. Texas is now 18% (by wind energy) and will be exceeding 20% soon. With a peak here of 1750 Mw , 20 % on an energy basis (like Teas) would for here be 350 Mw, if 43 % avg capacity factor , suggests about 800 MW rated capacity, whether I have that right?
    10 % energy basis suggest 175 Mw , so 400 MW rated capacity?
    Now we have 54 MW rated , and 23 MW average. That is only on avg 1.2 %
    Maybe Planet NL will post more on this.

  22. In Great Britain wholesale cost of wind is 4.7 cents and beats combined cycle gas turbine generation costs of 6.5 cents, or open cycle gas turbine at 15.7 cents or coal at 12. 4 cents, or nuclear at 8.2 cents per kwh. So while Bruneau's gas plan is much superior to MFs, is it the lest cost option?

    Texas now has 18 % wind energy penetration. that is average. At times they have sustained levels of wind penetration above 40 %. ABOVE 40 PERCENT. FOR HOURS AT A TIME WITHOUT SIGNIFICANT ISSUES. These figures are remarkable , and as reported by Scientific American, a reliable source. It said for years critics of renewable energy have argued that grid costs and reliability will spiral out of control before they hit 20 percent But in Texas , today, electricity prices have actually declined , coming in well below the USA average. Put that in your pipe Ed Martin, and Mr Stratton.
    And why this is a big deal : because the Texas grid is essentially completely ISOLATED from the other USA grids. They do have DC line connections but they carry relatively little power. There no thick here, it says, …every bit of renewable energy produced in Texas has to be transmitted and balanced within the state. (Unlike Denmark which exchanges power with neighbours states or Scotland with England)
    So, fake assumption of Nalcor: that a tie in to the mainland grid offers Nfld advantages? What advantages?
    Winston Adams

    • In the year 2000, Texas had just 118 MW of wind (we now have 54 MW)
      By 2005 they had 1854 MW of wind
      By 2010, 9600MW of wind
      By 2015 they had 15,700 MW of wind
      By 2017 they had 20,600 MW of wind.
      Wind agreements signed for for 2018 and 2019 combined is 8700 additional MW of wind, to give a total of 28,000 Mw of wind.
      Churchill fall is 5400MW. So their wind is like 5.2 Churchill Falls, but it produces at less capacity factor . My wife asks Where do they get all the wind?
      They are adding 40% in 2 years , 8700 MW to the 2017 capacity. Their levelized cost of wind is as little as 3 cents per kwh.
      The Texas experience gives reason to be skeptical of experts that claim to know the true barriers to renewable integration, says Scientific American.

      Winston Adams

    • Winston: I do not think Dr. Bruneau should be ascribed as having a “gas plan”. He has simply and courageously put forth that a gas to wire option was unceremoniously dismissed as uncompetitive and without market in NL prior to MF sanction in 2012. About that time, penetration rate in Texas for wind was in the 10% range and has now moved to 15% as of 2017. During that interim, the wind turbine industry are seeing turbine development in capacity factors to as high as 40% . Some of that is achieved by utilities doing weather forecast every 5 minutes to optimize turbine efficiency output. In 2017, the US in aggregate is wind is doing about 6.3% of electrical needs. Wind in Texas is heavily subsidized by a multi billion $ investment in state funds to develop a “collector” transmission grid to encourage large and small developments that enabled a pathway to markets. It also supported new technology to overcome or ease the grid system limitations. Now, new battery system developments are reaching a size of 36 MW to store wind power. As to wind and gas costs going head to head, studies then may have shown a place for both, going back to prior to MF sanction in 2012. C’est tout bon, mon ami. FLW

  23. Just wanted to say I did read the stuff online, that the Feds posted, way back and keeps updated about wind, especially across the country. I did learn a few new things, but also confirmed what I already knew, that we are one of the windiest places on earth. St. John's is the third windiest city in the world, the first two are in South America. But the bottom line is, how much of this wind could have been harvested for our needs. Is the wind constant and consistent enough. It appears it is, but research and experiments need to be carried out to select the best areas. Is the Trapessay barrens and the winds of st. Mary's Bay the best place, maybe. And other areas needed to be investigated as the lie of the land has to be taken into account and how the winds are funnelled through certain areas. This was never investigated pre muskrat, as they did not want to, although they knew we were the best place in Canada for potential wind farms. How much wind could our system have supported, should have been thoroughly investigated. And with continuous technology change more and more wind could have been brought into our system, as our requirement for more power has decreased, along with DM. THAT WAS THE LEAST COST OPTION! AND MAYBE 5 CENT POWER FOR MAYBE A COUPLE OF BILLION! BUT WE GOT THE BOONDOGGLE. The bluddy buggers says Joe blow.