What the Isolated Island Option Could Have Been

In deciding to proceed with Muskrat Falls, Nalcor and
Government could not see the low-cost alternative staring them in the face that
was available to eliminate Holyrood and keep electricity rates stable and low.  
First, they could not identify that the
Isolated Island System had no load-growth potential.  
Second, they would not recognize that there
was great inefficiency in allowing high seasonal electric heating requirements
to persist.  
Third, they resisted changing
consumer rates to include marginal pricing that would sell Holyrood energy for
what it cost to produce.  

Fourth, they
refused to develop a full-scale Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Program
that would tackle the core problem of excessive electric resistance heating.

The proponents of Muskrat Falls not only denied these policies
were worthwhile, they promoted and continue to do the exact opposite even as
their plan is proving disastrous.  
post shall review the alternative 4-step plan for a trim and efficient Isolated
Island alternative that should have been developed.  A 10-year CDM program would have phased out
the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station, likely avoided construction of new
generation capacity, and delivered consistently low and stable rates with
negligible capital risk.  
Related to this Post:


Step 1 –
Get the Long Term Energy Forecast Right

This section is very brief given the analysis provided in the
last post, PlanetNL20.  From that post, a
strong case can be made that the Island peak energy requirements were in the
past and the future trend was that of slow and steady decline.  There simply was no future load growth to be
met.  The only justifiable goal was to
eliminate the demand for Holyrood energy as it is a terribly inefficient plant
and a lingering environmental threat. 

Absent local load growth, overly ambitious thoughts of an
export-based project via the Maritime route would not have see the light of
day.  The false assumption of load growth
may be the most critical technical error that enabled Muskrat’s sanction (among

Step 2 –
Identify and Address the Inefficient Seasonal Energy Problem
Most utilities try to avoid large seasonal swings that cause
them to add assets that often sit idle. 
When the seasonal demand is met by a high cost fuel, and in the case of
Holyrood at half the efficiency of more modern thermal plants, ratepayers are especially
poorly served.

While Holyrood delivers barely 20% of total IIS energy, it
devours nearly 50% of Hydro’s total required revenue, mostly for fuel.  If demand for Holyrood energy could be carved
out, ratepayers could enjoy potentially lower rates.  They’d also use on average 20% less energy,
saving on their bills that way too.  
The seasonality problem is easy to see in the chart below, as
is the fact that Holyrood thermal energy is strictly a seasonal need.
The culprit is electric resistance heating which is used as
the primary heating source in over 60% of both residential and commercial
buildings.  Widespread substitution of
more efficient electric options or switching off electric altogether has the
potential to eliminate thermal generation from the existing supply mix.
A spreadsheet model was developed using as the primary change
factor, a 45% reduction to the seasonal energy requirements (the part above 400
GWh/month); a 10% reduction to non-seasonal energy (the part below 400 GWh) was
included as a secondary induced effect.  Hydro’s
existing non-thermal supply constraints are incorporated in the redistribution
of annual energy shown in the chart below.
 The energy balance shown here will work within the system’s
capabilities assuming sufficient load can be abated by consumers.  Historic peak demand issues (having
sufficient MW of generation available to meet the highest winter peak load) is an
issue presently exacerbated by resistance heating.  Peak loads on the Island spike in the morning
and in the afternoon as a lot of residential electric heaters are turned on
simultaneously.  Peak demand would be
expected to decrease in proportion to the planned energy decrease and perhaps
even more, rendering it a non-issue.  The
sole policy focus would be widespread abatement of electric resistance heating.

Step 3 –
Implement Consumer Marginal Rates
The strongest policy tool to reduce the use of Holyrood energy
would be too price it for what it costs. 
Presently, a single blended rate in the vicinity of 10 c/kWh not only
hides that the true cost of Holyrood energy is about 20 c/kWh at retail, but it
unfairly results in low energy consumers subsidizing high energy
consumers.  A fairer method would be to restructure
rates by dividing the energy supply to separate out the thermal energy and sell
it at a premium price to high energy consumers.
This approach has long been in place in many other
jurisdictions and is considered fair and efficient pricing policy.  Applied locally, a low-price base energy
quota (700-1000 kWh per month for residential consumers) representing
non-thermal energy would ensure all customers have essential energy at the
least cost to meet their necessary electricity demands other than heating.  Above the quota threshold, consumers would
pay the higher price representing thermal energy use.  The policy would be properly targeted upon
electric heat users and directly hold them accountable for the high cost of
seasonal thermal energy production.

A 10-year program would phase in the marginal cost increase on
thermal supply by small increments (i.e. 1 c/kWh year) to avoid rate shock to
high energy users.  Many wouldn’t be long
understanding that resistance heating is going to get very expensive and there
are better alternatives.  Some consumers with
easy access to wood and oil would abandon electric heat altogether; even propane
heating is less costly than Holyrood generation. 

For many in the domestic and small commercial sectors, installation
of electric heat pumps (mainly for new builds) and mini-splits (for retrofits) that
reduce seasonal energy needs by about two-thirds would be very popular.  While energy for these high-efficiency
electric heating systems would be mostly incurred at the high seasonal rate,
their 3:1 efficiency would be equivalent to using resistance heating at well
under 10 c/kWh.  Retaining resistance
heat would become very unpopular and the 45% reduction to seasonal energy
stands a very strong chance of being realized.

Step 4 –
Implement a Serious CDM Program

Switching heating sources can cost many thousands of dollars
but the long-term savings opportunity would prove viable for most electric-heat
consumers.  Those with good financial resources
can act without further incentive but less financially secure ratepayers face substantial
financial hurdles that would prevent them from realizing the opportunity.  A formal CDM program offering rebates and
arranging extra financial assistance for those who need it would ensure access
for all and a very high level of participation.

Other provinces with successful CDM programs (NS, ON, BC) spend
25 cents per kWh of permanent load abatement but in this instance a more
generous 33 c/kWh is recommended.  A
10-year program would target 150 GWh annual reductions resulting in annual
program costs of $50M.  A cash flow
analysis indicates that the declining average cost of generation would yield enough
net cash surplus to pay for the CDM program. 
The surplus will come from high energy users paying marginal pricing
premiums – it is only fair they pay for their own program benefits.
Approximately two-thirds of the funding would flow to the
residential sector, yielding an allowance of $2000 per electric-heated
household.  Little or none should be spent
on non-heating items (appliances, lighting, insulation) as these items offer
far less seasonal energy abatement potential.

Not to be forgotten is that CDM programs don’t pay all the
costs.  Ratepayers would incur substantial
costs after rebates, likely around $1B over a 10-year program.  That cost isn’t strictly dependent on the
existence of a CDM program though: with Muskrat set to drive up electricity
costs, a wave of ratepayers is already acting to reduce their electricity use
without the benefit of incentives.  Without
a CDM program though, those who can decrease their electricity costs end up
deflecting extra costs onto the poor, severely widening the inequality gap and
hardship of many.  A severe energy
poverty crisis is looming.

Key Benefit – Buying Time
If the CDM program couldn’t fully realize its targets, it
could still result in a very positive outcome. 
The cost of non-hydro renewable energy technology was always expected to
steadily decrease, therefore it could be predicted a point in time would come where
new capacity could be added with minimal rate impact.

Had the program commenced in 2013, just halfway through by
now, wind and energy storage options are already as low as US 2.1 c/kWh (as quoted
in PlanetNL20).  The price in 2023 to put
wind and storage on the Avalon Peninsula, where it can most usefully and
reliably serve the largest Island load requirement, is going to be even lower.

The next few years may have the potential to reach a point
where new generation doesn’t increase rates at all.  Wind with storage delivers firm power that may
not only be the least cost new generation alternative, but it could even force Hydro
to think about abandoning some existing high cost non-thermal generation sites.  Any small fraction of Holyrood energy that
remained in 2023 could be dealt with in similar fashion.

Backup Power – Nalcor Doesn’t Want to Talk About This

When the Holyrood plant is decommissioned, there will be a
backup power concern that especially threatens the Avalon Peninsula.  New fast-response combustion turbines (CT) will
be required in both the Muskrat and non-Muskrat alternatives to start up
anytime Bay D’Espoir or Muskrat has a hiccup. 

In the case of Muskrat, CT capacity equal to Holyrood is
needed.  Don’t be at all surprised when NL
Hydro someday soon announces it must spend up to $1B on new standby CTs.  Some critics will argue Nalcor should’ve
carried this cost as a part of the Muskrat project but Nalcor will argue it was
going to be needed anyway.  What can’t be
argued is an additional rate impact of 1-2 c/kWh awaiting ratepayers that is not
included in the Muskrat rate forecasts Nalcor and Government have presented to
date.  Whenever a lengthy Muskrat failure
occurs, a definite possibility, fuel burn will nudge rates even higher as will
the Muskrat asset repair costs.
Had CDM reduced seasonal load, a failure event wouldn’t
require as much capacity and even less if some wind and storage were built on
the Avalon.  In the CDM scenario, the
rate impact of the smaller scale CT requirements would be close to zero as the addition
of the new CTs would be offset by cost reductions upon closing Holyrood and the
simultaneous scaling down of the CDM program.

A Rude Return
to Reality

Rather than reducing Holyrood cost to zero, Nalcor chose to build
Muskrat as a direct replacement with unfounded dreams of energy growth and
export fuelling their ambition.  Even
Nalcor should be rudely awakened to the fact that export income will be close
to nil and Muskrat will end up costing ratepayers about three times greater
than the silly-expensive Holyrood plant it will replace. 

The alternative solution proposed in this post indicates that Nalcor
conducted a deceitful charade with their pre-sanction Isolated Island scenario,
saddling it with fantastically misguided assumptions to ensure it would end up costlier
than Muskrat.  That a realistic Isolated Island
scenario could have been offered through only shrewd but fair policy was a
professional travesty on the part of the utility’s leadership and callously wilful
blindness of the bureaucrats and politicians who shepherded Muskrat to sanction.

Now, unlike Holyrood’s costs that could have been fully
mitigated, Nalcor has ratepayers locked into a massive and binding take-or-pay
contract.  The whole scheme has become an
insurmountable financial mess and an ecological time-bomb besides.

Before the project is even put into service, it is becoming
clearer by the day it was 100% an avoidable insanity. 


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?


    • I would think the place to start is to create a workable, balanced budget that includes the payments for the debt on Muskrat Falls. If this turns out to be impossible, then go back to the feds and tell them we will have to default and begin negotiations.

      As for power, all we can do is keep fixing Holyrood as things break and hope for the best. A demand reduction or shedding initiative to minimize winter peaks would also be worthwhile.

  1. I am glad to see your plan rewards conservation and penalizes wasteful consumption. Previous plans encouraged the opposite here on this blog.

    The CDM subsidy for the poor is essential to as you point out, prevent a widening of the gap between the rich and poor.

    Yes the benefit of buying time in supply increase is the alternatives to fossil generation are getting cheaper over time and will cost less when they are required.

    Yes it was an avoidable insanity. It was a vanity project of a pompous, narcissistic politician and had little to do with need for power, only yearning for unbounded political power. The results are predictable.

    The question remains who the hell will do anything about it?

    • The "brains" of the Concerned Citizens on this Blog can have major impact on outcome of next election, wherein new leaders, dedicated to improved Energy Plan, may bring the derelict ship to safe harbour. Get cracking! Who are you going to vote for?

  2. All the Kings horses and all the Kings men……you know the rest. But a very simple plan by one expert, planetNL, yet it took nalcor and govt. with hundreds of world class experts, thousands of hours of skeaming and planning, million of dollars in the planning, and 13 billion to build, all for naught. And they go on the stand defending themselves, their skeams, the money spend, and lie like troupers at every opportunity. Yep, the best laid plans of mice and little men, all for naught. So much for world class experts. And maybe PlanetNL 's plan is still too simply, reasonable, rational and common scenes approach for most at nalcor to grasp. So get rid of all the buggers. And start implementing the plan. Hand the muskrat boondoggle over to the Feds and NS, lock stock and barrel, and charge them transmission fees for their their power lines over 1100 km of our lands. Or at least a good starting point for negioations. Thanks, average Joe.

    • I cringe when I hear "world class experts". I've worked all over the world, for various federal/provincial/state/city governments and what we have here is primitive, and not much changed from the 1990s. In areas like information technology, we are twenty years behind. We also have a major problem with cronyism.

      Handing over the boondoggle would be part of defaulting on the loan guarantee. It is already technically in default — had we been truthful, we would never have had that guarantee.

      Getting "rid of all the buggers" goes back to the cronyism problem. Not sure how to fix that problem short of an rebellion or commission of government.

  3. As to your four points, you assume that Nalcor and government was blind to these things. I believe they understood these points very well and suppressed them in order to justify Muskrat Falls.

    To salvage this mess, I would seriously look at a organized default of the loan guarantee. It isn't just a boondoggle — the North Spur will eventually collapse and kill people. All it needs is a mild earth tremor to liquify the mess.

    We should plan for outages. How will rotating blackouts work? Can we have backup power for dangerous intersections? For example, can the diesels in Confederation building power the Allendale / Prince Philip intersection etc.? Can we have an emergency app to notify people to shed load and watch the load drop real time? Meanwhile, we continue refurbishment of what we can on the Holyrood plant and hope for the best.

    TakeCharge in the hands of Fortis is like the Fox guarding the hen house. Demand reduction is not good business for a power company. Create a new program and rebate pellet stoves and heat pumps. Offer low interest financing (maybe equal to a good mortgage rate) for heat pumps and have the payments added to the power bill.

    Charge higher rates in the winter — high enough to encourage heat pumps adoption.

    Allow companies to set up wind farms as they wish. Let the generation market be competitive.

    Unfortunately, government is doing the opposite. The new direction for the heating of public buildings is to convert oil to electric baseboard specifically to increase the load (and justify Muskrat Falls). Increasing heating load is a poor idea given the deferred maintenance on the Holyrood thermal station.

    I don't see that any of this will happen because the status quo does not like change. If there was any inclination to do these things they would have been done long ago.

    • I think government would passively aggressively refuse. The excuse is carbon emissions. Since hydro power is green energy, and baseboard is 100% electric, there is nothing to be gained in terms of carbon emissions.

      Moving from oil/propane to electric does lower carbon emissions, and baseboard has lower capital costs than heat pumps — so hooray for electric baseboard.

      The believe the real motive is to make those Muskrat Falls load projections come true.

    • The diesels at Confederation Building supplying anything is another joke.When I was working at the Confederation Building with a contractor in the 1980's we had a power shutdown one morning to do a switchgear changeover and the diesel was supposed to cut in automatically.The diesel made about half a revolution.The battery was dead.So much for maintenance at Confederation Building.Seems gov. as well as Hydro don't doesn't know about maintenance.

    • Jerome can be as saucy as a crackie, even to judges. So who has the nerve to rile a crackie? He grew up in Carbonear with no regular heat and wearing sweaters to bed sure. Now, I too experienced such conditions, but never wore sweaters to bed, did anyone?
      So, he says he really feared we would be cold and in the dark by now, and had to do the Muskrat licketdy split, as we Nflders no longer have sweaters sure, and no one can knit. And such things as heat pumps, invented in the 1930s, and used in Nfld for 30 years before 2012, well, "The experts at Nalsor never once mentioned heat pumps, Swear to god, your honour, never did hear of such energy saving technology. Didn't even know we use them on many of our institutional buildings. The honest to god truth. Gil never told me, Ed never told me, in fact, no one in Natural Resources ever heard of them. That NS was installing them lickedy split, 20,000 in 2011 alone, why was I not told, Mr Learmonth? If only I knew, Mr Learmonth. If only I heard a whisper of it. A rumour even. Read my lips, Mr Commissioner, if I had known some of these things, Muskrat would have been dead. I am baffled as to what has happened. It is not of my character to stay silent, as you know, when I see wrong doing. Not in my character, your honour, Sir".

    • Yes Maurice as the only one that wretched and quit at whatever KD was up to when he bolted and resigned it would be likely that he would tell more if not all if he was pressured.

      It seems my cynicism is rewarded yet again!
      Da prosecutor has a rubber chicken
      Here come da judge!

  4. Seems that BL fawns over and panders to lawyers. He seems afraid of JK, as he was with DW. His doesn't mind getting nasty with folks who are not experienced being examined by hit and run lawyers but backs off when he is up against them. The inquiry seems to have the sole purpose of making sure that a bunch of St. John's lawyers get to pull down hourly rates that would make PH blush.

  5. Observing the sordid spectacle of Jerome Kennedy's testimony at the CIMFRP today, the man trying desperately to come across as the pitiably contrite and dimwitted fool who claimed to have known nothing of the technicalities involving the evolution of the massive bait-and-switch scheme perpetrated upon his own constituents as it unfolded before his very eyes… serves only to cement this ineffectual individual's lamentable legacy as yet another amongst legions of colossally inept NL politicians, incompetent in their portfolios, and abjectly derelict in their duty of service to the people of their province.

    You stink, Jerome.

    You stink… real bad.

  6. NOTE, correction in your post. Holyrood does NOT use 50% of the revenue for NL Hydro. It is about 30%. According to NL Hydro’s audited financial statements, fuels accounted for $226 M on $665 M in revenue. They have 21 isolated grids and other thermal in the system that will continue. Last year Holyrood used about $200 M in fuels or 30% of the revenue.

    There are plenty of alternatives that were dismissed but the ship has sailed. We need to focus on dealing with the aftermath.

    1. We need to write down some of the debt. It is clear from the Inquiry findings so far that it was not a bankable proposition with a one out of fifteen in risk planning. The loans were squarely on the strength of the federal signature. Therefore, one or more of the following is possible:
    a. The Federal Government was negligent in granting the guarantee and needs to be responsible for some of the debt.
    b. The Law Firms were negligent in not inserting a clause in the Bank contracts requiring due diligence. Every other Federal guarantee from CMHC Mortgage insurance, Small Business Loan (SBL) program, Farm Credit, Export Development Corp (EDC) Insurance and others, all require that the Bank complete proper due diligence in order to obtain the guarantee.
    c. The Banks were negligent in not completing proper due diligence and need to take a hit on these loans

    2. A proper viable plan needs to be developed to manage the island grid. Some of the options that were not completed could still be done for less cost than the back-up generation estimate of $1 Billion. That would lower the need for back up CT and perhaps one newer turbine could be installed at Holyrood.

    • PlanetNL here to clarify the numbers as per the first paragraph from the commenter Anon. 20:11.

      The focus is on IIS revenue, not total Hydro revenue, so the wording used in that sentence of the post could indeed mislead a sharp-eyed reader, so nice catch. As the IIS is the only user of Holyrood, and the only payers of Muskrat, we only want to look at that required revenue which is typically 85-90% of the total Hydro system.

      In case anyone wants the numbers breakdown, here it is.

      Holyrood fuel cost is based on most recent Oct.30 GRA submission from Hydro to the PUB for 2019: their data are 2.718M barrels at $92.50/barrel. This equals $251M forecast. Holyrood non-fuel cost is based on Hydro's estimate that Holyrood costs 0.6 c/kWh of all their energy sold so that's $40M+.

      Add these two numbers up and we have Hydro's own evidence telling us that right about 50% of IIS required revenue for 2019 would be spent exclusively at the HTGS. The prospect of temporary savings from the LIL/ML energy import was properly not considered as it is an aberration from the normal operating practice assessed in this post.

    • Thank you PlanetNL for your explanation but I am still not convinced. Based NL Hydro’s financial statements and a little analysis Holyrood accounted $200 M in expenditures on $665 M revenue. Most of that revenue is from the Isolated Island System (IIS). Total revenue for Nalcor during that same period was $930 M (see Nalcor financial report https://nalcorenergy.com/about/transparency-accountability/reports/annual-quarterly-reports/2017-business-and-financial-report/ ). Nalcor has some O&G revenue as well as energy sales in Labrador.

      I could be wrong but I don’t believe that about 250,000 ratepayers on the IIS are only paying $400 M per year in rates or an average of $1,600 per year ($133 per month).

      The main (only reason) that Holyrood consumption has increased in past two years is because of the Vale Smelter load of 80 megawatts (MW). This was always part of the bogeyman to justify Muskrat. An industrial steady load of 80 MW is easy to service through a number of less expensive options than 20 cents at Holyrood. For example a wood burning system could deliver for 8 cents and deliver a lot of local jobs plus help support a forest industry because it uses the waste.

    • Details are better understood through the GRA documents which separate out IIS cost and revenue in great detail. The annual report is far less informative and leads to inaccurate guesses.

      BTW – Agree that Vale is a big issue yet few realize it. Ratepayers are subsidizing service to Vale by a wide margin. The Goverment of the day had no qualms providing Vale with the ratepayers wallets. This hidden subsidy is in the tens of millions annually because Hydro assigns all Holyrood costs to Newfoundland Power and none to industrial customers.

    • Shades of Smallwood's concession to Long Hr. phosphorus reduction plant. Had Labradorians more political clout in the 80's and 90's, Inco/Vale smelter would have been sited in Torrington Basin, bringing employment to Goose Bay/Happy Valley, utilizing excess "clean Churchill hydro", instead of driving up fake demand on the Avalon, for a few Tory/Lib seats. Look in the mirror Avalon voters. Get off the baseboard heating. Find some renewable energy, conserve, get a little more from your elected reps.

  7. The Three Ring Leaders. Many, maybe a 1,000 or more enabled muskrat directly or indirectly. All those appearing before the judge, all or most employees of nalcor, NL Hydro, and Nfld Power. Many govt. Officials including 30 plus elected MHA's. Others can be added. But the three king or queen makers were DW, KD and EM. They were the movers and shakers, they were hell bent to do muskrat and there was no stopping them. But none of them wanted to stay around long enough to complete the boondoggle. Note their times of resignation. Danny right after the Term Sheet was signed, KD right after sanction, and Eddie when he ran out of money, the first loan guarantee. It was no accident that CD became the interm premier, that was by design. She was the only person in govt that Danny trusted and had the will to do muskrat. She had been natural Resource Minister ever since Danny was elected. She new the files, every detail, and how to get her done. How to hood wink the voting public. When she ran for the top job as premier no one opposed her, Marshall dropped out, Kennedy, the heir apparent, dropped out, many others did as well, as they were not sanctioned by Danny. Only KD the appointed and elected one to get the job done. Now she did have some challenges. She had to get the loan guarantee, no easy feat, Danny had long burned all his credits with Harper, so only KD could do it. She stood on the stage and supported him in his election. A big step to the loan guarantee with Harper. She also had to overcome the CETA agreement, which included MPRs and 250, 0000, 000$, or was it 400 million, which ever way you want to look at it. Harper needed our support for fish to the CETA agreement, and MPRs. That was tied to the loan guarantee. When KD caved to that Harper was in line for the loan, provided NS was on board too. Of course he regneged on the 400$ million after she signed for the MPRs. So we have two of the Ring Leaders in the next two weeks. If they are not nailed for their miss deeds, then no one will. Does the buck stop there. Come on Katie and Learmonth show you stuff. This will be your day on the stand, where you will fail miserably or be our heroes and applauded by all. Says average Joe.

    • AJ, you describe it well (and pretty much my thoughts also).

      After seeing how easy a time Learmonth gave Kennedy, my concerns about what will come of this inquiry have increased considerably.

      There was an early. concocted objective to do the 'lower Churchill', and all the rest is mere window-dressing, well thought out/designed to make it happen.

      The $500 million contingency omission is small potatoes in comparison.

    • MA @ 09:30:

      I have a different take – I thought JK provided some pretty valuable info to the Inquiry Counsel. More and more I am being convinced my assertions of 2yrs ago are true.

      JK is an experienced lawyer and needs to be dealt with differently than most of the other witnesses to date – I suspect that is why BL ran the questioning as he did. Again, nuances; but even TM or DW don't have the witness prep experience JK does, so I'd expect that's why it was BL.

      Also, Pam in the Telegram referenced Gomery in this weekend's editorial (probably the first outside of my postings referencing it), people here would be well served to read and understand it. There is a lot of info there explaining why and what an inquiry is.


    • MA @ 10:36:

      Only if you take a narrow view of the ToR – the ToR is open ended enough such that LeBlanc can examine the root causes. We have seen him to date go further than most dissenters (including yourself) admitted that when the ToR was originally released said was possible.

      Most was charges (civil/criminal) – by legislation that cannot happen, the issues with the Inquiries are not because of the ToR, rather by other superseding legislation that overrule the Public Inquires Act (provincially and Federally).

      Best to allow the process to run its course – the most investigative tool available was implemented see post of 'Anony Engineer' form 2yrs ago. To date we have gotten a lot more than if we only got the Forensic Audit the public asked for, an Audit that most said wasn't possible under the ToR…


    • PENG2, You seem satisfied with the TOR designed to protect the guilty. I wonder why? No blame assigned, no charges is your cup of tea for this inquiry. Again I wonder why you protect the perpetrators of the biggest fraud in NL history?

      Protecting the guilty perpetrators and defending a moribund profession seems about as dishonest as someone wearing that iron ring gets and all from an anon perch where your professional misdeeds and those of your MF colleagues are protected from sight.

      Do you expect to be taken seriously???

    • I find the testimony of Kennedy this morning sickening, and also the slick approach of Simmons.
      Also as this UG post deals with a proposed least cost that involves CDM, one of the exhibits, showing options states "Efficiency and Conservation Explicitly Excluded." This was a Natural Resources document, not Nalcor, so obvious that government, Kennedy's Dept was deciding to exclude Conservation and Efficiency( while that dept at the same time had in 2011 a Efficiency Plan to reduce island load by 20% by the year 2020(which eliminates MF power need). Go figure! And this is not questioned at this Inquiry.
      And Kennedy stated "There was the FACT that we needed the power. And he cites the 18,000 bls a day of oil being burned at Holyrood, which is a distortion from average consumption. So they continue with their bullshit, and deceive us still, and we know was false in 2012. No WHOLE TRUTH here. Part truth is usually a deception, despite swearing to tell the whole truth. At this, lawyers and officers of the court should be held to the highest standard, and Leblanc should remind lawyers of this, and not give them a pass on the meaning of TRUTH. And co-counsel should remind lawyers of thier special responsibility as officers of the court to tell the WHOLE TRUTH< NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, instead of a wink and a nod to mislead the public.
      Winston Adams

    • Bruno @ 11:47:

      This has nothing to do with the ToR clause saying 'no charges to be considered' or my profession. As stated above, there is superseding legislation (provincially and federally) that could most likely prevent the laying of charges afterward a person was compelled into participating at an Inquiry – the 'no recommendation of charges' clause is mostly universal in recent inquiries for this reason. It is related to the 'rules of evidence' and the ability to refuse to testify and participate in your own defense.

      You would do well to read/understand Gomery and then understand what an Inquiry is and isn't – we already have a good indicator of LeBlancs ruling on PH day rate as to why charges cant be filed afterwards.


    • You hang with the fraudsters and make excuses for your friends with the radioactive iron rings while I prefer to find justice for the victims. You protect the guilty I defend the victims.

      Stop making excuses, if an inquiry is useless as you propose what do you recommend? Amnesty for the guilty?

      Unlike you PENG2 I am not from the never give a sucker an even break school!

  8. In early 2011 (after CBC asked at a Nalcor AGM for my thoughts on MF) I replied that "we don't need it, we can't afford it, and it's too high a cost".

    Before sanction, Kennedy hung his hat on only 2 of those issues "Do we need the power?" and "Is it the least cost?".

    Today, in response to Nalcor's lawyer (Simmons) about MHI's DG3 Report (the sensitivity analysis) Kennedy states (as I did back in 2011) that ratepayer 'affordability' was also a factor that he continued to consider, but I don't see what report, what evidence is there, that government ever assessed that factor?

    All I can recall is Kennedy's mantra about "need" and "least cost".

    An analysis of "affordability" would have shown that government was actually putting the 'needs' of ratepayers first — not paying lip service (if that) to it.

  9. So we have, by inquiry co-counsel, an easy-going examination of Kennedy for 1 full day. There is now about a 3-hour cross-examination by Nalcor's counsel this morning (so far).

    There are 2.5 hours in total left for the day for all the other counsel to cross-examine Kennedy.

    Where is the fairness to ratepayers in all this?

  10. And Simmons leads Kennedy saying all reasonable options were assessed (false) and that the appropriate amount of wind was considered(false) by Nalcor (Hatch) and Kennedy's own outrageous wind study (about 1370 MW with battery storage).
    So Hatch, with many Drafts after many consultation with Nalcor added too little wind and too late, and with constraints needing minimum low efficiency Holyrood thermal, instead of gas turbines, so not an appropriate study and analysis, and then Kennedy goes all hog with 3 times more wind and storage then common sense would dictate. Yet we hear this morning this was all APPROPRIATE. What a farce. Surely PlanetNL and AJ and most can see this manipulation.
    And Nalcor causing the consultants to modify their reports, is being put down by Simmons and Kennedy as just editing and being factual etc.
    This Inquiry has overtones of a continuation of the MFs sanctioning scam on the public.
    Winston Adams

    • Maybe JK is a manipulator Winston, as I am not by any means a supporter of him, but I always like to call 'EM as I see them. You know my analogy of creating the monster, Frankeistein, by govt, and then loosing control, and he then controls them all, including the premier. Well, the creator was really Danny, and then endorsed by the following premier, KD. Now a lot of the MHA's swallowed that hook line and sinker, and thought that nalcor was the greatest creation since sliced bread. Some in govt didn't know if they were punched or boared, but they hammered the desk and voted yea, when told by the premier. But JK was not there from the beginning, he was elected in a by election, and was in other portfolios, until KD was elected, And since JK was the sharpest knife in the drawer, in 2011 when the govt. was elected, she made him , minister of natural resources, and think he was orgionaly recruited by Danny. So he had a lot of catching up to do, the decision was already made to go ahead with muskrat … The I and T's had be done, which include sanction. I don't think Kennedy drank the nalcor coolaid but obvious he had to tow the govt. line, but he was one of the few that dared question, nalcor and the premier, that led to a falling out with the premier, while overseas. He resigned, and his chances of being premier deminished after that. So maybe one could say at the time JK talked from both sides of his mouth. He was the spokesman for govt. being the minister of natural resources, but inside he was still questioning nalcor. That's how I recall it and see it now as well says average Joe.

  11. Time for that mealy-mouthed little shit CHRISTOPHER MITCHELMORE to be booted the hell out of office… the verbal diarrhea that greasy feculent continues to spout regarding the blatant patronage appointment of Judy Foote's unqualified offspring is nothing more than an infuriating insult to NLers' intelligence.

    And the truth-challenged carnival Ring-Master DWIGHT BALL too…. heard him being interviewed on CBC radio about the patronage appointment of Judy Foote's unqualified offspring just now… nothing but steaming pies of utter BULLSHIT erupting from that blathering arsehole.

    These individuals are lost, hopelessly lost… they need to be booted out and an army of Graydon Pelleys put in charge.

    • That bloody Rooms scheme was nothing but a waste of government money anyway… a convenient black-hole used to plow oil royalties into while simultaneously lathering the fortunes of the politically-connected… meanwhile patients are lying on gurneys in the corridors of Western Memorial in Corner Brook because the oft-promised new hospital is years behind schedule… bloody-well ridiculous.

      There should be riots in the streets over this travesty… we need some of those yellow-jackets from France over here…

    • Many if not all government departments and crown corporations are full of patronage appointments at the higher levels. It is common to find a director that has a salary grade well above the upper limit for his position because a former deputy gifted it to him. It is common for people to win a job competition and lose the competition to someone that a deputy prefers. Qualified people are often screened out for ridiculous, bogus reasons. Job competitions are sometimes cancelled to get rid of qualified people and then reopened for short periods of time. The auditor general documented two cases of unqualified people getting jobs, promotions and salaries above accepted pay scale for the position. These are not anomalies. They are modus operandi.

      I personally only have detailed knowledge of three unrelated government departments and I have seen this in all three. People who help politicians get elected have positions created for them or they are placed temporarily (forever) in senior positions.

      I don't believe that anything was done about the unqualified people that the AG documented. If the AG was to audit the entire civil service they would find many dozens of inappropriate senior placements. That doesn't means that they are bad people, many are very well educated and work hard — but they are highly to have won a professional job competition. They are seldom the best people for the job and they aren't going to rock the boat and owe a debt of gratitude to their benefactors. Patronage degrades the civil service.

  12. Ah yes Jerome, another silver tongued devil, shifting his share of the blame. Did anyone expect that the oath would make these people tell the truth or any semblance thereof, not likely. The truth will be an elusive character at the inquiry and very difficult to ferret out or to find.
    How do you know a politician or a Nalcor or government official is lying? Well you know the answer to that one don't you.

    • Climate change will be the scapegoat. Salt spray, high winds, freezing rain, freeze thaw cycles, bad welds, quality control problems, defective wire and insulators … I expect failures.

      Here is a random quote from a 2012 article: "One of the greatest challenges is how to assess impacts which may occur as a consequence of the projected increase in the intensity of extreme weather events: the majority of current methodologies rely on past experience but this may not be a sufficiently good guide for planning and operational activities in the coming decades."

      And from 2018: "Projected changes to extreme ice loads for overhead transmission lines across Canada"
      The three simulations suggest increases in extreme freezing rain over Canada. Compound assessment considering ice and wind loads is suggested for future reliability analyses.

      … Projected changes to freezing rain characteristics are first evaluated and results suggest decreases in 50-year return levels of annual maximum daily freezing rain for the south-eastern inland and coastal regions and south-western and north-eastern coastal regions of North America, but increases for other regions. Consequently, the simulations suggest statistically significant increases in 50-year return levels of annual maximum ice thickness, particularly for regions of Quebec and west of the Hudson Bay (larger than 10 mm) …


    • The villain is Nalcor. MHI recommended a 1 in 500 standard through the Long Range Mountains, Nalcor rejected the standard and "upgraded" to a 1 in 200 standard.

      The villain is once again the runaway train Nalcor.

  13. If a tree falls in a forest, and no one hears it, does it make a sound?
    If a risk is mitigated, is the risk real? This is the argument put forward by Ed Martin's lawyer Harold Smith to Jerome Kennedy.So we can see where Teflon Ed Martin is coming from for his defence of character.
    Ed will say; why did we have to tell government officials about 497 million of risk that was mitigated? If mitigated, the risk is eliminated. If eliminated, it does not exist. So why worry about anything that does not exist? Sounds logical?
    So too with double the power rates. Ball say they have plans to mitigate. If mitigated, higher rates will not happen. So the risk of higher power rates is not real. Why worry about anything that is not real?
    So too with evil spirits, if we mitigate, they are not real.
    And "if the glove don't fit, we must aquit" And so Simpson walked free.
    This mitigation business is like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. Nothing sticks to Ed Martin. And so the top dog of the boondoggle, walked away with 6 million. Not bad.
    Kennedy says "If there was a mistake made, it was because we trusted Nalcor". If ? Kennedy does not even admit to mistakes being made. Should we be asking " If there was a crime committed"?
    "Silver tongued devil" someone said. How can we mitigate for devils in our midst? If we can mitigate they they are not real.
    This Inquiry is about to take a curious turn, into metaphysics, it seems. Will Leblanc go along?
    Now we know of the 40 odd risks that SNC put in writing to Nalcor that disappeared for years, and seems didn't matter, because Nalcor was mitigating, they claimed.
    I think I heard there were some 240 risks to deal with to mitigate. There is mitigate and liquidate. The latter is what the Saudi Prince practises, cut the body up in parts to dispose of it. So far no suggestion that Nalcor is into the liquidation business, though they had a hit list. For now mitigation seems very effective for them, and Ball has hopped on that bandwagon.
    CDM and EE was a risk for MFs. How did they mitigate for that?
    Winston Adams

  14. Kennedy suggested that the main project decisions were made by cabinet, this spreads the blame and MHA's voted for the project and this further spreads the blame. He also said that Mr. Martin and Mr. Bennett both attended key cabinet meetings and he had never felt that they were being deceptive. However he never heard of the multi million dollar strategic risk fund that was excluded from the project estimate or that the risk to schedule was so high. Bennett said the estimate was lowballed but Martin says it was not. Apparently Martin says the risks were mitigated but if they were how did the estimate double to 12.7 billion and how was the schedule for first power so far off the mark? Then there is the SNC risk report that Martin never received?
    Of course when mitigation leads to litigation the lawyers win again.

  15. Muskrat Falls was risk free from Ed's perspective because he would personally receive millions from the public purse, even if he quit and that is all that matters to him. Additionally, whatever the project cost would be paid for by Canadian tax payers so why bother with realistic budgets, contingencies or wasting time on risk analysis.

    The public needs a mitigation or banishment plan to stop this from happening again. Tar and feathers was popular once upon a time. I wonder how safe Ed feels from litigation. Does he have a property somewhere where there is no extradition treaty with Canada?

  16. X-examination by NL Power counsel punches some significant holes in the story/image Kennedy is portraying of himself.

    He would have us believe that he worked hard to analyze MF and to fight hard to ensure the right decision was made — poppycock.

    NL Power counsel showed how Kennedy essentially neutered the consumer advocate's (Tom Johnson)'s role in the PUB least-cost option review.

    Isn't it also ironic that the corporate sector (NL Power)'s counsel did more to shed light on Kennedy's real role (a hired gun to push MF through to sanction) than all the other counsels at this inquiry combined?

    A telling reality about how effective this whole process is.

    Not sure what is more tragic — Muskrat? Or our democratic/quasi-judicial process.

  17. Absolutely. Simmons also exposed JK for what he is. This fiasco, which continues to this day, needs to be pegged on the real culprits – the politicians, both past and current. The pandering to JK by Learmonth continues to sickening.

  18. There hasn't been a love-in like BL and JK since John and Yoko. Redirect ends with JK explaining he took lots of notes but knew nothing about what any of them meant. Learmonth accepts this lunacy unchallenged. Disgrace.

    • Yes, he took notes of facts so that he could tell the story he knew he would want to tell at some later date.

      When on the receiving end of a presentation, too much note-taking interferes with one's ability to understand what is being presented and to therefore query/ask questions.

      But I doubt Kennedy was interested in understanding or asking questions (not many, if any, notes it seems that show his questions and the presenter's answers, or that of others around the table)

    • I saw the redirect ending based on time, not acceptance – this goes to the reasoning as why charges cant arise from an Inquiry recommendation.

      Politician's generally don’t have the knowledge or background to question most of the information required in the decision making model for a MF – what was missing here was a truly independent review; I can’t understand why this was never done except that my previous assertion of MF being a 100% political decision is correct. While I have seen personal notes, what I have not seen is minutes (including an acknowledgement by all attending parties as being accurate) of meetings, I wouldn't expect a Minister to do this – I have someone record minutes of most every meeting I chair as a matter of practice liability, even if only a 30min call with a contractor (notes are for quickies with less significance).

      We must remember there are no 'open votes' in government, JK was correct in stating that you can argue/debate within the cabinet room to a point, but the premier rules and they all agree with and own the decision when outside.

      This shows distinct weaknesses in government structure and governance – I would offer that even UG/Vardy/Penney would also acknowledge this.


    • MA @ 13:44:

      Suggesting resignation over whipped votes shows little understanding of the political system I am assuming you have voted in. Politicians are just that – they won a popularity contest in a given district by pandering to the public, there is no ethics, background training or semblance of competition required. The electorate needs to apply more common sense and elect better quality people (see recent events of Kirby, Joyce or even the spending scandal for evidence of that). Also, I am still waiting for Byrne's name to show up – he had a hand there too.

      I'd agree change is required, but your solution isn't practical and doesn't offer much to the discussion.


    • MA @ 14:06:

      And I would submit that his not challenging KD for Premiership was indicative that even if he resigned later it would not have had the desired effect you are looking for. That is not considering that historically when an elected member resigns, the in cabinet/party discussions rarely make the public airwaves.

      He did have better popularity numbers than KD but was not 'selected' by the establishment to lead the PC party in the 2011 general election which was read as 'province wide support of the MF decision' and we ended up with KD as a lapdog.


    • If I remember correctly, the resignation of a member of the board (Dean McDonald) of Hydro effectively scuttled an effort by an earlier Liberal premier to develop the upper Churchill did he not, and he was not even a minister.

    • MA @ 14:33:

      Considering the DMacD connections to the PCs federally and provincially prior to BT electing him to the chair of NL Hydro, I figure him as an exception. Opportunist at best, buddies with both establishments is also applicable.

      In reality, if the deal for LC with Quebec went through then, we would probably be better off – my memory was there was no risk on our part.


    • You do what I call "playing hopscotch".

      Connection or not, an exception or not, opportunist or not, buddy or not, whether the deal was good ot not ———- those are not relevant, not the issue.

      It is an example, even a resignation by a person other than a Minister, resulted in a major shift. PERIOD.

      You obfuscate.

    • Ma @ 14:57:

      So what about the Marshall, Taylor, Manning resignations under DW et al; neither of these (and there were others) managed to derail MF? Seems as there is more of a database to suggest that resignation doesn't suggest a major shift.

      Also, the deal with QC on LC under BT/RG was in principle – not completed.

      Check your definition of obfuscate, my argument is perfectly clear – you are showing an exception that history shows is unusual and not probable.


    • MF was not completed either — not even sanctioned. And in the case of Kennedy/MF, and as with the Dean MCdonald resignation, I am suggesting that Kennedy's resignation could have and should have been directly related to the planned Lower Churchill development.

    • MA @ 15:15:

      Considering that the architect of the deal (ie DW) also resigned before sanction and nothing was made of it, I don't really think JK resigning would have made any difference. Having said that – I do agree it should have made a difference, but I maintain based on evidence that it wouldn't have.

      It is interesting to check the resignation pool of the 46th and 47th NL assembly's – a lot of 'powerful' PC members quit for reasons we don't 100% know and nothing other than media speculation was ever made.

      And then the public didn't even feel bothered to follow-up – this is exactly why I lay most of the blame on the public for MF. To me, just too much info was available to show MF was a bad idea, and nobody gave a damn.


    • Still at it I see TrollPENG! You choose not to respond when your logic fails you.

      Democracy is so messy, autocratic decisions by a despot are so much more tidy are they not?

      You are enamored with despotic decisions. You are a Danny Fan. You disgust me.

      Who are you……or do you fear the light??

    • You bring up a lot of extraneous BS PENG2.

      It is not "a" resignation in and of itself (as you well know) that is the issue, it is who, when, why, what position, etc. that makes the difference.

      Anyway. Enough said on that. Kennedy could have and should have done the right thing, HE DID NOT.

    • MA @ 15:32:

      I am not sure what I said was extraneous? Information that refutes your opinion isn't necessarily extraneous – you made a statement, and we debated it.

      In any event, over the 46th and 47th NL assemblies (ie overlapping the MF leadup and sanction) there were more than 10 core PCs leaving caucus (including E Marshall who is the spouse of SM and also made senate) – none of which did what you say they 'should' have, though several did leave under what was said to be 'conflict'.

      I don't like all the features of our political system either – I consider it unethical and I wont participate in it further than voting, but it is what we have and better than some other options.


    • OMG Maurice…RESIGN….what Kennedy? Sure Danny resigned right after the term paper. KD resigned right after sanction. Eddie resigned when the money was all gone. All took the easy way out, included the 6$ million man. All of the Three ring leaders. But the monster, Frankeistein, continued on roaming the wilds of Labrador. And Stanley said the train (uncontrollable monster) had already left the station. No resignations could stop the unstoppable. But I get your point. Hope you get mine too, says average Joe. LOL.

    • I do get your point, but a resignation by the then NR Minister Kennedy — well before sanction — because of a reasoned opposition to Muskrat might have emboldened others and the public.

      But that was not to be, I know, because Kennedy was part of the core group whose job it was to do the master's bidding.

  19. Personally, I though JK provided the most insight to date as to what really happened – maybe some don't truly understand the magnitude of some of the statements.

    The fact that CDW, mitigation isn't being discussed heavily is somewhat subjective and probably going to be a non-factor in the end – the most important fact to date is that a concrete number of $500M wasn't presented to the government for consideration and the violations of best governance practices (ie an ABC having this extent of direct comm with the Premier).

    Validity of the considerations to do MF vs other solutions are going to be based on best practice – can someone provide a summary of what analysis methods have been used on hydro projects in NA over the period 1985 – 2005, this will be the litmus test as to best practice. I'd offer that this the only way to show what best practice is to, and thus show compliance with public interest (ie what the ToR is to determine).

    However, neither 'hiding' $500M of probable costs, using unattainable milestones, nor having and ABC promoting a major infrastructure project via politics is in any best practice – this will be the basis of the final report.


  20. Guess we all form our own opinion in what we hear or see. As for note taking by JK, I find that useful, (Have seen very few notes by others on the stand, so allows them to say what they want, with very few checks) in that he is giving in real time some idea of what was going on in the meetings. If JK did notes in foresight, and for that purpose, to be able to use them down the road, as has been suggested, then it shows he had a lot more foresight than many others in the probable fate of muskrat. Maybe there were hired guns, but he was elected by the people, where as the real hired gun was the gatekeeper. I find the comment by JK on his way to a hockey game, a call from KD that the loan guarantee may fall through, and muskrat would be lost. Assuming that is a true statement, and confirmed by KD, then I wonder what it was about, as JK did not elebrate. Was it a shot across JK bow, like be quiet, tow the line, cause if you expose to much we may not get the loan guarantee. A warning! Of course pure speculation on my part. But would be interesting to per sue that line, and also the time line in what was happens at the time . Think he said it was the fall of 2012, just prior to the first indication that the loan guarantee may come through, and the first signing, just Prior to sanction. But not the full fledged signing of the loan until almost a year later. Let's see what notes the gatekeeper and the premier have, or will they make it up as they go along, or won't be able to recall. Where will the buck stop ask Joe blow.

  21. Don't disagree that EM was a hired gun, but for the corporate, engineering, management etc. aspects, i.e. consultant studies, cost estimates, project related issues (to make sure they come out saying things that would not derail sanction).

    JK was the hired gun for the political debate(?)/sanction hurdle —- and he too did what was desired and intended.

    The rest is the mask that he wishes to portray to the public.

  22. Google auto-complete suggestions from the confederation building (center of government) network which should represent the collective average. Search term ends before colon, number in brackets is position of suggestion. Try it at home and compare.

    Countries with no: (2) extradition treaty with canada
    Ed martin: (1) Nalcor (5) Nalcor bio (6) scandal
    Muskrat falls: (1) inquiry (3) inquiry webcast (9) concerned citizens coalition
    Muskrat falls f: (3) forensic audit (4) federal loan guarantee (6) fiasco (7) forms collapse
    North Spur: (1) Stabilization
    Gilbert Bennett: (1) Nalcor
    Danny Williams: (1) new wife (2) house (3) wife (8) muskrat falls (10) galway
    how much is a: (1) pint (2) cord of wood

  23. Brian Crawley was part of the Nalcor team in 2012. He was doing a tour for AIMS in 2011 promoting N American integration, a new highway from here to Mexico (for Mexican low wage drivers) and one big Atlantic province.

    I asked and he agreed he was till an associate of Paul Driessen https://www.heartland.org/about-us/who-we-are/paul-driessen of the far right wing Heartland Institute.

    I am sure Brian fit right in at Nalcor and PENG2 is no doubt a big fan of Crawley.

  24. Driessen appears to be a turncoat; perhaps Daly is as well, I don't know, I don't know who he is, nor do I listen to him. Newfoundland has a long history of political turncoats and backstabbing, corkscrewing and dirty dealing so nothing should surprise us; we only know that the crowd in charge now, regardless of their background, have to go, not be elected again, or be convinced to resign in shame.
    This of course posits alternatives, sound sensible people who can effect positive change and not be burdened with the old traditions. But wait, Dan E. Williams was just such a one. He swept in on a tsunami of nationalist pride and fervor (without taking his salary, or did he after?) only to impose us with unrealistic, unchecked ambition and foolish enterprise built on a fabric of near corrupt and sycophantic traditional structures and powerholders.
    Can any amount of watchfulness protect us from such political ambition or ineptitude?
    Perhaps no one should be elected to public office if they are over 30 years old, give the youngsters a chance, can they be any more ineffective and idiotic than the MHAs we now have?
    While Dwight fiddles with bullies, double talkers, wronged feminists, NALCOR is taking us further and further down a rabbit hole, unchecked. The Inquiry is not going to save us.
    We have no plan to deal with the immediate future, let alone the next 50 years.
    The province teeters on bankruptcy.
    Winter is coming.
    And still no plan, no action, nothing but bafflegab and unofficial finger pointing.
    We have become our own worst enemies through our inability to state our concerns and put forward our ideas of how to go forward.
    Coaker sailed the coast, Smallwood walked the track, Casjin drove all over the province, all of them shouting revolutionary slogans and appealing to each individual Newfoundlander to take their destiny hold by the throat.
    Where is the new Messiah?
    Come on now, you know you will have to step forward sooner or later.
    Create the manifesto.
    Start the movement.

    We can't wait much longer.

  25. The litany of hidden information and modified reports and opinions continues as the rats leave the sinking ship, having gotten their fill.
    The "some good deal bye, smiles" are slowly changing to "how did we get in this mess and who will stink up the place most during testimony, byes!"

  26. There is much consideration being given to the "P" factor (probability analysis) re project costs and schedule.

    But was any probability analysis done on the Load Forecast and the Oil Price Forecast?

    MHI highlighted, made a special point, (and Grant Thorton also identified, e.g.) that the length of the CPW cost comparison period (57 years) "magnified" the risks associated with the load forecast.

    Clearly, such a risk impacted the potential accuracy of the Isolated Island option greatly, while such risk had almost no impact on the MF option.

    For load, there was supposedly an accuracy standard of 1% per year.

    1% error per year at year 1 has a negligible absolute value impact at year 1, but a "magnified" absolute impact at year 57.

    That magnified impact load at year 57 translates into magnified fuel usage, and in turn magnified fuel costs at year 57, 56, 55, 54 (etc., etc,) — less and less as you get closer to year 1.

    Should not this "magnified risk" (which greatly impacts the accuracy/reliability of the load, fuel use, fuel cost for one option but not other) have been "quantified"? Which would in turn show a very low probability factor (P factor) for one option, but have no reduction in the P factor accuracy of the MF CPW option.

    Such a difference in the two options (impact of probability accuracy over 57 years) when such difference in the accuracy probability factor for each option was not quantified (and/or if not appropriately weighted in the application of the Strategist program)
    means that the CPW was NOT an apples to apples comparison ——- would it not?

  27. It seems to me that there are probabilistic relationships here between the load itself, the 1% per year accuracy standard, the increased absolute magnitude/value of the load (translated into fuel use/costs) and the likelihood of these materializing in the later years.

    These relationships were not quantified —- WHY NOT?

    • MA @ 11:20:

      My guess is the probabilistic analysis is completed on the 1% – in effect to simplify the model by 1 variable.

      To complete the data set, they should also provide model runs of growth at say a growth range of [0.7%, 1.35] on 0.1% increments to give the same effect. I don't know the model construction, but mathematically I can see justification for the simplification – IF a range is provided.

      I am more concerned of the limited note taking, and no minutes being produced – this is negligent practice.

      And this current BS of email access is just that – I have every email I have ever sent – I am meticulous in securing my records, unacceptable.


    • I am not an engineer or mathematician, but it seems to me that such a model is simplistic and would not take any realistic account, if any, of perhaps the exponential impact that "time" brings to the relationship.

    • MA @ 12:07:

      I'd offer it is an acceptable simplification – reducing by 1 variable is an order of magnitude, not a linear simplification. The model probably already has 10-15 variables, so reducing by 1 variable (provided the model is reran for a range of the 1% mathematically OK) would probably affect the output by %/1000s, give or take.

      Non-factor in my estimation and the variance of model output wouldn't be changed – if 1% is set and used with a range of inputs vs using the 1% as a variable.

      I say this not knowing the model construction – just my experience in constructing such models.


    • MA:

      A quick calculator exercise shows (assuming 1500MW base and 57yr period) the following growths compounded for growth rates:
      1.3% – 3135MW
      1.01% – 2660MW
      1% – 2645MW
      0.99% – 2630MW
      0.7% – 2235MW

      As I have said previously, the key is to why no rebaseline after 10yrs. Also, there isn't an issue with the 1% – provided it was established with sound basis, I don't know how it was arrived at.


    • I stand by my view that "time", as a risk factor in relationship to load, fuel use/cost, is a significant one, is disproportionate to the risk that it presents to the MF option. I am not aware that such a magnified risk has been properly (if at all) quantified and that therefore the CPW comparison is not an apples to apples comparison and is in error.

    • MA @ 12:40:

      Mathematically your view isnt substantiated – provided the model variables are within orders of magnitude.

      I don't know how the 1% (or other variable ranges) was arrived at, but if in accordance with best practices, the issue remains a lack of a rebaseline is the problem.

    • "IF" is a big word.

      Is there even a 'best practice' for 57 year forecasts, or was that a 20 year best practice being applied to a 57 year forecast?

      I do not have the math or eng skills to quantify or model the 'magnified risk', but it seems clear that Nalcor and GT affirms that indeed the 'time' period "magnifies" the risk.

      It seems that accordingly, that magnification is both in terms of 'LIKELIHOOD' of occurrence and 'MAGNITUDE/IMPACT'.

      Time makes the likelihood of occurrence greater (but not just in a linear fashion).

      Time also makes the MAGNITUDE of such an occurrence greater (that too may not be in a linear fashion, not sure).

      And these two have mathematically a probabilistic relationship and a "magnified one" (a P factor of sorts).

      I would suspect that this inter-related magnification of risk (and risk/cost inaccuracy) was not quantified and not properly factored into the CPW.

      Show me the evidence otherwise.

    • MA @ 13:24:

      Your point of 57yr vs a 20yr forecast extrapolated is exactly what I have said – a rebaseline is required every 5-10 yrs, I think I first said this 2-3 months ago.

      I don't disagree with the rest of what you say – but I don't think you realize what the numbers I gave above show. The numbers above are not linear, they are exponential – that is magnified for time.

      It is common to take a time based growth out of a model and use a range – the reason being is that the reasons for a 2% growth this year are generally independent of the reasons for a 4% growth next year. Time based growth 'shouldnt' have a magnification factor, provided the other factors are suitable – so it 'should' be OK to pull time out, and use an exponential factor.

      Otherwise, we are into bifurcation / fractals – I have never seen this done in my career for model generation.

      I don't disagree that risk and growth were misunderstood, but am not confident in the reasoning for your conclusion.


    • It doesn't matter what is 'common'.

      What matters is what is appropriate for a CPW comparison that is disproportionately and negatively affected by inter-related factors (time, load and fuel use/price accuracy), while those same factors positively affected the other option, and yet there appears to have been no quantification, no probabilistic analyses, of how the inter-relationship between these factors affected the CPW output.

  28. Old SnareMouth seems to be back to his old tricks of trying to rattle Bowan. This is particularly jarring given his love-fest with Williams and Kennedy. This is starting to look like an attempt by the Learmonth to peg the blame on civil servants and Nalcor staff who were, as I believe, carrying out the dirty work of the political low life that get is fat asses installed in government in this province. This serves the Liberals as much as it does the Conservatives. Disgraceful.

    • Yes sadly both Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee deal from the bottom of the deck and taxpayers/ratepayers are the chumps.

      It is clear the focus is miles from the source of this disaster and is blaming civil servants that had a gun pointed to their heads metaphorically and in reality an imposing Justice lowlife scumbag noting every word spoken in a menacing fashion.

      Noone who witnessed the strongman tactics on display at that time at the JRP could doubt who was the driving force behind the farce called Muskrat Falls. Yet now the spotlight is pointed at persons that had a gun pointed at their head in the civil service by the same obnoxious Justice lawyers.

      I must repeat:
      Da judge has a rubber chicken
      Here come da judge!

    • Well…Learmonth has put Bowan through his paces, and made him squirm, many times, which is all good. Not really a public flogging but tending in that direction, to get information from him and others to bring, I hope against the big guns. After all, Mr. Bowan is probably the highest civil servant involved up to his ying-yang in this muskrat feistical, and being the middle man, and having to deal directly with this monster nalcor that has been created and controlling the entire process, and demanding approval from government. Now the question I would have, as the learned judge sometimes says, will he be putting the next two top dogs, two of the ring leaders through the same ringer. If so, he will along with Kate be doing a great job, the people's work, but if they get off Scott free then all will be in vain. So just waiting for Kate and Learmonth to strut their stuff in taking on the real movers and shakers of this project. Will the buck stop there ask average Joe.

    • The next two witnesses, are they really movers and shakers or just dumb-assed fakers? They both presided over the dark NL, the first long term failure to keep the lights on in NL in living memory, that is post rural electrification. That is but one of the questions that must be asked and answered by the next two sad-assed/ bad-assed failures in the Muskrat, multi billion dollar boondoggle/fiasco.

    • Anon. 16:26… Yes, they did preside over DarkNL and I have said this before, that was really sabatogate by the movers and shakers of the boondoggle, to prove to you and I, and the public in general, "that we need the power". Secondly, it was sabatobagd because they intentionally with held money and maintaince from Holyrood and other power sources to cause a blackout when a cold snap and storm occurred. But, I don't suspect they will be required to answer those specific questions during this phase of the inquiry, but it the second and third phase. Cheers, average Joe.

    • It was telling that CB would not take old SnareMouth's bait to sprinkle more blame on the previous government. He was so right to say that "government" is just one big continuum with two parties alternating power. Just a crew change on the Titanic. The current deceptive, evasive, incompetent gang of bullies simple replaced the last gang. The past is the present is the future in terms of NL politics. Unfortunately, SnareMouth and Shrill Jill won't be up to the task of pinning the tail on the asses who are really to blame for this. Instead they have to amp up their limited legal skills on the government staff and employees of Nalcor who are dangled as puppets by successive politicians and who risk be strangled in the puppet strings in the process. It will be interesting to see whether a weak judge, based on his limited interventions to date, can find the real truth which his co-counsel seem unwilling to pursue.

    • I was surprised there was no mention of pressure from politicians by Paddon, Thompson, or Bown. I thought they might try to at least deflect some blame in that direction. Instead, I am disheartened at the failure of the senior civil service in this province to do an adequate analysis of the project or to provide oversight of Nalcor.

  29. Hey NL! Just think of the positive effect, on socio/econom/environ life in your neighbourhood, if you all practiced the zero net energy policy just introduced in BC?

    MUN campus, plant converted to ZNE would take how many gj and kwh off the systems?

    Where is the progressive leadership in your election program?

    • Seriously, is Dwight with Dougie and Moe? Ches is anti carbon tax. Who in NL supports Trudeau, and climate change policies in next year's showdown? Alberta seems willing to force Brexit type actions on the rest of us. Where does NL stand?

  30. As suggested by others with a more pessimistic bent; the inquiry has become a three-ring circus. Former ministers of the ambulance-chasing profession feign surprise at missing data/are jonesed about Nalcor's ghost-writing of consultant reports. Nalcor exec's suggesting that the "boss" told 'em what to do. All creating the impression that it's a typical ole Newfoundland fuck-up, nothing to see here, we'll muddle through as always.

    What seems to be missing in the discussion is what the outside result of all the public release of the old boy Keystone Kops (Nalcor and NL govt.) messing about means. They are providing direct irrefutable evidence that they was selling a bill of goods. I imagine Astaldi lawyers are rubbing their hands with glee after the proof of lowballing; their reparations for being swindled with the original contract will probably pay for that bridge over Turkish waters. Emera lawyers, ditto, will be able to build a bridge over New Brunswick with their court awards for bad faith bargaining. The Feds, why that ole loan gaurentee was based on lies, well guess what NL, time to pay the piper. Imagine how many other parties will be lining up to line their pockets based Nalcor/NL's duplicity. The place is about to be picked clean!!! In ain't over gill it's over!

    • Is that you AJ, Waldo, Joe Blowhard, Bruno???
      Just stating the obvious, you ain't seen nothing yet in terms of the consequences. The old island option of bending one's head after tipping it to the Circular Rd crowd and mumbling off about a problem, ain't gonna cut it with the outside scavengers.

    • The startup will be indeed interesting. Will the North Spur hold? Will the switching gear software have glitches? Will the earth return paths for the DC line provide enough current? Are there any design defects in the dam, gates, turbines? Do we have spare parts for the DC/AC converter station? Given the cluster f* nature of this project, I would be astonished if there weren't major problems.

    • Anonymous7 December 2018 at 12:04, Nalcor did not order and justified at the JRP not having spare parts on hand for the DC/AC converter even though MHI warned a failure would result in months long down time.

      Oh yes, let us not forget the LIL lies on bottom deeply scored with ice. Nalcor refused to bury the cable and only the nearshore is buried.

      Cutting corners on the towers, no spare parts for the converters, exposed cable are all part of Nalcor making the economics look reasonable in the short term. All will be an expensive problem in the future.

      Filling a reservoir results in clusters of earthquakes. These are just the conditions that cause quick-clay to liquefy. These incompetent fools will destroy the valley and kill many with their bumbling.

  31. If you have noticed: Simmons, Nalcors lawyer, does a good job of defending the indefensible; the Nalcor so called word class engineers. And he gets the assistance of Natural Resources people who aided and abetted Nalcor , like Bown, and Kennedy.
    After witnesses exposed as liars and incompetents, and having memory issues worse that that of early Alzhemers, and unable to write notes or record important matters, Simmons then whitewashes their character, in an almost believable fashion. Of source, slick Simmons is not immune from stress is this task. The signs were first apparent when leading the Nalcor tio, especially the 57 year power forecaster engineer. Simmons use his water glass as a prop, to display a cool approach, mostly never wetting his lips, sometimes just touching his lips. But his facial expressions are telling, as to when he is getting the witness to tell a small falsehood or a whooper. For the small one, his eyebrows pull toward each other, showing a vertical crease in the skin between his eyebrows. For the little more devious questions (usually in the form "Would you say it is fair, such and such…" you see eyebrow rise to form 10 or a dozen wrinkles in his forehead. When he is really worried whether he has coached them sufficiently, on an importnat question that can make or break his performance,and maybe mess up, notice the twitch on the right corner of his mouth ( left side when viewing on your screen). When I first noticed that it reminded me of Inspector Cusso, of the Pink Panther Movies. The Inspector had that uncontrotable twitch that included the side of his mouth, right up to his eye. For Simmmons,it is more controlled, but very telling. But when Simmons does this, you can be sure he is highly stressed that he fears the answer may not be what he wants, and we are dealing with a whopper. If you replay, you can see this, although 75 % of the time he is Mr Cool.
    Given the version of truth delivered by Simmons, you would think the project has gone smoothly, a high success, would come in 25 % below estimate, and a year ahead of schedule, and so put HQ to shame on megahydro projects. Simmons: a class act, but an act never the less.

    In summary: With Nalcor for years selling the public on a bill of goods, it is not only engineering BS shoved down our throats, but backed up by costly legal BS.

  32. What efforts, if any, has NL made in the past, to offer crude from offshore to Irving refinery?

    Would this not be the time to step up in the interests of Canada, to reduce dependency on Saudi oil imports?

    Maybe Dwight might make a peace offering. Note well that Legault's offering is that surplus power is available for sale to neighbouring provinces. Higgs, jumping up the fracking proposition should be persuaded to accept HQ power, thereby making redundant Belledune, (coal), Trenton and Lingan, (coal), and providing surplus through the Link to NL, (Just in case).

    • CBC is ready for sour crude – Hibernia is sweet.

      I think CBC gets crude from either Iraq or Venezuela. I don't know where the Hibernia crude goes; best guess would be the Gulf states refineries, but that's only a guess.

      Not really possible to change refinery feed stock unless the refinery is totally rebuilt.

    • Grand Banks oil mainly, or use to go to eastern USA, New York, Philadelphia etc. or use to, and at some point use to ship some to Easter Canada, Irving in NB, and maybe QC, but don't know that much currently. Hebron is not sweet crude like the other 3, so not sure where than can be refined, or if it goes to the Gulf. Come by chance, yes is mainly Middle East or use to be. I stand to be corrected on what I have written, as I am sure there are many that read this blog, and more current than I am. And as you all know, in the international oil market, it is not like someone in NL saying I think I will carry this load to CBC. (and of course certain refineries can only refine certain crudes and refine to certain products) It does not work that way, these things are negotiated years in advance, and decisions made by big oil. Thanks, average Joe.

    • So the constant fake news from sponsors of the Energy East pipe, to displace Saudi oil at Irving is just BS? Palliser, (MB), is making overtures to send green energy to Saskmoe, which makes some sense. Maybe a shutdown of the Prairie Boondoggle, Boundary coal carbon sequester project is in the cards. Sadly any attempt to get some form of comprehensive national energy grid and supply is fractured by the provincial utilities. The key for Atlantic grid is to remove it from provincial plaything entirely, and set up a regional power commission. Private sector distributed generation made up of a variety of renewable sources; (Wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, etc.) will eventually get to provide best value to public ratepayers; Reliability, diversified, safe, secure at stabilized rates.

  33. "After some hesitation, former Department of Natural Resources associate deputy minister Charles Bown testified he oversaw the removal of the LNG section from a Wood Mackenzie submission to government at the order of then-minister Jerome Kennedy." (Telegram)

    So … Jerome did his part to ram the low cost option down our throats via lies of omission (hiding inconvenient reports). Charles did his part by following Jerome's orders. Who gave Jerome his orders ?

    The Natural gas pipeline option via Steve Bruneau was countered with a bogus hit piece (error ridden, non-peer reviewed). They couldn't retract Bruneau's presentation so they hired a firm to smear it. The LNG section wasn't public yet, so all they had to do was to delete it. This is all evidence that our government is corrupt and working against the public good.

    • Bown, Charles W shows 2017 sunshine list salary Executive Council Contractual $173,900.00 .

      Looks like following Jerome's instructions was rewarded.

      You too can have an executive salary in Newfoundland if you are a good foot soldier and don't ask questions above your pay grade.

    • MF was a done deal the minute the Pcs were elected in 2003.Remember Danny said he wanted two terms in power to turn NL around.Well in less than two terms he turned NL upside down.No doubt he and KD and as should Dwight Ball will wear the disgrace of MF,the others are just the assholes that did their bidding.

    • Anonymous7 December 2018 at 13:39, Bown admitted he has given contracts to his former prof Wade Locke.

      Give me a reach around and I will give you one seems to be how thing are arranged in NL. Bown and Locke made a nice pair of operators at MF.

    • The real bang (as in the gun goes off in his face) was when Learmonth, perhaps unwittingly, gave Bowan the opportunity to note that Wells gave an untrue account of their meeting. Bowan was categorical in his response to Learmonth. Bowan might have made some poor judgements along the way but he presented as an honest witness in his testimony so it should be clear to the judge who he should believe when it comes to the matter of what was said in the meeting with Wells. By extension, the credibility of the PUB has to be questioned. We'll see over the next two weeks whether the shit continues to flow uphill, defying the normal laws of gravity and politics.

    • Your impression is 180 opposite of how I interpreted it. Leblanc's direct questions strongly hinted that he thinks Bown was useless and informative only by his admitted lack of action and active involvement.

      As for the Wells meeting, did Bown have any notes or emails to back up his allegation? No, not his style. He behaved as a simple soldier and order-taker for Nalcor, Thompson and Cabinet. Kennedy said he was competent and through his lens he may well have excelled at what they wanted of him.

    • TO: Anonymous 8 December 2018 at 09:26

      I agree, Bown seems to have acted as a 'order-taker'.

      Over my 36 years of federal public service I have known some public servants like that, but I have also known, worked for and worked with many that have successfully brought a halt to, re-focused, changed the scope of, etc. poorly thought out or poorly scoped/framed/resourced initiatives/projects.

      I personally spent 3 years re-focusing just one such (albeit smaller) but multi-million dollar national project [yet, it had many of the same issues as Muskrat — schedule, cost estimates, single-focus top down management structure, resource deficiencies, technological change as well as safety and human resource issues, etc.].

      Doing my job MEANT standing firm against poorly thought out, ill-structured/scheduled/resourced/managed top-down pressures, developing well reasoned, evidence-based alternatives, obtaining appropriate resources to meet the task and building a national/regional and owner/consultant integrated project matrix team.

      That was what I would have called the planning phase (and that alone once took me 3 years). And although considered a 'major' project in terms of policy guidelines, it was insignificant in comparison to Muskrat.

      Accordingly, the description that Mr. Bown gives of his role — largely an 'order-taker' —, is not what I believed my role to be nor what I experienced during most of my years of 'public service'.

    • To clarify —- The 3rd paragraph, 1st sentence, should have read "I personally spent 3 years re-focusing the NL provincial component of just one such (albeit smaller) but multi-million dollar national project…"

    • I think I had a pretty good track record in that regard Bruno.

      I always felt that my first obligation was to the public. I did that to the best of my ability. But I saw little evidence that Bown (or Kennedy for that matter) felt the same way.

      Perhaps their loyalties were directed elsewhere.

  34. So the stage has been set for two of the top dogs, ok guys and gals….show your stuff. I keep wondering how it will go down. Will they all hang together, or will it eventually be dog eat dog, as the premier once told a joke that she really didn't under stand from the fisherman she was supposedly quoting. They are all lawyered to the hilt. KD has her lawyer. Eddies has his lawyer. Danny and Jerome have the same lawyer. Will that change?? Don't think the judge was too happy with Bown, overall, especially as the main civil servant, and involved up to his ying-yang, and played mainly a passive role. Seems the main thing he did was use the photo copier to make sure he placed the papers on his ministers desk. And although he didn't admit it directly, to me it appeared his real boss was nalcor. When nalcor spoke, he jumped, and asked only how high, after he was air born. My impressions, but admit I did miss some of his testimony. Thanks, Average Joe.

  35. When does the $12.7 Billion figure get revised upward? Been stuck at that number for awhile. Who believes that's still an accurate total price tag? Is there some book cooking going on to keep it stagnant?

    • Why is this fellow Marshall still on the payroll? Trump at least boots out some high paid officers, when services aren't considered worthy. There must be at least one overpaid NALCOR world class executive, who can take responsibility of the project at this stage, and release Stan of his dubious contribution. I thought that with Tory-minded premier and premier in waiting, the Ford effect of firing high paid staff in the preferred utility would become order of the day.

  36. PENG2,
    1. As to your comment Dec 5 at 12:14, CDW, did you mean CDM or CPW?
    2 . Do you suggest CDM is subjective?
    3. Do you suggest 500M risk was hidden is more important than alternatives to MFs could be 2 billion or less?
    4 . Do you suggest CDM should be best practice, not only for new hydro supply consideration, but for any type of new supply option?
    5 . Your discussion with MA Dec 6 on issues of accuracy 57 year forecast, where you agree to disagree: I suggest a more valuable discussion would be whether a 20 year forecast should have resulted in a forecast of -2 % per year with range of -1% to -3%, and how to achieve that and eliminate Holyrood thermal,
    6. And what of PlanetNL proposal, whether reasonable, and why not considered by Nalcor,
    7. I came across an Inquiry online from the 1980s where 600 MW gas turbine supply was installed by a power company in the USA, that was never needed, so afterward an inquiry to find the cause of this imprudent decison and expenditure. Tee result was in forecasting error, as one might expect(even here for MFs) but it was further defined as to what went wrong with the forecasting: they failed to use "End-Use modeling as part of forecasting! Sound familiar?
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 14:34:

      1, 2, 3: I did mean CDM – in saying it is subjective I mean that the opportunity is lost and we cannot determine the exact effect now. Having said that, from what I understand there is a good dataset (though not much of it in NL) to suggest what the effect would most probably have been. CDM / lean practices should have started in the 1980s as a responsible management technique and similar conservation practices should be a part of most/all areas.

      3: the establishment of other lower cost supplies as being prudent will be subject to the application of acceptable practices and interpretation (and arguments by lawyers) – $500M of hidden probable costs dues to a lack of pre-engineering shows a definitive unacceptable practice by any definition, this is what will most likely be the focus of the final report and to date the biggest revelation

      5: to clarify, I don’t disagree with MAs assertion, just that he seems to stick on the fact that time being pulled out might make the model less accurate – time by definition is independent and is almost always pulled out of models for simplification, this is acceptable. Being acceptable is dependent on a if suitable sensitivity was done on the time factor, nothing wrong with the practice. The key, as I have repeated several times, for long range models is a rebaseline – this would correct the trending and bring the forecast back to 5-10yr periods.

      What’s your opinion on the lack of minutes and/or note taking to date, no one else seems to have picked up on this?


    • To your last point, I find that lack of minutes and note taking is outrageous. Notice, if you replay the video, that when Bown is questioned by Learmonth whether by practise they are required to make notes or have written records of important matters, as Bown answers no, his lawyer, Fitzgerald , can be seen skaking his head from side to side , gesturing to Bown to say no! Is this not, in itself, improper, to coach an answer from a witness? Did Leblanc miss this? Should Fitzgerald be reprimanded ?
      But I suggest this lack of proper documentation is not confined to Natural resources or Nalcor, but to all our government departments. It gives a rational to answer: I don't recall. I never saw that. Can't say who was at that meeting. Etc. It is incompetence at a very high level. As you know, in private business , the written record is very important and essential. Personally, I find the written record 10 times better than the verbal one, as it does not fade or change as does memory. Verbal has an advantage for speed and short term efficiency, but if important, verbal decisions and opinions should be followed with written confirmation.
      No written records allows no accountability, and for incompetent people to rise to the top. I, more that most, put much reliance in the written record, while memory is fresh. I admire the FBI Comey, who wrote down the exchange with Trump right after they dined:"Go easy on the retired general" who was in communication with Russians. The deputy AG considering wearing a wire in discussion with Trump.

      Here we seem to condone and approve having no formal process of record keeping including minutes and notes. Our culture? Didn't Danny Williams also say he had little if any records? So the example set from the top. Then there was the Secrecy Act brought in, and issues of commercial sensetivity, privacy issues, much of which is to avoid disclosure of what should be public information.
      Need we wonder why we have a population who are afraid to speak up against wrong doing? In Canada we have one Criminal Code, but the Adminstration of Justice is handles by each province, so different results in each province.

  37. This PlanetNL piece concludes that: Nalcor conducted a DECEITFUL CHARADE with the Isolated Option, with fantastically misguided assumptions. Instead of a shrewd and fair policy, the MFs sanction was a professional travestry and also callously wilful blindness by the utilities leadership, bureaucrats and politicians. It was 100% an avoidable insanity say PlanetNL
    Will Leblanc come to the same conclusion?
    PlanetNL lays out an Isolated alternate proposal that should have been obvious, from information available prior to sanction. I will summarise the Planet proposal in a following comment, point by point.
    Winston Adams

    • PlanetNL says it's proposal for an Isolated Option would eliminate Holyrood thermal plant and yet have stable and lower. This alternate was staring them in the face says Planet NL.
      1. The forecast for power could have shown NO growth.
      2. Address electric baseboard inefficiency.
      3. Develop a full scale, 10 year CDM (COnservation Demand Management) program to tackle electric resistance heat.
      4. This plan would likely avoid any new generation source, could keep rates stable and low and negligable capital risk.
      5. Nalcor's Isolate plan was to do , and still does the opposite.
      6. That the " false assumption of load growth may be the most critical technical error that enabled MFs"
      7. That reducing Holyrood use, fuel savings could well potentially produce even lower power rates.
      8. Ratepayers on average would use 20% less power , so lower power bills.
      9. Inefficient electric heat is so huge a component on the grid , that more efficient electric heat or switching to other heat sources has the potential to eliminate thermal generation, reducing winter loads by 45 %.
      10. Existing winter loads peaks when electric heaters are turned on simultaneously.
      11. Peak demand would be expected to decrease in proportion to the planned energy decrease., or perhaps more, rendering it a non issue.
      12. The sole policy focus would be widespread abatement of electric resistance heating.
      13. The staged policy tool: reconstruct the rates to discourage electric resistance heating; increase rates by 1 cent per kwh per year, to avoid shock rates, and customers would then switch to wood, oil, propane, but many would switch to heatpumps (for new builds) and minisplits (for retrofits), which have 300% efficiency, so 3:1 as compared to baseboard electric heat, and this llikley achieve a 45 % reduction on winter grid load.

    • 14. A formal CDM program offering rebates etc for low income residents, a program costing 50 Million a year.
      15. Decreasing cost of generation pays for the CDM
      16. High energy users pays via the marginal pricing premiums.
      17. 2/3 of the CDM funding to be used for the residential sector, little or none to be used for appliances, lights or insulation, (as they offer less savings)
      18. Ratepayers invests int this plan, 1 billion dollars over 10 years (so on average 100 million a year, which suggests rebates would be about 1/3 the cost of conversions)
      19. With rates to go higher due to MFs, high income class are already converting, and this deflects extra costs on the poor, leading to energy poor crisis.
      20. New gas turbines generators are needed as backup to replace Holyrood obselete units, and and when MFs fails. This would add 1-2 cents per kwh to rates.
      21. CDM reduces the capacity of backup required, so fewed gas turbines than otherwise if CDM is not used.
      22. Wind generation addition and storage would also reduce the backup capacity and fuel use.
      23. CDM savings helps offset the cost of new gas turbines generators.

      I am in agreement with at least 80% of these items, and 100 % of the concept in general.
      I hope others will comment further on this PlanetNL proposal, and why Nalcor , Nfld Hydro, Fortis, Nfld Power, Natural Resources and politicians of all 3 parties, nor our Consumer Advocate failed to propose such a plan.
      Winston Adams

    • As MA pointed out, Leblanc ended with a bank to point out a difference between least cost option and least cost power. Least cost power is what is mandated by the Power Control Act, or whatever the law is called.
      So, all the talk by Nalcor, for years, has been on rates, of 16 cents or 18 cents or 23 cents per kwh. Increasing rates that ended with increasing monthly or yearly increased power bills.
      With that approach the public is little attuned to WHAT IF rates rise but power use decreases? And power decreases sufficiently so that your monthly and yearly power bill actually decreases? Do you then worry about increasing power rates? And WHAT IF the PLAN is so attractive as to financially assist you to decrease your power use to achieve a lower yearly power bill, despite the higher power rate?
      Leblanc is obviously aware of the difference, and also that such least cost power is often achieved in other jurisdictions by Conservation and Efficiency programs, such as proposed here by PlanetNL.
      The Inquiry counsel has skirted around this aspect of least cost. Bennett, with some arm twisting by Kate, had to admit Conservation and Efficiency would reduce energy use, but suggested it ma not be meaningful. Bennett know better, if a good formal plan was adopted. Maybe they are saving this issue for Ed Martin and Kathy Bennett. Remember Ed Martin told Ashley of the Telegram that Nflders are just "not interested" in conservation programs. I suggest that is because, up to now, such plans have been designed to be deceptive and provide no meaningful savings to ratepayers and they see no meaningful benefit.
      And Dunderdale brought in a Plan in 2011 to reduce energy use 20% over 10 years, but had no formal meaningful plan to achieve that. If was deceptive on her part. She even avoided attending some annual meetings with the Atlantic Provinces and USA Northeast governors who were successful successful in advancing conservation and efficiency programs for customers to reduce power loads and so reduce new generation supply.
      An exposure of this by the Inquiry, as PlanetNL says is likely the biggest technical mistake ( to forecast positive demand growth instead of negative growth via CDM), and to falsely say we needed the power of MFs to meet a fabricated positive load growth, will expose the scope of the MFs fiasco: a 12.7 billion boondoggle that also doubles power rates, where less than 2 billion could have kept power bills steady.
      It should be clear that LEAST COST OPTION, as sanctioned by Nalcor, was a scheme to avoid LEAST COST POWER to customers.
      The schemers-in-chief to pull this deceit on the public are Ed Martin and Kathy Dunderdale. Gilbert Bennett and forecaster Stratton and Bown, and others are mere foot soldiers to carry out orders. Orders no doubt were this, years before sanction: Show MFs as Least Cost Option, at all costs , by any means. And many means were indeed utilised, as we are seeing, by hook or by crook.
      What was not achieved was LEAST COST POWER, what the law demanded for ratepayers. Leblanc and ,likely counsel too, are aware of the deceit, it seems. Will the sparks fly from piercing questioning to these two schemers, Ed and Kathy? Lets end this year with some sense of justice from this costly inquiry.
      Winston Adams

    • The only Energy Plan I saw was take non-renueable oil money and spend it as fast as possible on renewable resources, and let the people be dammed. And the faster and more they could spend on renuable resources was an investiment in our future, yes debt up to our ying-yang for generations to come. That was the energy plan. I call it oil on the brain. The buggers. Or in simple terms they Fucked up big time, and the buggers are still trying to justify it, as it was based on the best information available at the time. Baloney, garbage, hog wash. It was the best and biggest lies they could come up with at the time that they thought they could sell to the people at the time, and ram down the throats of the people at the time. Sold a bill of goods on paper only, not in reality. As pointed out on this blog, the least cost power was a couple of billion, lower power rates and not the 15$ billion that we will be saddled with. Nail the buggers, every time they try to defend themselves. And ask them where the buck stops says average Joe.

    • What a glorious morning, fresh snow, everything clean looking,sun shining brightly. So, we now for 4 days back from Houston,where the weather is warmer and green, but much prefer this type of day here and hope it holds, as long as Nalcor don't deliver a DarkNL over Christmas.
      AS I read AJ's comment, VOCM radio quotes Des Sullivan saying the Inquiry is slowly but surely putting these buggers(not Des's word) on trial. I go to the VOCM site and Des and MFs is in their headlines, saying the cost of the Inquiry is worth it. I go to the question of the day: Is the Inquiry worth the cost? 60 % say no, 33 % say yes.
      So what gives? 2 to 1 would rather not have this inquiry, or would have it if at less cost? Maybe a LEAST COST OPTION for an inquiry would satisfy most? We could have Ed Martin and Kathy Dunderdale pick the judge and counsel even.
      So more than 2 to 1 bought into the bill of goods that MFs was a great idea and now 2 to 1 are now not pleased of the public flogging of these buggers, the cost is too high? The scraped dome alone was 100 million. Friends, these buggers have wasted about 13 billion dollars! That's enough to have 13,000 millioneres in Nfld. In the 1930's we had but 20 such Water Street merchants in that class, now could have had 13,000, all on borrowed money, pay for by the ratepayers.
      Indeed, do we have a culture problem, a desire that our dirty laundry not be exposed to the sunshine?
      Seems the yellow jacket type peaceful protests,against the policies of the rich and elite, as in Paris, will not take hold here, as we as a people are perhaps too green to burn, as was stated a century ago?
      Perhaps many would even vote Danny Williams back in?
      Winston Adams

    • Yes Winston, I noted the numbers on VOCM straw vote too, and was going to hold my tongue, in hopes they would change through the day. So let me see now, 500 or so votes so far. Who would be voting that the inquiry is a waste of money, and could infer that the boondoggle was money well spent. The brave fearless media, I guess you could include in that bunch, as their silence has been rather deafening. All or most of the nalcor crowd, and hydro, and Nfld power. Those who made a fortune on the boondoggle. And then I suppose those that you may have to take pity on, the penny wise and pound foolish crowd, that think a million is the same as a billion, or those that still believe in Santa clause. But for the common sense average janes and joes, I think there's people should be taking the tine to voice their opinion, says average Joe.

    • In essence, the Inquiry has done its job. Its time to fix the problem. Fire the non performing executives at Nalcor, scale back work on the non-performing asset. Lean out the over priced and inconsequential staffing. Restore order in the Energy plan. Make a beneficial deal with the new QC premier. The Civil War has ended, Atlanta has fallen. Time for reconstruction.

    • Is the PlanetNL proposal sound? Of the 23 items in my breakdown, I would like to see more discussion on items 4, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 , 22. So 8 out of 23, the others seems fine.
      To quantify the ability of alternate heat sources to conventional resistance electric type(baseboard, fan/electric and electric duct furnaces) residential heat alone to solve the Holyrood thermal generation problem, here are some figures: During cold snaps Holyrood can operate at about 490MW of the 1750 peak load.
      On average, Dec to March Holyrood is now operating at about 350 MW. Our domestic residential heat load is about 650MW peak. With houses converted to minisplits at a COP(Coefficient of performance)of 2.5, this suggests 650MW is reduced to 260MW. This is a 390 MW reduction. PlanetNL suggests a COP of 3.0, and I have measures a COP of 2.7 at -17C. However 2.5 is more to be expected due to our high outdoor humidity conditions. A COP of 3.0 suggests a 433MW reduction, which is likely not achievable with residential heat alone from minispits. With those converting to oil, wood or propane, greater than 390 MW reduction could be obtained, suggesting a max achievable reduction of a full 650MW, well exceeding Holyrood production. Ducted heat pumps are less efficient than minisplits, and also more expensive. So, yes, conversions of our heating systems alone could shut down Holyrood. Minisplits alone could do it except for about 10 days per year during severe cold snaps. That 150 MW temporary load too can be addressed by cost effective means, CDM for commercial and institutional, or wind energy, or wood and pellet stove uptake, and small hydro if needed.
      So the concept as PlanetNL says was staring them in the face, and practised through North America and the world for decades. Nova Soctia got into this full swing in 2008, 4 years before MFs sanction. Newfoundland's high electric load presented a simple and in your face solution.
      At those meeting in NS that Bown attended, but was kept outside, did anyone from NS whisper into his ear about Conservation and Efficiency for NL, and how well it was working for them, and their Plan to lop some 500MW off their load?
      Can't recall, Bown would say. No memory of that ever happening. What of our Efficiency and Conservation Dept, what did they propose to Nalcor or to Natural Resources and to Bown? Can't remember that either Bown would say.
      Winston Adams

    • One must apply reason as to whether this proposal of PlanetNL is sound, and consider a risk factor. The ICF study done for power companies here notes the huge saving on energy with minisplit technology, being the best of any measure known to reduce energy use on the grid for Nfld. So, the PlanetNL proposal is a confirmation of what is known on energy savings. But does this translate to huge MW demand reduction on the grid, as PlanetNL and I suggest? If depends on what you believe is reasonable, and who you trust.
      Were I and PlanetNL suggests a reduction of 390 to 433 MW, ICF has a lower number. A MUCH LOWER NUMBER. THEIR NUMBER FOR MW REDUCTION IS ZERO. So if you believe ICF, who was paid about 300,000 dollars from our ratepayers for this professional opinion, it suggests PlanetNL and I are offbase, and must live on another Planet.
      How can we be so far apart on expected MW reduction? Here is the answer: Assumptions. Conservative assumptions. Very conservative assumption, by ICF, and who were likely instructed to make this assumption by our power companies: Nfld Hydro and Nfld Power.
      Here is the assumptions use to arrive at that conclusion of ZERO reduction: All units, they say, will fail to operate and shut down in adverse weather, or operate so inefficiently that they provide no worthwhile heat. If that happens, then the houses must use conventional back electric resistance heat, and hence ZERO reduction on the grid.
      Did not the Telegram or VOCM or CBC report on this assumption by our power companies before? Surely this is common knowledge? And supported by the thousands already in use here?
      So, in terms of P factor, 0 to 10 where 10 suggests all units would keep running ok, and 0 suggests all would shut down, a P factor of ZERO has been assigned. They call it a CONSERVATIVE assumption. Not one would stay running, not even my attic mounted unit!
      And so , by this trick, they can rule out CDM via minisplits. Ruled out completely by experts. Sound familiar?
      Is this assumption reasonable, or more of the familiar BS?
      Even Tom Johnson did not believe this ICF statement to be valid, but it carried the day. It stands unchallenged, and if true, then PlanetNL's proposal is in trouble. Or, ICF must be discredited, as writing what they were instructed to write. And Nfld Power is party to that deceit, that all units can be expected to shut down.
      Winston Adams

  38. “I would like to see more discussion on items 4, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17 , 22” << winston

    Here are some comments:

    9. Inefficient electric heat is so huge a component on the grid , that more efficient electric heat or switching to other heat sources has the potential to eliminate thermal generation, reducing winter loads by 45 %.
    >> We have baseboard and electric hot water tanks everywhere. We could separate some of the 220V circuits to a sub panel and allow the load to be remotely cut to shave peak. This is done in the USA with central air conditioners. We should put a moratorium on new government buildings from using electric resistance exclusively. Unfortunately the opposite is true. Moratorium on heat pumps!

    12. The sole policy focus would be widespread abatement of electric resistance heating.
    >> Yet, new government policy is to eliminate oil heating and convert all to baseboard to INCREASE the load.

    13. The staged policy tool: reconstruct the rates to discourage electric resistance heating; increase rates by 1 cent per kwh per year, to avoid shock rates, and customers would then switch to wood, oil, propane, but many would switch to heatpumps (for new builds) and minisplits (for retrofits), which have 300% efficiency, so 3:1 as compared to baseboard electric heat, and this likely achieve a 45 % reduction on winter grid load.
    >> Government policy is the opposite. It wishes to use as much electricity as possible, hence baseboard.

    14. A formal CDM program offering rebates etc for low income residents, a program costing 50 Million a year.
    >> Government / Nalcor states that it is about carbon emissions. Electricity is green and good (from Muskrat) so use as much as possible. They do not want to offer rebates.

    16. High energy users pays via the marginal pricing premiums.
    >> I expect that high volume customers get a sweet deal and that the ratepayer subsidizes them.

    17. 2/3 of the CDM funding to be used for the residential sector, little or none to be used for appliances, lights or insulation, (as they offer less savings)
    >> We could encourage propane. It is produced at Come by Chance and would reduce heating load. I would rebate condensing propane boilers and cooking appliances and maybe insist that fireplaces type products and stoves be equipped to work during a power failure.

    22. Wind generation addition and storage would also reduce the backup capacity and fuel use.
    >> End the moratorium on alternative generation. Let private companies harness the wind if it makes business sense. We have loads of wind onshore. Biggest problem might be shut downs in high wind conditions. A Tesla battery might be perfect to provide stability as it does in Australia. I believe its battery is operated by a wind farm which uses a portion of the capacity. The rest is for grid regulation.

    • It is important to note that many of the things being discussed in this thread (overall energy demand reduction, reducing peak power, adding wind generation or small hydro, and using less energy in general via better building techniques) are beneficial for the public. They result in maximizing disposable income (lower utility bills), improving grid stability and minimizing disruption when the grid does go down (buildings stay warm longer). These are things that should be done but no amount of argument will convince this government to implement them because this government's goals are 180 degrees from what is in the public interest.

      Government (Natural Resources), Nalcor and local special interests (Danny et al.) have different goals. They want the load forecasts to come true. They want us to consume the power from Muskrat Falls. They do not want wind production since it will compete with high cost power. They do not want the public utility board to function properly lest it interfere with their selfish goals.

      Nalcor is likely providing this direction to ministers who then force it down their respective departments. It seems that Nalcor and the department of Natural Resources are inseparable.

    • You might say they all have bought the Koch Brothers (buy congress and politicians everywhere philosophy). It's about the rich getting a "fair share" of the Natural Resources. Rockefeller, Rothchilds and the Railroad Barons have come home. Danny et al. were just pawns, executing for their masters. When will we get "for the people, by the people?" (Gwyn Dyer was worth listening to on Enright this AM.). He explains well the current global madness.

    • Agree with you totally. And the bottom line is nalcor and that kind of thinking has to go. People with the same or similar thinking as Winston, PlanetNL, etc.has to prevail. And in the next election, that is the kind of politicians that we must elect. And I don't care if they are green, yellow, red, blue or pocodot. They can't do any worst than the blue and reds. Cheap, reliable power is one of the main corner post to the success of this province. So out with the buggers says Joe blow. And hand muskrat over to the Feds lock stock and barrel, along with their guarantees, and tell them to shove it. Harper had one thing in mind to shaft us, and he did a dam good job of doing it. The defeatist Harper mentality that he held for all of Atlantic Canada. What an attitude for the Prime Minister of this country. Yes, needed to be hung, dried, quartered, and put on public display. MPR's and CETA, my arse.

    • You need to get to Dwight now. He has procrastinated on the job. The General Inquiry, which he has used as a foil, has given him evidence of the corruption within. Start stripping Nalcor now. Cut the bleeding. Keep the good managers, and let them get busy to complete the contracts, including commissioning on Muskrat. Most to be let go aren't even on the payroll. 30 day notice. That's more than the call centre people got in Cape Breton, and just before Christmas too. Let the millionaires go.

  39. Let's see if the brave fearless media would replace the word "inquiry" with "boondoggle" in their question of the day. Do you think the money spent on the muskrat boondoggles has been well spent so far. Let's get a straw vote on that one. But think their straw votes are as useless as they are themselves, as I voted more than a half dozen times before they cut me off. And I am no computer whiz. Imagine if I were. Oh yea, the useless media says average Joe.

    • I wonder of the question of the day tallies are sometimes faked for propaganda purposes. The wording of the questions might be crafted to get the response they want or just plain sloppy.

      My take on the inquiry is that regardless of the outcome, it was the only way we could have heard from all these people. It is money well spent. It exposes the pathology for all to see.

    • I believe a lot of people are not opposed to the inquiry as such.I have heard many who complain about the mess that MF is but they believe that at the end of the day nobody is going to be held accountable,thus they consider the inquiry to be a waste of time and money.

  40. Saw this in the telegram http://www.thetelegram.com/opinion/columnists/russell-wangersky-a-tale-of-software-and-power-lines-265591

    "Here’s part of an email from Svenska Kraftnat communications officer Joel Nylin. ( Swedish utility company)

    “(It) occurs as our problems are similar with yours. GE Grid haven’t been able to deliver the technical solutions in converter stations. All other parts of the project such as the physical elements have been finished according to plan. The four-year delay of the HVDC-link are due to that GE Grid haven’t been able to make the system function in a stable and satisfying way,” Nylin writes.

    “There isn’t a specific issue delaying the commission but a number of faults and deviations that are being handling in order to get all parts of the functions to work and communicate as intended. For instance, there have been numerous deviations in the control and protections systems.

    Are we having problems with the DC link and DC/AC conversion due to problems with General Electric? Do any readers here know?

    • My impression , and expectation,that stability of the power system may be the problem, and if not right can bring down our island power grid for hours: generation at MFs is AC, then convert to DC,and comes to Soldiers Pond as DC, then make it AC again as the existing island grid is AC.
      Even connecting 2 separate AC systems must be flawless, as both operate separately being out of phase with each other, and if out of phase, it is essentially a short circuit, and all trips off. So AC systems must first be brought into phase (They are 3 phase systems), and then they are connected and both operate in-phase with each other.
      So AC to DC and then back to AC would seem to be more of a problem but obvioosly working in many places.
      Now add to that the long line and the need to have synchronous condensers connected for voltage support, and this may vary with the connected load. Soldiers Pond has 2 new CDs and 1 generator at Holyrood can operate as a SC, and another that may get this use, but they cannot operate as a generator and SC at the same time.
      So I expect the software, the computer system that will monitor and control this is rather complex. This should have been nailed down with simulations, I suggest , before sanction, and not as an issue now.
      Add to that: GE has gone rogue much like Nalcor, a 600 billion company several years ago , now worth 70 billion, and many people gone and contract work behind schedule. I fear this problem is bigger than Nalcor lets on, and is delaying and putting our supply at risk this winter, if not the whole Labrador infeed needing considerable debugging during a long commissioning.
      Perhaps PENG2 may know more, but to have such issues 6 years after sanction again point to Nalcor"s incompetence in my opinion, and especially Gilbert Bennett lack of Hydro experience.
      Power reliability was a major concern from my perspective, and Liberty has also stated that, and this is starting to show. Recall months ago power was fed to Soldiers Pond and as if this meant all was fine. They get 45 MW! Same as the small gas turbine at Hardwoods by the overpass.
      Winston Adams

    • Found and read Russell's piece after my posting. Good to see Russell more on the ball and not trusting Nalcor and their communications. Stan > the straight shooter?
      I brought back a little info on GE's situation from Houston,as I also viewed the Inquiry from there,a clipping maybe from the Wall Street Journal,thinking it may cause us headaches, or cold asses, I'll try and summarise GE problems on a post later.

    • The unit at Holyrood that is capable to act as a sync requires a weeks overhaul to switch from sync to generation, while a start-up in a cold plant could take over a week since the removal of the auxiliary boiler.

  41. I'd just like to throw it out there that these new required combustion turbines are quite the monsters themselves, capable of downing 32,000 liters of diesel an hour. The Holyrood CT is 2 years old and has been ran enough to reach its 10 year maintenance overhaul. For a machine intended for back up/emergency generation, which is roughly 20% efficient without a heat recovery unit, is it really the best option?