Written by Des Sullivan and David Vardy
(with research and analysis contributed by PlanetNL)

The Ball Administration asked the PUB to examine alternatives to
offer ratepayer relief from unaffordable Muskrat Falls power. Because the cost
of rate mitigation is too large to be imposed on either ratepayers or taxpayers not that they can be distinguished
the public should be wary that the PUB is
possessed of a magic wand. The Government has essentially kicked the “mitigation”
can down the road, too.

Having declined to suspend the project to examine the wisdom
of continuation vs termination, the Premier was right to engage the PUB for the
purpose. Unfortunately, the Provincial Government offered the PUB and its
Consultants absolutely no guidance as to what interventions may be available
from them or the Federal Government. Even a plethora of nips and tucks won’t
suffice given the magnitude of the problem, yet they must know that MF threatens
not just the public welfare but our collective solvency and, hence, the
Province’s sovereignty, too. 

In this context, readers should bear in mind that the
requirement to meet the conditions of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
imposed on NL Hydro by Nalcor, to make the Muskrat Falls project financeable,
is approximately $800 million. After subtracting Holyrood costs and some modest
export sales, island ratepayers likely face a problem of $600 million in new
revenue requirements, nearly doubling the amount that they now pay.  

Does any reasonable person think that raising electricity
rates won’t cause power consumption to drop from its current flat-lined
position, impacting both sales and revenues, too? We suggest that Nalcor will be
exceedingly lucky if it succeeds only in maintaining demand given the flood of
heat pump installations in recent years, which may actually require a rate
drop to staunch.  

It is fine to engage the expertise of the Liberty Consulting
Group and Synapse Economics given the size and complexity of the problem. But
it is not fine for public expectations to be foolishly raised; nor is it fine
to give the PUB an impossible task. 
Liberty and Synapse have both filed preliminary Reports. Their
reading suggests that an exhaustive process is underway to uncover the mitigation
formula that has eluded the “international experts” at Nalcor and the Finance
Department, too.  

The Liberty Consulting Group is not new to this Province. They
were engaged by the PUB following DarkNL to assess why the lights were out for
days in January 2014, and later to assess issues of reliability, recognizing
that Muskrat is at the end of a climate-challenged 1100 km extension cord. They were none too
complimentary towards Hydro, noting its neglect and mismanagement of our electrical
Liberty has now been tasked to “identify cost savings
opportunities” including “alternative cost savings initiatives and rate
mitigation approaches.” 
While, again, the Study is at a preliminary stage, it is clear
that Liberty’s focus is on the financial structure of the project. It intends
to assess the “magnitude and probability of producing material changes to the
Base Revenue Requirements.” In plain English, it wants to consider stripping
out the dividends inscribed in the PPA
but only for Nalcor and the province, not for Emera who are entitled to dividends of $70 million. It is considering the idea of adding to the MF debt as a way of addressing rate mitigation in the early years
after commissioning. Are we hearing: don’t just kick the problem down to our
grandchildren, let’s include the great-grandchildren, too?

Of course, who would ever think that interest rates might rise
in the meantime!

Otherwise, Liberty is looking for savings by examining the
corporate structure of Nalcor as well as “resources, processes, activities, and
costs of Nalcor business operations.” It is seeking savings from human resource
duplication. It even suggests that certain operations can be performed more
efficiently by Newfoundland Power. This may be part of the answer, but the size
of the problem demands big-money solutions. 
Liberty should be showing the Province a path for tearing up
the Power Purchase Agreement
not fiddling with it. The public should
understand that the PPA is constructed on the basis that MF is financially
self-supporting. Whether the project was ever able to claim that status is
moot; the current price tag of $12.7 billion makes it an impossible prospect.
Fully implemented, the PPA will be not just be economically distortive, it will
have a significant negative social impact, especially on lower income

That said, it seems unusual that the challenge given the PUB
requires not one but two Consultants. It is clear that no one has a ready
answer to such a knotty problem. Indeed, the two preliminary Reports offer
important insights and different approaches. Yet neither Consultant has come
close to identifying a magic bullet. 

In contrast to Liberty, Synapse will make several assessments
that, had they been independently conducted in the beginning, might have thrown
Nalcor off its myopic path. Synapse is re-examining Nalcor’s optimistic (to be
kind) load forecasts for the province, taking into consideration ‘elasticity of
demand’ in relation to the impact of higher rates.

Synapse notes that “retail sales in 2030 could be as much as 4
to 11 percent lower than they would be without MFP, depending upon how much the
project increases retail prices.” The Consultancy does not suggest how far demand
may drop if the rates necessary to pay the cost of Muskrat are tacked onto your
electrical bills.

Synapse wants to see an inter-seasonal levelling of power demand.
They point out that “Winter peak sales in January are two and a half times
greater than the off-peak sales in August.” They want to use enhanced
Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) Programs to lower the winter peak, ostensibly
to free up more power for export.

This strategy is troublesome. First, we will be awash in power
and CDM programs will cost more money
unless the game is to lower demand via
higher rates. Could more spending to reduce local consumption now make any

Second, Synapse sees Nova Scotia, not the Northeastern U.S.,
as the most likely market for the additional surplus power. The key attraction
would be offering more “firm” power as opposed to the block of off-peak energy
already contracted to Emera. 

Viewing the prospect positively, Synapse may see the increase
in firm energy availability as an opportunity for another thermal plant to be
shuttered in Nova Scotia. The power “might” command a higher rate than non-firm
power, too, which is selling pretty cheaply at MASS HUB
an auction
destination for short-term sales in the north-eastern U.S.

It is also true that in NL, CDM may have had some hidden value
in reducing the need for backup generation. (Planned in conjunction with
heat-pump installations, it might have robbed Nalcor of MF sanction.)  It would obviate the need for many MWs of new
combustion turbine construction, diesel storage and consumption.

Of course, there is a strong likelihood that CDM programs and
the continued penetration of heat pumps
now at 13% according to Synapse may
put Muskrat Falls’ generation completely outside NL’s demand orbit. That is to
say, a further lowering of demand may require all the power from Muskrat to be
exported. But that won’t make our problem go away. Export power commands far
too low a price to sate the shareholders and bondholders and pay operations and
management costs.

On a different level, readers should note that the Synapse
strategy puts us in a position of reliance on Nova Scotia, taking the place of
Quebec, much the same as Williams and co. claimed Muskrat was lifting us from. 

An idea that will capture the imagination but not the pocketbooks of many, Synapse is examining increased “electrification” of the
province. Its preliminary work suggests that the furnace oil trade should be
worried. Then, too, it has an eye on the electric car market, which is promising
for GHG emissions, but won’t goose demand a sufficient amount nor soon enough to
serve as a viable revenue source. Besides, electric car buyers want cheap
electricity to offset the high cost of those models.

Synapse suggests: “Increased sales will help the utilities
spread the fixed MFP costs over more customers, and increased revenues will
help bring in more funds to cover costs; both effects will help to lower costs
for ratepayers.” Who would disagree with the theory?

The problem is that NL does not have time on its side. Even if
they make sense
for which purpose their final report is necessary — time,
minimally, is what Synapse’s ideas require. Liberty, on the other hand, is
playing in the margins; it is tough to imagine that their ideas will free up
more than a few million dollars, when ideas to save several hundred million are

Nalcor, for its part, filed an empty, directionless response to
the PUB last week in response to the two Consultant reports. It is clear that they are leaving the decisions to
Government, who appear content to string along the public leading up to the
Provincial election.  Given the
meanderings of the Consultants and the deliberate lack of direction from
Government and Nalcor, the PUB has a thankless task to cobble together their
preliminary rate mitigation report next month.

Those who believe that NL taxpayers can contribute subsidies
for rate mitigation, while we parley with an array of untested ideas, likely
don’t understand the imminent presence of the “debt” wall that the Budgetary
deficit and Muskrat is growing uncontrollably. Premier Ball is among the group content
to maintain the fiction that the Government has the problem in hand.

In an address to Rotary on Thursday, the Premier addressed the
subject of dividends, suggesting that Nalcor might convert (perceived) equity
in the project to debt
to which, as noted, Liberty Consulting also alludes.
The return on equity now permitted under the PPA is 8.4%. Ball would have us
believe that taking on more debt is a savings to ratepayers because it is
cheaper. In fact what he suggests is mere smoke and mirrors. Nalcor is merely
switching pockets when it chooses between dividends vs. power rates. There is
no net savings there.

The Premier has also failed, to date, to address Emera’s $600 million
equity stake in the LIL on which 8.5% is paid. (The figure may be as high as
$800 million when the full cost of allowance for funds used during construction
(AFUDC) is considered.) This is a substantial sum, not applied to rate mitigation
but to returns for the shareholders of Emera. In normal circumstances they
would be entitled to the return, but that right is mired in insolvency. Similarly,
the Premier needs to go to the Federal Government
now, not later. The Feds
and Emera need to be told that Muskrat is a bankrupt project.

The Feds have to be willing to deal with their guarantee and
agree on a new corporate structure for the project in which they, Emera and the
Province will become equity participants
just not on the basis prescribed in
the current PPA. That deal was foolish to begin with. Now the fools have to
face the reality that Muskrat revenues won’t cover the obligations to which
Nalcor consented.

Soon a General Election will obscure the leadership Premier
Ball never intends to bring to this issue. When he should be mad as hell that
the Tories have put us in this boat, simultaneously he should be warning the
Emera and the Feds how they will be expected to help resolve the
crisis. Instead, he is glibly proposing bogus solutions.

In addition, the Premier is giving no clear signal to
ratepayers except the vague promise that neither they nor taxpayers will pay
for the project which few, if anyone, believes. As a result, many people are
making individual decisions, such as installing mini-splits, because they
anticipate rates going through the roof, when that may not be the case
if the
necessary political leadership is brought to bear.

Besides, for practical purposes, if the Premier persists in
using the PUB to justify delaying the critical decisions needed to deal with
the crisis of Muskrat Falls debt
from which the issue of rate mitigation is
he will let the federal government off the hook, too, in advance
of a federal election this fall.   
The public shouldn’t stand for any it.


If a Big Mac costs McDonalds $10 to produce and it is sold for $1.50, McDonalds will go out of business. They would not declare a profit!


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.


  1. An excellent piece, with the title saying it all: Grasping at straws.
    What more could be said? Yet straws, properly connected can have significant strength. Some use them to reinforce mud brick.Perhaps a rough summary of the benefits of Synapse proposal, a best case if things went as expected.Perhaps a follow up piece can consider that. Synapse too has more work to do to quantify its proposals.
    Past time engineers and others on this blog, beside me and AJ, to comment on Synapse's ideas. Why the silence?
    Obvious that mitigation alone will not solve the debt problem.

    • UG and friends has confirmed our initial comments and taughts on the two pelimenary reports by Liberty and Synapse, they have been given an impossible task along with the PUB, with little direction and will come up with zilch, as you can make nothing of a sous ear. The dia has been cast. Ball is not a man of action, he is a wait and see kind of guy, chess is even slower, and Gerry is rather circular in motion, so nothing drastic will happen, and maybe no action is better than the wrong action. So we see it play out, in slow motion. Emera is not dumb and blind, neither is Ottawa, but no one wants to touch it with a 100 foot pole. So we wait and see. There are 2 elections just around the corner, muskrat is not completed …yet…it may not even work. Yes it is bankrupt too. Leblanc is still in session. What will happen with Trumpie, we wait and see, it has to play out. So let it be with muskrat. Oh yes, we have to keep talking, writing, and be mad as hell. But not much action except we need to be jumping up and down. No plans, no action, wait and see says Joe blow, as Trumpie would say, we'll see!

  2. Seems from the VOCM poll that Nflders support the pipeline out west about the same as they initially supported MFs: 75% supports and 13 against. There was a small protest in Nfld and Labrador against the pipeline.

    First Nation people out west being arrested by the Mounties like as in Labrador with MFs. This, out west, on land never ceded by First Nations by treaty or other means. More so, it reflects a high degree of ignorance by Nflders as to the risks to worsening climate change from the pipeline project, as too, for more production here offshore.
    Nflders should be clamouring for our carbon tax to be be funnelled back to households for efficiency improvements and reducing GHG, not enabling more GHS into the atmosphere.

  3. One cannot solve the riddle of Muskrat Falls by relying on the same paradigm of electricity rates, nor will you get any closer to it by pretending that PUB can make any meaningful contribution to solving a problem that is – on the face of it – far outside the PUB's mandate and in another universe compared to the PUB's in-house abilities. As the first two reports have shown, the PUB cannot even find external consultants capable of doing more than turning over some ideas already examined and discarded as being too little.

    Successful MF mitigation that addresses all of the problems that flow from the fiasco will involve a complete reworking of the project itself. That includes financing, regulation etc. The bondholders will be happy as long as they get their money, and they should. Everyone else, including Emera, will not be getting out this deal what they expected.

    Restructuring of Nalcor has nothing to do with mitigation per se, although it must be done for other reasons. The real issue to be fixed is the relationship between Nalcor/Hydro and the provincial government. Divestiture is the actual solution.

    The one issue that desperately needs to be addressed but has not been is the failure of the PUB, repeatedly, despite having the legal ability under the EPCA '94 to address issues coming out of the entire LCP and MF. The PUB itself needs to be taken back to the studs and reworked so that it is a proper energy regulator, with sufficient funding and expertise to do the job.

    Whether people talk about the PUB and rates (and nothing else) or imagine that Ottawa must pay, these are all some form of dodge to avoid the substantive issues which people in this province have both the ability and the obligation (to themselves) to solve. The route we are going merely perpetuates the same ways of thinking and behaving that produced Mf in the first place.

    • Helps explain this portion of my January 3rd comment:—

      "Our problems are much bigger and much broader than a mere 'rate mitigation' consultant study can or will address.

      Both the Inquiry and the PUB Reference are addressing only component parts of the much bigger issue that only government can properly identify, focus on, flesh out, assign adequate (likely combined public and private sector) resources to, generally direct, oversee and put in place and ensure a multi-year implementation plan that will get us, step by step through this mess.

      These digestible chunks are only small parts of the solution —- and they will not be part of the solution if they are more quickly integrated into a broader, province wide strategy"

    • Absolutely, Maurice.

      The problem has three elements:

      1. Relationship between government and Nalcor/Hydro.

      2. Energy regulation, generally – time for an overhaul of the PUB but at the very least we need to undo the 2012 mess that basically puts cabinet in charge of the whole thing directly with the PUB as a false front.

      3. Electricity policy in the province. I think the pre-2012 one is still viable: lowest cost for reliable service. We need to get back to that since it isn't the policy any more.

      The thing that everyone is fixated on (the customer cost per kwh) will follow out of that but you need to fix some or all of those other bits before you can get the right price. Otherwise we are stuck inside the same way of thinking that created the mess in the first place.

    • Yes Ed, I havn't tried to delve into what the main element should be, but we are on much the same wavelength, broadly speaking.

      It's been quite some time now since I have been aware and have pointed out that the EPCA requirement for 'lowest possible cost power consistent with reliable service' was and is not the same as 'the least cost option' (a Nalcor contrivance) — the difference between the two also were only recently but briefly mentioned/discussed by Leblanc at the inquiry.

      Ball is merely tipping his tow in the water, but it the same water, as you say, "the same way of thinking" that created the mess.

      Leblanc also mentioned Nalcor did not use "Integrated Resource Planning" for the MF project.

      Such a planning approach is not merely a project planning methodology, by a way of thinking that Ball is not, but should be, bringing to the table.

    • I've become somewhat of a pessimist with regards to elected NL politicians can really grasp the concept of Integrated Resource Planning. Maybe the whole thing should be sold off, the sooner the better. Entry point for Corporate takeover. Ask Ches how he will do this, if elected.

  4. Another great piece. The coming Muskrat cost obligations will arrive while the provincial government faces structural deficits, a massive existing non-electricity debt and also with the NL in long-term demographic decline. One possible value that might arise from the PUB's current work is to help the federal government understand better the scope of the problem NL faces. Muskrat Madness was Harper's greatest mistake as PM, a mistake exacerbated by Trudeau. A federal bailout is the only way to keep the lights on in NL.

    • In case you missed it Tom, NL has too few seats to drive federal policy. NL will be left to twist in the wind, before the cold hearts of the bondholders the feds assured NL would pay up.

      Why the authors think Emera and NS will renegotiate contracts entered into in good faith is a mystery that recent history illuminates. NS and Emera will soon become the new HQ and PQ.

      A deal, even a horrendously bad one, is a deal. The SCC will once again say, tough shit, a deal is a deal.

    • Bruno @ 20:33:

      I agree – I am not sure the train of thought leading to getting the Federal government of Emera to change a 'fair' contract just because the terms turned on NLers. NLers endorsed DW et al and entered the contract with some of the highest approval ratings of a government – we wanted this, though most had no idea what they were agreeing to, I liken that to the ostrich sticking his head in the sand.

      Any help from Canada or Emera must be asked for and considered a gift. for those that recommend default, please read the FLG carefully and truly understand what you are suggesting before advocating that.

      As for NL Power taking an ownership in MF- I am a shareholder in Fortis and would advocate against it; I would also advocate against Fortis taking over the 10-15% of distribution NL Hydro has left.

      As a NL tax payer I want help form other parties, but as a Canadian taxpayer I don't want to help NL on this – if that makes sense. I cant imagine what the NS populace would say if there was a change in the MF contracts now.


    • I'll be dammed. PENG2 is fessing up. As I recently suggested to AJ , he has an agenda here, you see Bruno. He is a Fortis shareholder! Took 2 years to make that disclosure. So wonder why he is an admirer of Stan and all things Fortis , Nfld Power and Take Charge.
      And too, how many at the Inquiry are Fortis shareholders, or close family members Fortis shareholders, and in conflict of interest?
      What a web of entanglement.
      WA, on this blog, acknowledged he has a family member as a Fortis share holder, but is a critic of Fortis and Nfld Power as to CDM and Take Charge, and their silence as to MFs.
      DISCLOSUE folks. PENG2, the mystery man, we see a little more of him.

    • PF @ 10:27:

      Nothing new there – I have posted comments from Fortis AGMs before as reasoning against MF, I also have shares in Caterpillar among about 50 other companies.

      I have only ever said SM was an upgrade over EM, also I never said anything positive or negative about TakeCharge or NL Power. The only thing I have ever said is that NL Power had no responsibility to protect the public from MF.

      Quote correctly or at least try to find a post where I said something supporting your statement.


  5. Oh my heavens what a mess. Back in the 80’s a cost recovery program was implemented in the CBS area to pay for water and sewer service. How about we start a similar frame work for new development with regard to electrical connection. Just for example the development of Galway, let’s put a cost recovery in place for the cost of new generation. If you want MF power you have to pay for it. Just an idea. Just doing my best to come up with something to help. Ps. I’m still not over the white knights performance bonuses yet, or his gang of merry clowns. Turn ya stomach wouldn’t they.

  6. I suspect that various optimizations like staff reductions at Nalcor, adjusting production schedules, modifying repayment schedules etc. might save us a few cents per kWh. Rates can probably go to 17 cents without too much backlash, but that clearly isn’t going to pay for Muskrat Falls. The larger problem is loans/bonds/debt — some 20 odd billion on the backs of a small population (less than half a million) that is elderly and declining in population with next to nothing as a manufacturing base. Muskrat Falls isn't complete yet – it will cost more. We will need a lot more for healthcare too.

    One solution would to be for the Federal government to give NL more of the oil royalty so that the provincial government doesn't default and force a federal bailout or affect the federal credit rating. The feds would only have to give us enough extra to avoid default. That would leave us debt poor and barely solvent.

    Unless the population becomes more a lot more radical and overthrows the status quo, nothing will change.

    • "One solution would to be for the Federal government to give NL more of the oil royalty so that the provincial government doesn't default and force a federal bailout or affect the federal credit rating. The feds would only have to give us enough extra to avoid default. That would leave us debt poor and barely solvent."

      How would you propose this work? In your answer, you should refer to the fact that the province already collects 100% of offshore oil royalties. It's right there in the Atlantic Accord document.

  7. Bottom line is that I simply can't afford what they are saying I will have to pay, and mini slots are costly up front items to pay for let alone finance.
    How many more are in that boat like I am?
    Does anyone hear me?…I can't afford what you will be asking for electricity!!!
    Who's listening?

  8. Bottom line is that I simply can't afford what they are saying I will have to pay, and mini splits are costly up front items to pay for let alone finance.
    How many more are in that boat like I am?
    Does anyone hear me?…I can't afford what you will be asking for electricity!!!
    Who's listening?

      1. Good to see Ed Hollett, Tom Adams, Maurice Adams, all who have their own blogs, comment on UG. I suggest they do so more often,as they have valuable insights, and as I comment too damn much, to hel[ make up for other engineer's silence.
      2. Yes mini splits are expensive, and a two edge sword for power company revenue vs conservation and customer savings.
      James Watt's vast improvement on the steam engine efficiency jump started the Industrial Revolution. How were customers to pay for his more costly contraption? He made deals that they pay him 1/3 of the savings on coal that they were using with much less efficient steam engines. He became rich and his customers saved much coal.
      Minisplits are 300% efficient as compared to baseboard heaters. So incentives, and ways are available for those who are creative. Fortis shareholders have creative directors,to benefit shareholders, but customers are secondary . Ball seems not creative at all.
      Yes, who's listening to those who can't afford efficiency? Where's our independent Efficiency NL? Synapse is poking around: look at Vermont, look at NS.
      But the big picture, UG, EH, MA, seems on the right track, but a track without a train. No policy.

    • How many in the same boat? Thousands of people!! I have been in the homes of family members that had the heat turned off everywhere except for a single room. Everything is cold and damp.

      Guess who said this during DarkNL: “I have a propane fireplace which has been really helpful. … I had a source of heat, so I was comfortable.” (a quality fireplace with heat exchanger with propane lines installed is about $10,000)

      The people making these decisions aren't part of the working class. You could tell them you had no bread to eat and the reply would be along the lines of "Let them eat cake."

    • Just for your info, I had a wall-mounted propane (direct exhaust through the wall, no chimney needed) fireplace installed for less than $5,000 I think it was.

      It needs only 4 AA batteries in the unit itself and a remote for the electricity for ignition/temp change.

      Available in different sizes and no problem for minus 15 or so temps to heat my reasonably open living, dining, kitchen, baths, laundry rooms et.

      Good backup, and likely similar stoves may be available which might be even more efficient.

    • Just to clarify: $10,000 will get you the smallest radiant linear fireplace with an optional heat exchanger that convects heat up to a ceiling vent. These kind of stoves have no fan (they radiate heat) and are battery operated. Because these things are bulky, you have to build out a framed wall for it. The front wall gets hot, so you should use concrete board. If the propane tank is directly behind the stove and it is on an exterior wall, the propane install work is free. If the tank has to be on the opposite side of the house, then you are looking at over a $1200 for gas line work and perhaps cutting the basement ceiling if you don't want yellow gas lines wrapped around the side of the house.

      $10,000 is the worst case for a small, modern, radiant fireplace with a remote propane tank. I would hope that a small, traditional fireplace into an existing opening would cost half that.

      The fireplace install wait last fall was about a month. The wait for the gas company was about two months.

    • The Solas is an attractive unit but not very efficient.It suggests 78 %, but by Canadian standard 56%. It may be much less than than. A direct vent unit sucks inside warm air for combustion,I think, rather than outside air for combustion. So the vent is probably 6 or 8 in diameter, I may be wrong, maybe it uses outside air for combustion?
      Small fan forced units with concentric intake and exhaust air uses about 3 in dia. THese are about 80% efficient, delivers about 3 kw of heat, so a tank of gas lasts much longer, but you need a small generator for the fan that uses about 50 watts. It is less attractive, about 2000.00 installed , I think.
      Alternate, if for emergency backup, a generator can operate a minisplit very efficiently.
      For looks the Solar is great, but less efficient and more costly to operate than some other options. Choice may depend on how reliable our grid is, and how much propane or gas expected to be used, and what you can afford for installed cost.

    • Now we can have a gas heating thread to compete with the heat pump threads.

      I have a direct vent stove from Valor that uses a small concentric vent. Combustion air comes from outdoors via the outer chamber while exhaust heat leaves through the inner pipe. The Energuide rating is 67%. There is an optional "heat shift" unit that convects heat to the ceiling, reducing the wall temperature. This was intended to protect artwork but should also improve the efficiency. Unfortunately, there are no EnerGuide ratings for the combination.

      All if this is rather pathetic from an efficiency perspective. I could use a condensing propane boiler and heat the floor instead with over 90% efficiency and have non-electric domestic hot water as a bonus.

      Regardless of efficiency, a battery operated propane appliance will keep you warm in a power failure and the radiant heat is nice on the skin. Even with the living room air at 18C, furniture is about 26C and the walls are 23C when the fireplace is on. If it is open to the rafters above, it will also heat the rooms above via floor heating.

    • Now a thread from the cheapest alternative for backup heat-a wood burning device.

      An EPA approved stove and matching chimney is efficient, burns native fuel and costs a quarter the cost of energy from NL hydro. It will cost one eighth what power will cost post MF coming online.

      A pellet stove burns a manufactured product that loses the cost advantage.

    • This is a good alternative for those concerned about the mess burning wood makes.

      I did not realize that they come with a battery powered fan. Without that a propane fireplace is useless during a blackout.

    • You are wrong on that Bruno.

      My wall-mounted propane fireplace (direct, through the wall vented with no chimney) heats my ~ 700- 800 sq.ft living, dining, kitchen, laundry, bath area —- even in high wind minus 20 temps).

    • I used a series of peltier driven fans at my cottages for moving heat around. There I have only have a small genset to provide power for lights/water pumps and oil/wood/propane for hot water/heating/refrigeration.


    • Yes MA, agree. I have a valor H4, inner and outer chimney through the wall, one 3 in, the surrounding one 6 in dia. For intake air, and exhaust. No fan, just radiates out the heat, so no need for electric power. Max. Input for propane, 24,000 BTU, Max. Output 17, 506 BTU/hr for 70.6 percent efficiency. Perhaps about the same as paying 10 cents per kWH for electricity. But can also operate it at less than max. So just turn it up or down for the room temp you want to maintain. Much more compfy than a baseboard heater, can really warm your bones. I purchased it some 6 years ago, when I knew muskrat was a go, for around 4,000 $. Had it installed for 200$, as I did the prep work myself, including cutting the hole through the wall, and building the base. Since then have built it from floor to ceiling with imitation brick, and mounted a big power sucker 60 in TV above the f/p. Now of course the TV needs electric power, won't work off propane. But Winston already told me how much power my tv needs, less than one of the old 60 watt incedesant light bulbs. Maybe I should have invested in mini split heat pump, but will do that down the road, depending on what the electricity goes to in the next few years. That's right we all look after ourselves, when the powers that be go haywire on us. But also realize there are some that will need help from govt. in one form or another, and their social conscious will do whats right in the end, whether they be Feds or Provençal, after all we do live in the best country in the world, and have some of the best governments, that we elect, despite their short comings sometimes. Yes, I am an optimist, but also a realist.

    • Thanks AJ. Yes, I don't recall for sure but I think my unit is about the same capacity as yours and my cost included installation and free tank of fuel.

      Great heat and used sometimes on the coldest few days in winter and as backup.

  9. Too funny, Not! Trudeau's appointment of Seamus to Indigenous Services. How is he going to help negotiate sale of the stranded asset Muskrat in that portfolio? Or seek some workable rate mitigation strategy! I get it, maybe a "gift" to the Land Protectors:-)

    • So now I hear that young Seamus claims he knows the Indigenous file inside out. He went to school in Goose Bay.Suggest you all read "The Reconciliation Manifesto" by Arthur Manuel. Seems the Christian Pope Nicholas V empowered certain Europeans the "just" cause to colonize America. Folks, we white settlers need to wake up, De-colonization is at hand, and your own MP Seamus should do the honourable thing.

  10. I just read a piece about a Dutch Battery company(leyden-jar) that has a battery developed which can boast the energy capacity of Li-ion batterries by a whopping %50.

    Just imagine the money we could have saved if we developed wind along with storage capacity and a decent CDM program (the above example is just one example) instead of the Boondoggle?

    The world is passing us by why we rely on expensive 18 century technology.

    • Billions are being invested in battery technology. I have no idea which technologies will prevail, but you can safely bet that future batteries will be cheaper, safer and allow more recharge cycles.

      By far the cheapest option for Newfoundland would have started with CDM (rebates, heat pumps, pellet stoves, variable prices) followed by more wind farms like the one in Fermuse. We could then have looked at all sorts of options and implemented them one at a time as needed. Incinerators/steam plants at the municipal waste dumps, or some of the 800MW of small hydro identified by Shawmont Engineering or offshore gas for Holyrood and refurbishing that etc.

      I believe Muskrat Falls was the worst possible solution and the highest possible cost.

    • You can conserve energy by putting on 3 sweaters and lowering the thermostat. Efficiency improvements (300 % HPs, tripple glaze windows etc) is different, as it LEADS to conservation (less energy needed) without being cold or lowering the thermostat.
      That's why they call it Efficiency Corporations like for Vermont, NS etc, not Conservation Corporations. Dunderdale had such a Efficiency plan in 2011 but did't use it, opting for the boondoggle. Now, after 13 billion we toy with an Efficiency plan.

    • Anon, @ 18;37, 19:21,
      Your point, I think is that of myths of free energy, such as perpetual motion machines etc?
      Indeed, HP 300 % efficiency is no myth, and much higher COP are attained depending on conditions.
      However, there is the argument that the more efficient a energy source is, the more energy gets used, as it is less costly. That is valid, and for heating systems is referred to as rebound effect. So if heating energy is reduced 65 %, then it rebounds about 20% , so 45 % net reduced. Even so, on a universal basis, such efficient product get more uptake worldwide, and so overall it can be argued that energy use is increased.
      So, if Nflders can reduce and save via efficiency, should we worry that India will use more HPs for AC, and increase their total energy consumption, and oil and wood burners convert to efficient electric, adding to energy use.
      Is that our point, that we should avoid more efficient technology, or just be aware of the other effects?
      If so, ask the person wearing 3 sweaters and with the thermostat turned down whether they prefer cost effective electric heat or not.
      If I have not addressed your point, explain it is plain language, please, why the pesky universal edict of conservation of energy is a bitch. I am sure most readers wonder.

  11. Stand for it??? The public will get one kick in the backside after another! They have been dis-empowered chumps from the start. The authors make several stark conclusions critics have been pointing out for years. First, selling MF power is a money LOSING proposition using the HQ or "Anglo-Saxon" route. Selling to NS as firm power will minimize the loss but the idea of "firm" power from MF over the LIL and ML sounds like another horror story in the making.

    The good analysis makes only one mistake–assuming there was any rationale planning from Nalcor. They had one mission– a political one– build MF with the keys to the treasury in your back pocket.

    How did the Nalcor board of political appointees get away with short circuiting the regulatory checks of the PUB and JRP? The lack of outcry when these protections of the public purse were unable to determine if MF was the least cost(at 5.6 billion)was telling that the rate/taxpayer was unprotected and ripe for the picking.

    The truth is those that knew then,those that know now, still fear the steamroller. It is time to confront the beast!

    • Actually Robert , NB has been as bad as Nfld, at the bottom of the barrel. Synapse , page 38. -39 show both at 0.3 % in savings from CDM , and NS at 1.2 % and Vermont 3.3 %. Rhode Island and Mass over 2.5%.
      So NB planning to spend at 40 million over 3 years is about 13 million a year on CDM , NS spends about 40 million a year, Nfld 5 million , about 2 of that on useful measures.
      NB gives incentive of 500.00 to make sure minisplits are cold climate type to assure peak demand reduction. NS used to give 1500.00 , NL NOTHING, despite Tom Johnson asking for it 3 years ago, Nfld Power said no way. . So NB is stepping up, a little, leaving Nfld Power, and NL as the WORSE!

    • Winston, I have been annoying my friends in NB for years, by suggesting they have messed up their greater potential to link in QC cheap hydro with the Atlantic grid. This would in time greatly enhance the transmission of renewable rather than coal fired power across the gut to keep the heat on on the Avalon:-)

    • Robert / WA:

      Must also be kept in mind that NB Power is a government owened utility for generation and distribution. NS I think is more private generation and distribution while PEI imports most of its power (but >90% of power generated in PEI is wind based).

      So, I would say that there are really no direct comparisons (business wise) to the NL power supply system in Atlantic Canada.


    • Lol, peng2 you got that one right, "no direct comparison……..system in Atlantic Canada", or anywhere else for that matter. At least all others use a little common scense and don't bankrupt their province, or cut of their nose despite their face. Set back for a minute and consider who in their right mind and a little bit of common scense would do what the powers that be did in this province, for the little bit of power we needed. Yes by all means develop muskrat if they could sell it and make a dollar, but to even put up ones face and even whisper we can do it for ourselves, because we need the power, should be locked up, and I don't mean down by the lake. Should be in the nut house, and for those who still think that way, it's never too late, "lock 'EM up now", but guess it's like closing the barn door after the horse is gone. As Winston says, would you not agree???? Ask average Joe.

    • PENG2; Ball's most competent Engineer should pick up the cell phone and call the new Premier Engineer in Fredericton. Together, they could deal on technical/political issues for the benefit of Atlantic ratepayers. Don't wait too long though. The Irving Engr is digging holes in the Sussex hinterland in an effort to advance petro like earthquakes. Not too bright we would say in the 50's

    • Someday soon, it is hoped that the great minds, responsible for providing stable, reliable power supply via the Cape Breton Link, will realize that the NB grid is upgradeable to access the clean pipeline from QC. Ball was even in the room when Legault made an offer to newcomer Premier Irving Engineer Higgs; Forget the socially not acceptable dirty oil pipe, and drink from the cleaner energy pipe. Get on it NL. The lessons learned is that you need diversity of transmission lines, the storms over the Great Northern Peninsula may bring the inferior cables to ground.

    • PENG2 maybe implies that where NS is more private owned generation assets, that CDM initiatives there do more, and not to be compared with us? Certainly NB and NL do little and NB now stepping up, but not NL, and if only they did this earlier before MFs.
      NE USA is long been the leaders in this, and much of the USA generation is private.
      I suggest the difference is the regulatory system. Regulators force CDM on them, thought it reduces power sales. Further, because power companies are in an inherent conflict of interest ( they want to sell more power), they are usually not allowed to oversee and operate the Efficiency Plan. This is awarded to independent Efficiency corporations. So too in NS, only when several years of high power rate increases did the public call foul against the private power companies and the government brought in Efficieny NS to have meaningful savings for customers, and help defer, or reduce, or close coal generation capacity.
      So too here, we did not learn from NS and other jurisdictions on reducing demand, despite 2.5 times higher demand in winter. We were a textbook case where CDM could perform wonders for winter demand reduction and defer generation assets. Surely Nfld Power knew this, or engineers are dumb as Bruno might suggest?

    • WA @ 13:45:

      You misquote me – I referenced the business differences between NL and the other Atlantic provinces as a reason for our failed CDM. As you said (supporting my point) NB also has failed in CDM upto now.

      I still haven't seen an argument that NL Power had a responsibility to push CDM as hard as our situation warranted.


    • Not sure, PENG2, if I can improve on my argument from the 3 part pieces published in the Telegram in 2012, ( maybe include and show what NS did and pushed for CDM since 2008) did you see/ read the Telegram pieces?
      As to what our situation warranted, Nalcor suggested a inflated forecast needing a 7.4 billion MFs, and well underestimated in cost.
      I expect Nfld Power, or Nalcor with CDM, wind and small island hydro could have achieved our needs and kept power bill flat or nearly flat. If Nfld Power , or Fortis was not permitted by government, they should have certainly pushed the case, and now would have been vindicated, and maybe would have caused a stop to MFs, we can only speculate.
      CDM says Nalcor would have caused the lights to go out! Of course they imply CDM alone. CDM as a major, and I suggest the most important part, of the mix of supply resources, would easily do it.
      Nfld Power had the expertise to recommend that approach pre sanction,and could have commissioned a study , with or without approval, for the good of the province, to back up their own expertise. Instead they do the opposite: hinder effective CDM, provide a bogus study on minisplits , and also on residential, hot water control, and apparently manipulate ICF consultants to skew what is before the PUB. All this at about 1 million cost on the backs of the ratepayers. So I give then a F, for failure. Pretty bad when the MFs enabler CA Tom Johnson accused them of failing for our Conservation Plan. They should have been disqualified for imprudent spending.
      That's my take, and so I see them as an enabler of MFs. Yet I agree that they are themselves well run, that Marshall did much for Fortis etc, but not for the consumer here, lets mildly say they made a boo boo, enabling the boondoggle.

    • WA @ 15:09:

      I agree, the power needs of NL could have almost certainly been met without MF via CDM/efficiency etc.

      I think the problem comes in when we consider that power generation in the province is a revenue source for the province – to me, that's an obvious conflict for politicians, and make no mistake it was politicians driving the MF bus.

      Where we disagree is on the Fortis / NL Power responsibility in this. I would say it was the responsibility of the Government to engage Fortis for guidance, not NL Power to offer up unsolicited advice. We must remember that NL Power is only about 5% of Fortis revenue but 10% of personnel; very small potatoes in the Fortis world relatively speaking.

      I just find it hard to accept the argument that a private business has a responsibility to become involved in political decisions, especially those with no impact either positive or negative on the bottom line (private business being involved in politics is effectively lobbying which we all have b!tched about before). I think the responsibility to push CDM/efficiency was for the CA, PUB and Nalcor; granted they all fails spectacularly.


    • Couple of points, PENG2,
      If Steve Bruneau could spent much of his own time and effort to counter the MF least cost argument of Nalcor,( and not paid big bucks like Locke) and experience some back lash, why do you suggest NP needed to be invited to do similar to Bruneau? My small input to the CDM, wind , island hydro option debate, also was not invited.A dozen or more others had input in written submissions, in particular JM
      2: Tom Johnson, not a engineering technical person, nevertheless pointed out even in 2015, to the PUB, to counter Nfld Power, with Johnson saying that low quality minisplits being installed now , will be around for 15 -20 years, and not deliver peak load reduction, unless Cold Climate models are encouraged.
      Despite that, Nfld power fliers enclosed with power bills state: "Efficiency varies widely: choose a unit with these Heating Seasonal Performance Factor(HSPF) ratings for a heat pump that will operate efficiently in our climate: Mini-split , HSPF 10 or higher".
      Now for marketing purposes manufacturers have agreed to use this rating which includes a basket of ambient operating conditions. One of the 5 or so baskets say, that is very dominant, in yearly hours of operation say for North Carolina, and the basket for our conditions here , in Nfld,is very low. The result is that the HSPF alone is not what is good for our climate, and uses more energy, and less savings, and poor peak load reduction. Johnson did not understand the technical issue of how that issue works, but observed that NB and NS uses Cold Climate criteria as best practice.
      Now I suggest many mechanical engineers are not familiar with the marketing trick, to sell lower quality units. If Nfld Power does not know that, that Bruno may be right ( he asks if engineers are stun), if they do know, then are deliberately misleading the province and customers, and whether this to maintain revenue from power sales? Technobabble , Bruno would say, but I expect AJ understands it. If Nfld power takes on the mantel of Efficiency and conservation experts, at 5 million a year siphoned from our power bills, they should be held accountable, or say let another entity do the customer Efficieny thing. Do you agree? Let them handle their own efficiency, not customers efficiency.

    • It is worth noting that PENG2 says we did not need MF for our Island needs. Or we did not need the power, and guess one could infer that it was not the least cost power. Note 2: "….it was politicians driving the MF bus." Well, from the testimony given by Stanley at the inquiry, the train had already left the station, and he indicated the driver or conductor was nalcor, Eddie for sure. And he also gave testimony, the tail was waging the dog. Think we all understood he meant nalcor was the tail. So maybe PENG2 could explain his rational for his statement. My rational has always been, yes, there was a decision made by DW in the form of a term paper to do muskrat, and he appointed KD to ensure it was was sanctioned. He also created nalcor that became greater than its creator, and more powerful. So from that point onwards nalcor and Eddie was running the show. They were calling the shots, telling the politicians what to say, do and think. All evidance given at the inquiry. To set up a hit list in the legislature. Yes, nalcor was driving the bus, the train and the entire province. KD's only involvement was, is the 6.2B firm, and following industry standards, and are you world class. Eddie answered yes to all of those questions, and convinced her it was all as he said, well maybe a contingency of another half a billion. She said if she knew that was not a firm figure, no documents would bare her signature. This all under oath. So let's hear your rational PENG2, enlighten us. And I mean more than just the politicians made an irreversible decision. Show us the proof, give us your rational, in more than one word. And of course the Ball govt. could have paused the project, investigated the pros and cons of shutting it down, but instead he went full speed ahead, finish strong, and asked the Feds for another 2.9B. And hired another CEO. Guess at that point you could say the politicians were driving the bus, says average Joe. But in phase 2 of the inquiry they will be all under oath again, including Ball of who was driving the bus, or will he shift the blame elsewhere as the previous govt. did. I am still looking for someone to claim, "the buck stops here". Think Eddue from his testimony came closes to saying that, and I think it was where the buck stopped, until he gave ball an ultimatum, and ball balked, and Eddie had run out of cash. Will they run out of cash again before completion???

    • WA @ 20:13:

      There is a difference in a private individual vs a corporations involvements for sure, but interesting we discuss Prof Bs involvement considering his family's connection to Fortis. Nobody seems to get upset when an individual gives $5000 to a political party, but when a company does its raises a bunch of fodder – same concept here in my estimation.

      I would definitely agree that NL Power shouldn't have been suggesting any type of efficiency program – leave that to the generation parties and policy setters.

      I would also say that offering energy efficiency gains is a dicey proposition (much like fuel efficiency claims) – a technical person who has time to tinker with an installation can certainly get the most out of any gadget, but what about the other 90% of the population that just want to install and forget about it or not even bother to install?

      End result is CDM, efficiency and energy policy ion NL is a huge failure.


    • Anony @ 20:46:

      I have said here many times – there was enough generation potential on the Island and with CDM/efficiency we didn't need MF, nothing new there.

      I stand by it was the politicians in control. Sure, maybe Nalcor took advantage of a weak government – but the government still had the ability (and responsibility) to rein in Nalcor, they failed. You say that the Liberals could have stopped MF – this doesn't agree with your stance that Nalcor was in total control and the PCs couldn't have done anything. Nobody will say 'the buck stopped here', though I wish someone would.

      For the record, when the Liberals won the election there was $8B spent, $2B committed, at least $1B in remediation and an amount of claims settlement; these amounts I mentioned 2-3yrs ago are why MF couldn't be stopped after last election. Id say Ball has done as good as possible – Id still say he is weak overall, but I am not sure there is a better alternative now.


    • PENG2, I was relying on evidance given at the inquiry of who was in charge. And I referenced Stanley and KD. And there was no doubt of who was running the show, or driving the bus. Eddie was. But as for EM giving Ball an ultimatum of you either support me carte blanche publically and free rein to do as I was doing with the previous govt. or I will resign, this evidance has not been given at the inquiry ,..yet. Yes, the govt. could have stopped MF at anytime, as what you create you can destroy. They could have slain the dragon at anytime, but the dragon convinced them he was doing their bidding and what they wanted with world class expertise, and interfering with every report filed, or as one might say lying to govt. So it only took a change of govt. and to come to terms with reality, and confront the bully, and he immediately backed down, as there was no loyslity between EM and Ball. When Eddie was confronted, he took the easy way out and resigned. I can't really debate you on the money spent or committed when Ball took office, but his first job was to go to the Feds, and Foote for 3B more, Eddie couldn't do it, nor could Marshall or Davis the 2 premiers after KD. So yes at that point it was all in Balls hands, and he made a decision, a one that I suspect he will always regret, and no doubt regretting now. Cheers, Joe blow, average Joe, AJ.

    • PENG2, you say that CDM and Efficiency and energy policy is a huge failure. For sure. But in 2015 Tom Johnson put in writing to the PUB that our Conservation Plan was a failure by both Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro, and guess what? Nfld power said not so, not a failure, and Gary Smith and I discussed it at a AGM meeting, and we was trying to convince me they were doing a great job, ( telling me that Johnson would not have the last word, and of course Johnson brought no expert evidence to support his opinion. Expect he knew that would be the result, so a half hearted attempt by him it seems. So Gary was right, they got their way, no proof of a CDM failure!
      Point being, Nfld power at the highest level said their CDM results were fine.
      I calculated that the average saving per residential customer yearly was the same as if you put a piece of plastic over one bedroom 4 ft x 4 ft window, and about $4.00 savings per year.
      In England now they are moving forward with old housing complete makeovers, about 100,000.00 per house that reduces energy use 50 % to meet 2050 climate change goals. This a model by Danish companies, and economic and pays for itself. The pilot has proven good. So here 4.00 a year in average savings.
      Also in NS, Efficiency saving must be verified. So tinker if beneficial, but poor measures that cannot be verified would be dropped. So there is a proper way to do it.
      Yes, the buck stops nowhere for the boondoggle, it seems. I read on the phychology of human reasoning, and suggests that over confidence is the biggest flaw in decision making. And I see this in the testimony of all these witnesses,that either they knew it was a bad project and puts on a good show, or just believed it was by far the best, and drank the cool aid, and overconfidence is still there, so cognitive dissonance they call it, and use all irrational statements and still see nothing wrong with the whole plan. For DW, 100 billion is too costly for MFs! Problem being, if they thought it was the lowest cost, why so much tinkering and manipulating consultants and reports to show what was not self evident. So elements of corruption it seems, and everyone looks the other way. And now Bown, who should be fired, just moved sideways to a new job, to frig up other things, my opinion. Incompetent Ball and Bown , a good team, for THE WAY FORWARD.
      Confirmation bias is but one part of faulty decision making.
      Maybe AJ sums it up : they're nuts , and belong in a nut house. That gave me a chuckle.

    • AJ @ 22:29:

      You should have a look over the AG report on the handling of EM and his departure from Nalcor – revealing as to what really happened, not just the media spin.

      The numbers quoted above are taken from a report dated April 2016 – even so, I would question anyone who suggests abandonment without a careful read of the FLG and what a default actually means; NL was 100% committed to MF once DW was elected, that is very clear.

      While there might have been some procedural things to stop MF possible by the PCs, Liberals or Feds; the costs far outweighed the 'penalty/cost' of completion without a rewriting of the FLG, I have seen no one even acknowledge they have thoroughly read and understood the implications of abandonment despite my challenges. For that matter I haven’t seen anyone acknowledge they have read Gomery or section 4.13 of the FLG so they really understand the procedure of an Inquiry.


    • As a shareholder, PENG2, you say you prefer that that Nfld Power not be involved in CDM. I too prefer a Independent efficiency corporation as most jurisdictions have.
      But what I see is that Nfld Power prefers to be in the drivers seat for CDM, because they control the almost meaningless measures which maintain higher revenue. The general public and media is essentially ignorant of what goes on. Indeed, many jurisdiction reward management for getting their application through the PUB in a quick and efficient way. This in itself is not a bad idea,except when such things as CDM is handled almost in a secret manner, issues worked out between the Power company and the Consumer Advocate, without the PUB itself addressing the issues. Such is the process, in -camera , you might say, meaning out of sight of the PUB, the media , and the public.
      Who before this Inquiry and Synapse has even heard of Maebec Report, or the ICF report, each costing the public about $300,000 dollars, as to Nfld Conservation Plans?
      Why has it take 10 years to say those plans failed? How many say they failed? Has the media said they failed, and why?
      For now, you, I, Plantel NL, and Tom Johnson say they failed. Not sure if Dennis Brown said they failed?
      Is there public clamouring as to why they failed? Ed Martin (reported by Ashley of the Telegram) said Nflder are not interested in Conservation!. Is that true, and if so, is it because of those delivering the goods, and the quality of the goods?
      Seems the consumers are now leading the charge in conservation, and ignoring the scallywag misleading information.
      If they wanted to, Nfld power could act as wholesalers for HPs systems for customers, and help reduce costs. Large volume purchases reduce costs 20%, and avoid delays in obtaining units. So it could be profitable, to help offset reduced energy sales. NB was to enter the lease business, but abandoned it due to kickup by contractors, and regular wholesalers.
      Customer Efficiency is probably best independent of the power companies, provided it i is effective, not as Dunderdale's Plan of 2011, for show only. Now it is a real big challenge as a power rate mitigation effort, and no Ball policy prior to the next election. Who do we trust, asks Ball. Who indeed.

    • PENG2, I am amazed at how much material you read in depth. How do you get time to follow your many investments? I stay below 10, so need check them infrequently.
      Of course you never said if you read my few pages on CDM published in the Telegram, as I would appreciate feedback if I made errors or omitted important aspects.
      Wade Locke (after several requests to him) was not even able to get time to read my 8 page PUB submittal pre sanction 2012,on energy and demand reduction on heating, despite recently on the stand saying he welcomed opinions form others.
      FLG, I have not read it, and take your opinion as valid that they have us locked up good on the legalities.

    • Yes, PENG2 I have been asked those questions before, have I read the AG 's report on Eddies departure and the FLG and the answer again is yes, but not studied them, as I am not in the habit of digesting those kind of documents, but I do skim through them. But I usually get the main thrust of the reports, and the AG's report left me reading between the lines, was this a fireing with, or without cause, or a resignation. And he said fireing without cause. Give me a break and the rest of the NL public. As for the FLG, yes Harper gave us that to hang ourselves with, and KD would have signed anything placed before her without reading, she bored Eddies pen to sign it and promptly returned it to him, all on TV. A condition of that was to sign the CETA agreement too and MPRs for the 400 million that Harper regneged on. And don't tell me there was no money spent, paid, contracts let etc after 2015, before the election. How about the Natstaldi renegotiated for another billion. I hate it when people threaten you with a document, and hold it over ones head and say have you read this. Just tell me why the FLG is worst for us by defaulting before completion or after. Others, including Mr Vardy, have not arrived at that conclusion. Think he would have preferred pausing muskrat, assessing where we were and taking the best course of action, maybe complete the transmission line and mothballing muskrat. But it was never paused and investigated. So I don't blindly hide behind those documents and reports, and I don't think the people should either says average Joe.

    • AJ @ 08:57:

      Here is a clip from the FLG, Article 3.5(v) inpart describing the NL Crown promises to the Federal Government for the FLG:

      (b) indemnifies Canada for any costs that it may incur under the FLG as a result of a regulatory decision or regulatory change (including through legislation or policy) that prevents a Borrower from recovering Project costs and fully servicing the Guaranteed Debt; and
      (c) guarantees completion of the MF, LTA and LIL Projects to COD such that, where non-completion is due to NL Crown's failure to comply with the commitments outlined in Schedule "A", NL Crown shall indemnify Canada for any costs Canada may incur as a result of those Projects not achieving COD.

      Most don’t realize just what the FLG really is – it is only Canada allowing us to borrow money at the rate attainable by the Federal government, the Feds are not a cosigner. I am still not convinced the FLG saves us the great sums of money the PCs/Liberals have claimed it does, especially since the Provincial government has since borrowed monies since at the same or lower rate without help of Canada.

      In any event, non-completion (or default) appears to carry a steep and well defined penalty to Newfoundland.

      Really worthwhile reading some of these documents a lot closer – I think you also missed the interpretation of AGs decision on the EM termination.


    • PENG2 you keep pretending that there was any rational planning for MF.

      It was a go from the cabinet direction and Nalcor was assured the keys to the treasury. No rational plan or analysis led to MF, only political direction mattered.

      Why do you continue with this misdirection? JRP,PUB,CDM all irrelevant to MF planning. MF is a political creation and you are their tool it would appear.

      Come out from the shadows and tell us who is your daddy??

    • Robert @ 17:37:

      As I have gone through more than 1x (and I actually believe it was at your behest), Nalcor isn't my only client – maybe 10-20% of my time.

      As for Bruno's drivel, I figure he needs remedial reading and comprehension – I am really not sure what he is getting on with at 17:03.


    • These "agreements" are political fairy-tales created by deceptive politicians and corporate interests. PENG2 says the ink is long dry and the agreements can't be undone or amended. Some of the rest of us think the same (or updated) political forces that created this in the first place need to collectively now deal with the problems now that the truth is fully exposed. Will the amendments be a free ride for NL – not likely. Are we in it all alone? No way. Do we need far stronger leadership than any NL politicians are presently showing? Absolutely yes!

    • Anony @ 18:03:

      Go check my past comments for 2-3yrs, maybe even on this page for 15-Jan-2019 09:47.

      I never said anything was a done deal – just that we would need to ask parties to a 'fairly arrived at' contract to agree to change it. I wouldn't be hopeful – not much difference than the UC contract since all parties willingly agree to the terms.

      Quoting correctly is usually more helpful in a discussion.

      I am realistic, I don't subscribe to pie-in-the-sky wishes.


    • I agree fully with the essence of your 17:03 comment Bruno, and I think that many of my comments and letters over the years, while perhaps not making the point so succinctly, they were certainly rooted in the same belief and understanding outlined in your comment.

      You have been of great value in helping enlighten NL citizens about the non-democratic political structure that still exists in this province.

      We need more of the same.

    • It is even more difficult to publish your blog from feudal NL, thank you for your rational analysis from the outset Maurice. The courage you display, openly using your name is a model for your peers.

    • Was MFs anything other than a political project? Did some or many think it had a business case including business woman Cathy Bennett, and all of the Board of Trade business people , and business people like John Steele, VOCM owner etc? And too many average Nflders who with no business knowledge, thought it had had business merit? So too it could be political because they falsely thought it had business merit. Maybe a few figured it was ok just for political purposes, but too what end? To outsmart HQ? But that does not make sense if there was no business case.
      So, to say it was only a political project, is that confirmation bias by Peng2? Political, noting more, and repeat that over and over. So why spend a fortune on a Inquiry, to have Leblanc say it was just a political project. Even the long practice of the past, paving of a few miles of road could be said to be political, but also improved the road, so some business case merit, and not entirely political.
      These were not stupid individuals, but maybe nuts as AJ says? So we elect nuts,and appoint nuts, maybe we are all nuts?
      So maybe Peng2 suffers from bias too, maybe he has mostly political purpose here on this blog, and fails to answer my question.

    • Ok, so we have a bit of a love fest between Bruno and Maurice, which is ok, and they make a lot of sense. But where was your alternate lowest cost option for Nfld if not MFs? Easy to be a critic and say MFs was nonsense, and a waste, but did you propose a better alternative?
      Maybe that is not a fair question, because you don't have the resources for studies to give reasonable assurances of alternatives, as Nalcor held the purse strings.This was even a trick question by Dunderdale, as who else could provide studies? Even mighty Fortis proposed no alternatives, as pointed out on this blog.
      So we settle with your good gut feelings and analysis as critics.
      But where do we go from here? Wait for Synapse and phase 2, then for PUB review, then for Ball to pop and propose some policy?
      Or do you guys help lead the debate?
      Can there be no debate on Energy policy until the structural changes of democracy happen? 5 years, 10?

    • I pay much attention Bruno,
      OK, CDM as a first step (which Nalcor omitted), then incremental wind, that too most would agree on , I think, even as second best after CDM, then battery storage you say as the third ingredient. I expect some engineers may disagree ( but so too, the iron ring boys and gals may be stun). Some suggest some of the 800 MW of island small hydro would be ranked third, or maybe first or second? What's your take on that? But if youalready got 2 out of 3 correct that is pretty good, as Nalcor and Nfld Hydro got that all wrong, as we know.
      Also, I pay attention to your tone. A little more reflective maybe, not so quick off the draw. We humans use 2 methods of reasoning, the quick and the more reflective. Both are essential, and the quick often right, but at times the reflective is right.
      That is the human brain works , so I understand how it works for reasoning.
      Obviously the reasoning by all for MF was not the deep type, so was a clusterfuckup , might be the best word.
      I will give you an example . You stand on the North Spur,you look all around and see the scars of soil failure. Much like the Swedish expect, you conclude this is a dangerous place for a dam. You are no expert, but you reach the same conclusion. You use one part of reasoning, he uses both. But Nalcor people, use the quick draw method and say this is no big deal. It is safe. Once locked in to that they sanction, prior to deep analysis. Once locked in, they are are into denial of the problems and dismiss what analysis implied , and do shallow analysis, so never change their mind. Such is the way of so called rational though by engineers and others.
      So, you have it right,as to the Spur. Maurice has it right, But he did deep analysis methods, along the line of the Swedish engineer and Gordon.You will comment on my views I expect.
      SO back to first steps: maybe an Intergrated Resource Plan, Is that what it is called, is first? It recognises the importance of CDM as a first lowest cost, and many power companies like to avoid that approach, but progressive jurisdictions enforce it, it is policy.
      Can we have an Amen, brother?
      Now more than 12 hrs and Peng2 does not answer THE question!

    • Give it a rest. PENG2 is a consulting Engineer who earns for his family contract income from various sources, one of whom is the Crown Corp. His inside information is interesting and of benefit to us all.

    • Like you apparently RGH, PENG2 cant do back of envelope calculation to determine MF cant make money. According to you as long as you can extract your booty from the boondoggle you get a pass! Sorry but PENG2 has only rabbit holes to draw you down to convince the gullible how accomplished you (PENG2) are. He sells snake oil.

    • Agree Bruno, load shifting and shaving the peak is a part of CDM. If you keep on tract, as Stan would say, you might make honourary engineer, but maybe you would turn it down.
      I agree with Robert, that Peng2 is comment is interesting and of benefit, but if also an agenda paid for by Nalcor or others, we need this disclosure, I suggest.
      And Peng2 seems maybe a multi- millionaire. He says he has 50 investments, this beside his Nalcor contracts, and other contracts clients worth 5-8 time more.This mystery man is not an average joe.
      Our Quebec commentators too was interesting and often of benefit, but this dried up once the Inquiry started. Strange?

    • Logically reasoning PF, but as some might say too late for that now. Actually a few questions for PENG2, but no point in dwelling on one thing for too long. Now I am going to try walking on thin ice, to Bruno, but suspect he will push me in and be done with it. We usually seem to be on the same wavelength but not a lot of direct corodpondance. I think when I first came on this site I think I help defend his right to be here and express his opinion as a Canadian. Then of course later he called me a coward because I did not disclose my name, but I responded that we do have free speech and the secret ballot in a democracy, so I was just exercising my democratic right to be anonymous if I do desired. I also listened to him on open line for a year or so, and his dealings with the host, I usually sided with Bruno in my silent listening. And guess Bruno and anyone has a right to say what they want, as little or as much, but Bruno says very little now, seems stuck on the Feudal system that we have here and is intrenched. I would like for him to explain that in a little more detail, as I fail to see that so blatenly, although I have lived most of my life here, and he might say that's the reason I don't see it, but I have travelled fairly extensively. So did Bruno do a deep analysis of our feudal system, or a quick analysis and now sticking with it. I don't see why our system is that much different from the other maratime provinces, as a matter of fact the Irvings use to own all of NB, and still own some of this province. Think I know as much about our history as Bruno does, and even our current society. I took some time a year ago to try and educate a couple of our QC friends of our history, current, and past. I listed all our premiers and their background, and just saying that we only had one from the so called elitest of St. John's, and that was in the 21st. Century, and reigned for a decade or less. Our first premiere after 1949, ruled for a. Quarter century but he was born and raised as a pauper, and died a pauper. So we could devise our history into two parts, BC (Before Confideration) and AC (After Confederation) I assume he wants to talk about AC or the last 10 decades or so. So over to you Bruno, what is this Fedual system you are talking about. Cheers, average Joe.

    • See Bruno, your reply to RGH, (Robert) is a gunslinger response, an old cowboy from the west, we settle this at high noon, who is the fastest and best shot. So Robert to you posting is but 12 minutes. So too I make a quick reply on this, but as I say , often the quick response is right, but a slower reflective opinion on Robert, would,I think suggest otherwise. A back of the envelope is a quick analysis, which can be dangerous, with hidden high risks.
      Robert, I suggest is one of our elders whose long experiences and knowledge is of much value. He seldom shoots form the hip.His many references and links are of great value, and informative to other blog readers here, as to happening elsewhere as to energy policy issues. Long may Robert live and enlighten us.

    • Thanks Bruno.

      If I had courage, it was mostly in publicly outlining my considered analyses, judgements, conclusions and opinions knowing that I had no 'formal credentials' backing them up.

      But I did rely on my own best judgement and what I felt would be the good judgement generally of the public at large and that they would, over time, see the truth of what I had to say and discard that which did not make sense.

      I would note that since the announcement of the inquiry, unique daily visitors to my http://www.vision2041.com website has increased on average about 10 times.

      So it has done some good.

      Thanks again.

    • Bruno, PF The aim was spot on but the grapeshot scattered while I ducked:-)
      I am trying to contact our MFCCC leadership with respect to political role to play and strategy for Spring Election. For consideration of all;

      1) Do we have resources to back an Independent Representative, to reflect the many progressive ideas and information gained from the Blog and Inquiry?
      2) Which riding would best exemplify the leadership we wish to promote?
      3) Do you thinks we can find at least one Party representative to support, who is equally qualified for same purpose?

    • AJ it does not matter what party you choose, power resides with the feudal chieftain. MF is a classic example, elections are an illusion of democracy, while power resides with the clan chief. This time a narcissistic megalomaniac has allowed the trashing of the provincial treasury as a vanity project to his twisted administration.

      How much evidence do you need?

    • Dam.. I replied Bruno, but all disappeared, so will try again. I agree with you partically, especially the part about trashing the provincial treasury, can't disagree with you on that one. You place the entire blame on the chieftain, where as I place some of the blame on the people for electing him, but more so to those who worshiped him as the messiah and believed that he not only took the oil from the seabed, and made us a "have" but also put it there in the beginning. Of course a lot of knew he did neither, as 3 of the oil fields were well unde way and producing oil before his arrival, he just came at the right time. I place it in the same catagory as Trumpie. He, through his charm, deceit, narcissism, and being a pathological liar he was able to convince half the American people that he could make them whole and America great again. There are a lot of gullible people in this world and that's what Trumpie took advantage of, so do you blame the people or the man? The Trumpian effect will be felt long after he is gone, maybe not so much fincincial, but in terms of the effect on democracy, not only in the USA but throughout the entire world. In our little population, it is mainly the fincincial effect, as the democratic effect will be short lived. His power is basically gone, and not to return, especially with our fincincial state and dannyville floundering, people have left him in droves and never to return. But we must be viligent, and keep a leary eye that the chieftain never again rises or another chieftain for that matter. Yes, I understand where you are stuck, but think a lot of us has moved on, not that we have a bright fincincial future, but at least a democratic one. So thanks for making your position clearer to me. And t hat's where we disagree, and that's ok says average Joe, and others may disagree with me as well.

    • I get the picture of Robin Hood,fighting the evil king while the good king is away, in the feudal age.
      Our so called democracy was not ever good governance here, but alternate party power taking advantage, diving the spoils.
      In the 1860s documented that rural Nflders would go up to the returning MHA and kneel down and shine their shoes, for having obtained some small benefit to their area. So , like the USA deep south and slavery: "yes master".
      In Joey day, power absolutey courupts, so he acted as a dictator; no low bid tenders for projects, jobs on cost plus, favors to Lnndrigans and others, dealt with crooks, thought not a crook himself , I suppose. Even admired Nixon, the Watergate guy . His main opponent: Ray Guy. Foolish schemes for industry. So, not elite background, but was twisted by power. Crosbie and wells eventually challenged him.
      So the clan chief is DW say Bruno, even when not in power, as with KD.
      Or the chief changes when the other party takes over? So who now the clan chief?
      A system controlled by back room boys, corporate donations and favors delivered. Democracy a farce, as a small clique always in charge. Many may be decendents of old money, but even when not, they join the fuedal clan apparatus, so poor governance and nut cases running everything, to the short and long detriment of the province. Is this our system meant by Bruno? And is the reality, going right up to justice?
      Perhaps a "connect the dots" with people in high places, pulling
      the strings would help.

  12. UG says FG and Emera are "enablers"
    looked up definition of enabler and found
    "one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior (such as substance abuse) by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior"

    so by having FG and/or Emera contribute to the MF madness fund, they will stop being enablers? I think not, by doing so they would essentially be allowing us to avoid the consequences of our bad behavior

  13. Why is our man Stan so quiet these days? Why is he staying around, his Construction Management services are no longer needed? Does his instincts say that being kingmaker in the corporate bail in on the Muskrat assets and transmission links get the juices up? Something fishy here don't you all think?

  14. Think about this, please;


    Had our leaders given some consideration of the positive benefits to put say 20% of the subsidizes wasted on offshore gas and oil exploration, into proven renewable energy projects, how different our part of world would be. (Muskrat contribution would be $3B of misspent energy allocation. How many solar panels and wind mills).

  15. You mentioned "to lower winter peak to free up more power for export". The link can only export 500 MW of power, 130 MW that belongs to Emera. The most that we can export and sell at any time is 370 MW. At 3 or 4 cents per KWh, total revenue from export is only approximately $100 million per year. That is the only new money that we can get. Does not even cover the cost of operation.

  16. PENG2@ 1403. As indicated, no I am not deep into the documents that you sited, FLF and AG report on EM termination, but as mentioned I do normally get their jest, I leave the finer points to the learned legal begals. As for the section you displayed, yes quite familiar with that section. So just a couple of quick comments and then a couple of questions that I am sure you have at your finger tips and will enlighten us. Yup, the defeatest attitude that Harper refered to Atlantic Canadians was alive and well as indicated in that document. He saw an opportunity to screw us and that document is prof positive that enjoyed to the hilt the occasion to do so. He knew KD wanted the loan guarantee so bad that she would sign anything, plus the CETA and MPRs. Harper never lived up to that agreement where he dangles 400 million for the MPR s and after signing, said now go fly a kite, and that's all we got in terms of the 400 million, so why is the FLG so binding, considering that the Feds are not immune to doing their due diligence as well in terms of a 6 billion loan guarantee. As I said KD was so desperate to get the LG she would sign her life away. Was Ball as desperate in getting the extended LG or 2nd loan that he signed the same conditions, or did he and the new CEO insist on changes to different conditions. I did breeze through it and seems nothing changed, but am sure you can point out any changes quite readily. Please advise. As for the AG report, I don't read reports such as that, so I can tow the line and recite by chapter and verse what he had to say . They were the same guys that appeared before the inquire lying through their teeth, so suspect they did the same in that report. As for the input from the BOD they resigned on mass, all understaffed 4 of them. We know where their loyality rested, with the CEO and not with the people whose interest they were sworn to protect. So that's why I say it was a crock, and terminated without cause, my ass. Wasn't bankruptcy of a province not a cause to be terminated with cause. As I asked you before what's the difference in penalty of failure to complete and default. I am sure you must have the answer to that at your finger tips says average Joe.

    • AJ @ 20:07:

      I don’t subscribe to the theory that SH was trying to ‘screw us’. It might look that way when examining the FLG on its own – but the terms when compared to other comparable scope documents aren’t that dissimilar. I would agree that the provincial PCs were out of their league and had no idea what they were doing – another example is the Abitibi expropriation in GFW.

      I haven’t gone through the 2nd loan guarantee with a fine tooth comb, but changes would be minor and non-core since it is only an extension and not necessarily a new agreement.

      There isn’t much of a difference in failure to complete or default, save for definition to most of us; just real bad in either situation. There are some implications for businesses with monies owed to them by MF contracting parties.

      You misinterpretation of the AG report on the EM termination is pretty simple – the situation of the conflict between EM and DB wasn’t contemplated when the employment contract was drafted, thus termination without cause was the outcome since there was no clause to cover such a situation in the employment contract. The Board advised both DB and SC of what was going to happen (ie termination without cause) and DB allowed a chance to interject to pass without action. I mentioned a couple months ago that I thought it was a case of the Liberals not know the employment contracts of senior executives well enough; a good timeline was covered in the appended emails.


    • Can't agree with you PENG2 on SH, as he made that quite clear to us well before the FLG, that he was no friend of NL, as I mentioned. And of course with Danny and the ABC that just clinched it. So when the opportunity arose he saw his chance. He did the loan guarantee not to help us but to rendere us impotant for years. Because as you have said yourself the guarantee doesn't help us much, through interest rates etc., it just encouraged us to hang ourselves, while he laughed a belly full, without a smile. No Abitibi, a different quintal of fish. That was Danny and his brainless followers. So you say now there is not a lot of difference if we fail to complete or default, except some contractors may not get paid if we failed to complete, so that's why we disagree. I am with those who would elect to pause and access before proceeding after the election of Ball. Yes, agree the same contract for the FLG, or an extension, which I think is criminal, because the legal begals should have been employed to change the wording and intent of SH and more in line wit Foote and Trudeau's thinking. Regardless of the BD, if someone has the authority to hire they have the authority to fire and if the contract didn't include that, but then through legislation Ball could have made it so. So yes agree, ball et al was not on the ball and did the wrong thing, they could have through legislation, made a clause to include termination with cause. What's the current status of the new CEO. Think he took it for the same salary, but non of the perks that Eddie wrote for himself. Cheers, average Joe.

  17. Cold morning here with load over 1600MW. Yet there is 500MW reserve power available and that's without the LIL infeed which tripped out a couple days ago when they appear to have tried to push it too hard. It seemed to run well at 120MW or so but went kaput when 140MW was attempted.

    ML import is zero as well. We are an isolated island running with lots of reserve on a cold day. Do we need the power? In 2019, no.

    FYI, 460MW thermal is on during the 8am peak. Thermal power is inefficient. As Jim Feehan said in his presentation last week, only 35% of the fuel heat energy burned is reaching the heaters in your house.

    Did we need a better alternative? We certainly did but Muskrat and the 7 billion dollar extension cord was never the answer. Rate mitigation for that is like putting a bandaid on a spurting artery. Thanks Dr. Ball, I'm feeling so much better.

    • Thanks for the update. I was unable to attend the Wessex presentation by Jim Feehan. How was the turnout? Good to see the reference of 35 % efficiency of fuel burned reaching baseboard heaters. So to , minisplits getting 300% compared to baseboard. So overall, CCMSHP are 8.5 times more efficient than fuel burning. When we add transmission loss from Holyrood, and reduced transmission losses from customer demand reduction, overall it exceeds 8.5 , likely 9 times more efficient.
      Is Dr Feehan's presentation available, if MFCCC could email copy?
      Now we have CD Howe report , about 25 page, available as a link from Ashleys piece in the Telegram. Haven't read it yet , but notice they say, cheaper to cancel and use combined cycle gas turbines more economic for BC and Man sites, but not for MFs. Have they considered for Nfld the lack of reliability issue for MFs transmission, and we need Holyrood as back up, and likely need new gas turbines anyway.
      Engineers on this blog, as to Synapse and CD Howe, should assess these reports and comment.
      Winston Adams

    • It is interesting that it takes a report from a right wing think tank to measure the sunk costs of the dying remote hydro industry and make recommendations about abandoning projects that are obsolete.

      It still appears to me that abandoning MF now is good economics as well as good social justice.

    • It appears that the go forward costs for MFs less cancellation costs is about 2.4 billion, assuming that the total don't exceed 12.7 billion.
      I have estimated that a lowest cost option of CDM plus wind and small hydro and new gas turbine addition would not exceed 2 billion. No one has refuted those numbers on this blog.
      This suggest it is economic to even now cancel MFs
      If the cost of MFs goes higher , which seems likely, cancellation may be even more attractive.
      If MFs power is not reliable, then replacing Holyrood must occur sooner rather than later, and Liberty says MFs will not be as reliable as Nalcor says.
      As to safety of the North Spur, and methylmercury risks, this another reason why cancellation would be better.
      Even at this late date, cancellation may be the right way to go, and get on with a lowest cost reliable isolated option. Or we kick the can down the road for several years. Obviously, it appears Ball and Stan made a blunder not to cancel. PENG2 suggests to complete it but not operate it is best. Wonder if with hindsight he feels it shown have been cancelled?
      Winston Adams

    • I agree with you Robert, but the cookie jar is not empty yet and still lots of dirty hands dug in. Also agree with Winston, cancelling might save us a billion or two. Dwight doesn't have the balls to even hint at that suggestion. It is election year after all. No sanity in 2019.

    • Winston I am glad to see you make a belated call to abandon the MF beast. Ball and Stan were just following orders from the emperor besides the elite were all happily grunting and slurping at the trough. No need to upset the happy frenzy.

      RGH in your world the RCMP are independent and interested in the fraud. They have yet to follow their nose from the PQ scandals and striking similarities to the MF reality from the same parties. Why is that?? Might they be part of the problem?

    • Bruno, I was critical of Russell at the Telegram for not calling for a stop to MFs when Ball was elected. If you check, if memory serves, I invoked UG's line : Put Muskrat on ice. So not new for me.
      I did for a while give Stan the benefit of doubt, but soon realized you were right on your gut instinct. Then when he critized Dave Vardy for questioning elasticity, that was a low blow for Stan the Man. Minutina or some word he used, suggesting elasticity was a small meaningless issue. Now we see the likely impact as to elasticity when rates rise, and a scramble to mitigate, like putting Humpty Dumpty back together after the great fall; can't be done. Although politics is the art of the possible, and there is talk of an Atlantic Accord mitigation. Maybe too we can sell more iceberg water, every little bit helps. And if we drill for more oil and increase GHG, we can melt more ice in Greenland and send more icebergs our way. All very simple and logical, that even Ball could sell that concept for mitigation.

  18. WA @ 10:48:

    I wont dispute there are alternatives likely to be more economical – but considering the remaining cost vs cost of a more economical alternative isnt the only correct metric to assess if a project is to continue, especially when a project is 1/2 advanced.

    I haven't read the report yet, though I don't agree with the $1.47B cost to cancel – seems very low (I would need to see the calculation to be able to accept it), and a $/kWhr from the other current projects is a poor way of calculating it. I would also need to verify if the $8.1B figure also included committed monies, or just spent monies.

    In the MF case, the calculation for cancellation costs would need to account for default/non-completion penalties of the FLG, costs to void existing contracts(dependent on existing contract language), remediation measures and settling outstanding REAs among others costs. I think one of the recent reports to the PUB did confirm the $12.7B figure to still be valid, so we have that as a baseline.

    In any event, I don't think the report said to cancel/delay MF – it did however suggest that delaying/cancelling Site C and Keeysak is worthwhile considering.

    Without knowing the calculations and data they have used, my original assessment stands.


    • You are so easily led PENG2. With the recent commotion with Astaldi out and the old boys in Pennecon now on the case, at least 15 billion is the price. You keep denying the obvious, we are being lied to for political reasons.

    • The report says if costs go higher than it may be economic to cancel MFs. Still many unknowns as to completion and reliability, and safety. And hard to have an energy policy with so many uncertainties. Like whether it is good to build THE WALL or not.Here one hell of a mess, this project.
      As to whether to have Indigenous people take over the asset, yes sounds about right, they holding th ebag when the North Spru collapses, and also as to methylmercury problems, they poison themselves.Reminds me of the British putting smallpox germs in blankets in the past. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, also beware Nflders with gifts for Labrador Indigenous people. Look at our history and coastal Labrador still as third world: no roads, no power grid, diesel power, no electric heat, food 3 times the price, poor medical service. Nain full of TB, 800,000 herd of caribou all gone, and on it goes. Give them CFs not MFs.

    • They will play the same game,full steam ahead while the chumps are again kept in the dark. Dwight is still taking orders from the emperor, it will take an uprising by the chumps to get action from Ball.

    Now he had become premier, and could be about to make his worst mistake….ever. Early in his mandate muskrat loomed larger than life, what decision to make, pause or not to paus, or full speed ahead and finish her strong. That was the question. It weighed heavily on the new premier…or did it. Did he consult widely, as they do every year, for the new budget ( what a farce) or be his own man and make the decision alone.who could help him make the decision, not Eddie, he was gone. Not the Board, they were gone too. How about CB, she had been on the board, no, she got to do the budget. How about the PUB, no Andy already laid his foot on the scales. How about the new CEO, no, he had just called it a boondoggle. Who then? Eddie w as gone, but how about Gil, the teams, the contractors, yes they all invited to the coolaid party, and it was good. But still not really sure. How about the Feds, they were already in to the tune of 5$ billion, yes they said go for it we can thrown another 3 on or under the table. Looking very tempting now, sir. Consult with Stan the man again, dam the boondoggles, full speed ahead and finish strong, was the advise. Wow….3 tums up now…..Gil and nalcor, the Feds, and now Stan the man. Yes, must be finish strong….maybe …or …PAUSE. But it was still his decision to make. So he delayed some more….then he remembered that song….CHAINSAW EARLE….and the words came immediately……I'M THE MAN THAT CAN SAVE YOUR TOWN, I mean province. So that was it full speed ahead….finish strong…giver. Meanwhile, several years later while while roaming along the North Spur, he hooked his toe in a single tree on the spur, and rather than extracting his foot he hauls his foot through the quick sand, and that was the beginning of the mudslide. Two hours late she was gone by, she was gone, dam and all. And I said, says Joe blow, HE's STILL AS STUN AS ME ARSE.

    • AJ, you are nuts, in the best kind of way; I had to stop and laugh when I got as far as the words CHAINSAW EARLE, and again with the last 7 words. Our friends? from Quebec will need to Google or find it on You Tube to get the full impact.
      And watched Ball tonight saying that the C D Howe report confirms his decision not to pause or cancel, what a spin. Stun as me arse, yes, and how many Nflders trust him, is the question.

  20. My take on the CD Howe report is that it verifies Steve Bruneau's analysis that gas turbines was a much lower cost, and puts a figure of about 9.8 cents per kwh, and MFs now at completion at 59 cents per kwh.
    The study is not a good comparison for lowest cost , as this is based on gas turbines, but mentions wind at 3.7 cents, can be lower than gas,but does not assess Isolated options of CDM, EE,wind, small hydro, which most likely would be much less cost than gas supply, if considered pre sanction.
    Cancellation alone now is about 21 cents per kwh add for Labrador power.
    TO cancel and replace with all gas supply they show 97 cent per kwh but this assumes 658MW of new gas turbine and fuel etc, and sunk costs of MFs, which is much more new thermal than we now need.
    If cancelled at 8.1 billion spent, then this about 37 cents and cancellation of about 21 cents, so 58 cents vs completion of 59 cents.
    As wind and CDM less than 5 cents, it suggest 59 cents vs 63 cents at that stage of cancellation in 2017 , so slightly more to then cancel the complete. However, when one considers risk of the North Spur, and transmission reliability, cancellation may have been best. The same applies now depending on the premium as to the North Spur risk and power reliability, cancellation may not be a bad choice, but is has become more costly month by month approaching completion.
    So the Way Forward for Ball is like Chainsaw Earle, as customers go for efficient electric heat and wood or oil, and the 59 cents becomes 100 cents or more unless mitigation magic.
    If completed, much depends on reliability, where excess power for electric vehicles etc might help some for revenues. Perhaps this like the Newfie Bullit, it can never be made profitable. Beyond stupid that his happened, and no accountability by anyone. And no energy policy from Ches or Dwight before the next election. I suppose the shit hits the fan only when rates jump a lot, after the election. Meanwhile we are to trust Ball. What's not to trust.
    Synapse offers a little food for thought for mitigation Plan A, but for Plan B, keep 3 sweaters nearby, this being the tried and tested Take Charge Way Forward.

    • That's right Winston, if we are going to default, it is better to default before completion, rather than after, except all the contractors get paid top dollar if completed. But as you said the longer you wait the the more it cost to abandon and mothball. But my point is and was is that when ball et all was elected, that was when he should have paused and evaluated to mothball or complete and a similar decision on the transmission line. And that should have been done in 2016. He could have broken with the past, and I actually taught that would happen before elected. And actually think that's why he was elected, to stop muskrat dead in its trackers, but then the bugger just carried on as usual. Just changed CEO's, got another loan and continued on his merry way. He had his day, and the bugger blew it. Now Bruno would say, yes he was just following Danny's orders, but I don't believe that. That decision was his to make and he screwed up. That's how I see it, but others may not agree, or more in the know than I am. Now if he paused, and did a proper evaluation, if we needed the power and was it the least cost option, and what were the alternatives. He could have consulted more widely especially with the naysayers and those opposed to muskrat right from the beginning, evaluated all options, and I think he would have come to the right decision. And much along what you have been saying Winston, we didn't need muskrat or Holyrood either, with aggressive CDM, wind power, one or two New CT units, and develop another on island hydro if needed. But with declining power requirements, it probably wasn't needed. And that would have taken us well in the vinicity of 2041. He could have been the man that saved us, yes chainsaw Earle. Now what would they have done with muskrat, well negioate with the Feds, Emera, NS and I suspect the would have been worked out with a much better solution than we currently face. Maybe the amount spent could have been kept in the 5 or 6 B range, or half of, or less than the completion amount. And we would have just relied on our cheap, reliable, paid for island power at maybe about 10 cents per kWh as we have for the past few decades. Ball had his day and failed us, without even trying says average Joe.

    • Joe does anyone know what if any negotiations are going on to transfer the stranded asset, (Muskrat+Transmission), to the corporate side? to HQ? Are NLers sleepwalking towards the re-election of Ball and Lib reps, prepared to suffer the consequences? Have the causes and effects of the $15B mistake not yet sunk in?

    • Good questions Robert. But no, I don't think any of that is going on. Just business as usual. And Balls latest response in rate mitigation etc. it will be dealth with through the Atlantic Accord which has been ongoing for the past year and due to clue up by the end of March, but all held close to their chest. The Atlantic Accord basic principle is that NL will be the priminary benificier of all natural resources within it's boarders, including off shore oil. Now others may, refine that, or define it in more detail. Cheers, average Joe.

    • Robert @ 15:29:

      You should define a stranded asset better. I wouldn't consider the transmission lines or convertor yards stranded yet – though agree that reliability is to be proven for a number of conditions. Agreed, if the dam proves unusable it could be considered stranded.

      The transmission lines and convertor yards are a connection from CF to HVGB to SP and to NS – even if the MF reservoir is never filled, there will still be the ability to buy power from HQ in CF and move it to the island and then to NS is parties are willing.


  21. AJ @ 15:12:

    You are confusing up 2 very different situation – failure to complete doesn't necessarily have anything to do with a default.

    Failing to complete isn't that simple – we still had committed ~150-200MW to Ns that irregardless of if MF ever generates we still have to provide. NS went ahead and completed the Martime Link, under a failure to complete it is conceivable we would have to reimburse NS for that $2B in additional to any extra costs they encountered getting the power they anticipated from MF.

    If you had read the FLG and associated docs closely, you would see that in the event of failure to complete we would be compelled to make the Federal government whole – we wouldn't get any input in the decision making and it is probable that the Feds would simply complete MF and send us the bill or take other assets leaving us only debt.

    A thorough understanding of the contracts is required before making such suggestions of non-complete or default as viable – to date, I haven't seen anyone do any type of cost analysis of the impacts of non-complete or default. Nor have I seen anyone make any kind of estimate on remediation required if MF was to be idled – closet I seen was DV suggesting Site C would take $1B of remediation if idled. So to be clear, if MF was to be idled today, we would have the following costs to consider: closing out existing/future contracts, remediation, FLG issues, committed monies not yet paid, site closure, NS power commitments and the $10B already spent.

    Agreed with WA that there were any number of better options before MF started, once started our options were taken away. Completion of MF became essentially was a done deal 2003-2006 period no matter what arguments were made.


    • PENG2, my understanding was you said there was very little difference between default and completion, or default before or after completion. The main difference being what contractors would get paid. As for the other points you raised, answer me this one, what if Mother Nature makes the final decision on muskrat North Spur, what happens to all then?? Cheers, average Joe.

    • AJ @ 17:16:

      Have a closer read of my comments above – and of the 2 clauses I copied from the FLG.

      As I said to Robert above, if Mother nature acts up – only the dam at MF is affected. Integrity of the transmission and convertor assets is another discussion completely.

      As a question to you – how much was spent on the dam at MF vs the transmission assets? Essentially, what is the biggest component of the MF work?


    • CD Howe numbers seem to use costs at Nov 2017 of 8.1 billion spent, and suggest then it sees uneconomic to cancel.
      But take into account :
      When Ball came , was the costs then a billion or 2 lower?
      Even now this study suggest costs could go another 500 million higher than 12. 7, but figures don't include that.
      Alternative considered is Combined cycle gas turbines, which are more expensive, but more efficient. For Nfld Isolated, when with CDM, EE, wind small hydro combo, regular gas turbine or some of each may be best, and lower cost than CD Howe calculates.
      This study assumes gas turbines running steady and 21 year life. If mostly for back up,for Nfld situation, this could be 30-40 year life, so lower costs than CD Howe uses.
      This study includes a 30 dollar a ton carbon tax penalty for gas turbines GHG. If for Nfld, these are used little, then that cost is much reduced, and fuel cost much reduced. CD Howe did not consider that for Nfld.
      So this study clearly shows cancellation is best for BC and Manitoba projects. For Nfld, they refer to Intergrated Resource Plan, but apply just the alternative : using lots of gas turbines, of the CCGT type and ignore all the other considerations. These consideration, in 2016, or now, makes a big difference. Indeed as to NS cancellation, maybe than could have been terminated for 1 billion not 2, in 2016.
      So , CD Howe , despite their conclusion of too late to cancel (bases on their assumptions, which many may not apply ), the study , page 12 says : "Muskrat Falls, however, may be too far advanced to cancel based on relative economics". It says MAY, so not conclusive. It then points out the risk of the asset being stranded. That this depends on the pace of technological change ( I would consider heatpumps and lower cost wind generation as 2 examples), and better reliability and resiliency from technological changes, lower future export revenue, Nfld ratepayers actually subsidizing consumption in the US and NS, whether than profiting from it, deferred CCGT units until actually needed, and also wind storage potentially more competitive as a benefit
      For Ball to say CD Howe vindicates his decision to not cancel, all these should have been assessed, which CD Howe has not done. Nor did Stan Marshall consider any of it. And chainsaw Ball, As AJ says, just kept on going, and threw a match on the fuel with another 3 billion load. Rational thought process? Or same as DW, roll the dice?

    • PENG2 @ 1915, that's the problem, the public doesn't know. Don't think the GT report nailed it down, but I stand to be corrected. Yes it may have been near an even split for the power house vs the transmission, converter yards etc. and think the spending on those were well advanced of the spending on the power house as seems like that has a year or so for completion, where as the transmissions lines were completed a year ago. So almost two years in the difference, not sure about the converter yards. So guess it means not much spending had occurred on the dam/powerhouse back in 2016, so earlier / cheaper to suspend then than a year hence where maximum spending has occurred. Still at a lost to understand why you say better to complete power house and then default rather to default after completion, or not to complete. Yes know your are referring to SH FLG language to make your point. All done in bad faith on his part as well as CETA and MPRs. Cheers, average Joe.

    • You don't really expect the average Joe or Jane to read all those reports, especially when they are a mumbo jumbo and not written in a way for the average person to completely compherend. But I know you are in the know, so please enlighten this average Joe and maybe others on UG blog how much had been spent on the dam powerhouse by the last nalcor report of 2015, and how much has been spent since. Tks. Average Joe.

    • Agree that cancellation costs on just $/kwh isn't sound, and a rough assumption. But overall the study lends credibility to UG's position of put Muskrat on ice, pause and assess, on a sound basis of the situation then, including declining demand, and much more. Even if finishing the transmission line and putting the generation plant on ice would be worthwhile. Synapse and Liberty could have assisted then easier than now as to the Way Forward. Ball got advise only from Stan it seems, who while having a lot of experience, the situation called for outside world class expertise it would seem . In house Nalcor expertise had tunnel vision.

    • WA @ 21:54:

      To me, it would only make sense if the following costs I outlined above at 17:02 were also included.

      Fine to do the analysis(and I agree it should have been done to satisfy the public-would have been good governance), but I am satisfied based on my experience (with Nalcor and elsewhere) that once a project reaches a so called 'terminal work point or a point of max worker' it is very hard to turn back.

      The problem with finishing only transmission is that still gives us an issue with the FLG – the FLG speaks only of 'completion', so a solution would be needed there too.


    • You have suggested complete but not operate, that is not risk the Spur.
      We have very limited capacity over the DC line from CFs
      What then, PENG2 is your solution for the island load and NS commitment then going forward?

    • Winston, Do not stop until the gravy train for PENG2 and his cronies comes to an end.

      Until then he will baffle with bullshit and only convince you that he is brilliant without clarifying anything for you.

    • WA @ 00:33:

      If there isn't a reliable TL from Labrador (either MF or CF) providing power to NS as agreed to, there are 2 options:
      1) the NS bloc comes from Island supply (not a huge issue in summer, but could tax the island supply in winter if no additional generation or conservation/efficiency is brought onboard)
      2) NL pays NS to import power via others links between NS and NB – is there even spare transmission capacity for this to work (I don't know the NS transmission system well enough to say)?

      FYI – the line between CF and MF is a 315kV AC line. (I am thinking you made a typo or was DC your understanding)?


    • Only 2 options? How about at least one more, where a negotiated settlement results in Emera taking a huge writeoff? Why assume NL will own 100% of Emera's risk in the event of project failure? Why does PENG2 continue to fail to recognize the project is 99% politics and that includes Canada and NS?

    • Anony @ 11:42:

      Provide some precedent for what your are suggesting – just what are we going to offer Emera (a private company not governed by the laws of NL) as an incentive to forgo their investment payout? Even if Emera are willing to forgo their payout if we agree to reimburse them the $2B for the Maritime Link are you suggesting that is a good idea?

      Past history (think all the time we have wasted with the CF courts challenges) has shown little promise of success. I wouldn't hold my breath on that thread – we have a COD impending, and should prepare to live up to the contract that 70% of NLers begged for and got.

      Read up on the FLG – the Maritime Link is 100% a separate project than MF / LTA / LIL.


    • I think the link between NS and Nb is muck like the link batween MGS and CFs, about 350 MW capacity. Yet for NS, it can import about no more than 100 MW from NB, as NB has no spare capacity. So, while part of the NA grid, NS is much like an Isolated grid, so too Texas, as to grid ties.
      If no MFs plant, our DC line has 900 MW cap, but limited by the AC line capacity connecting to CFs, proboably about 350 MW, this inteded mostly to backfeed power from Mfs to CFs. And as CFs recall is mostly used up in Labrador, do we have any more than 100 MW in winter typical available from CFs, and limited anyway to 350 MW by that AC line?
      So we have 900 MW DC capacity and able to get very little power? Correct me if I made an error?

    • WA @ 12:43:

      So, NS is effectively isolated and NL would have to make a strong argument to get the power commitment set aside – not good for the non-complete argument.

      Also, the new CF-MF line is 2 twin 795 Drake sets – your 350MW seems low. There are no other TL changes in Labrador yet.


    • If a double line from CFs to MFs, then maybe about 600MW capacity so could backfeed avg output of MFs to CFs? Perhaps someone can verify the capacity and how much now available in winter to come to Nfld?
      Point intended: unless Nfld arranges purchases from CFs, currently there is little energy available to ship over the 900MW Dc line, if the MFs plant doesn't operate? So that DC line is only then a good asset if we buy CFs power. If now Labrador power is 59 cent cost, another 4 cents say for CFs power, would be 63 cent cost overall.

  22. Bruno. my BS detector is pretty good, but not perfect. So too, I challenge you at times, other times agree.
    So I wait PENG2 response, and it is a difficult question, as even Chainsaw Earle Ball looks at complicated mitigation proposals via Synapse and Liberty.
    For sure , We all have biases. I read that best decisions are arrived at when your ideas are challenged by those most opposed. In that context, Nalcor shut out critics, under Tory and Liberal governments.
    As you know I am much inclined to Energy Efficiency as import to solutions, but that too has limits, and can be so effective to sometimes needing to be tapered back, when other commitments already made and must be paid for, so then a balance is required.
    Agree that at times PENG2 seems to stay silent on issues that appear uncomfortable for him to comment.
    As to legalities of the many contracts, that an issue I avoid, as Nalcor has been outfoxed legally in a dozen ways. And too we see the silent 20 legal begals at the Inquiry , all defending the boondoggle enablers, and most all never a question to ask. All sitting on their arses collecting $200 or more an hour.
    We have over 500 lawyers in Nfld, most with their fingers in the pie.
    MUN now wants to start a school to produce 100 new legal begals per year! Yet can't find money having 400 million backlog on building maintenance.
    MUN: SHUT HER DOWN, I have suggested, part in jest, but part of the boondoggle enablers. And each family costing us $2400 a yer for MUN 300 million a year subsidy, to pay for Locke and others who help bankrupt our economy.
    Russell at the Telegram compliins about 15 million or so cost to replace an aged power cable to Fogo Isalnd,. Yet MUN with one small move, got old profs tripping over each other for buy out retirement packages, and they save 10 million like Pizie Dust. And Fogo an important fishing community and tourist area, and as if they, and all rural Nfld are a burden.
    So, I go off on a tangent, but shows the lack of good governance, for MUN and elsewhere. Maybe Build A wall on the Avalon Istmus, as eeat of there is the home of most all that destroy our economy, yet produce little of any use. The Confederation Bldg and MUN the main home of high cost and incompetence of governance. Those wit competence are cast aside.

  23. Lets looks at how this has played out:
    NS, with a peak load, about 2200 MW, I think, had only 20 % renewable power. Most of the 80 % power was from dirty coal.
    NL with a peak load of about 1750 MW had about 85 % renewable hydro power on an energy basis, but about 1/3 was thermal short term for winter cold snaps. NL needed only to get 13 % more renewable to reach 98 % renewable. The winter peak could be mitigated with CDM and other low cost Isolated options. NL's challenge was tiny compared to NS. NS set a goal to double renewable from 20 to 40 % by 2020, a 20 % increase, but no hydro resource to achieve this. This was more than NL needed to get to 98 % renewable for our island, and we wit 800 MW of hydro remaining here on the island undeveloped.
    NS problem was very huge, our's very small.
    But NS is now on target to achieve their goal by 2020, without increasing power costs to customers. Remarkable . How was it done?

    Now, NL needs to double power rates with MFs, and still questionable reliability of that power. That too is remarkable. How was that done?

    NS shrewdly pitted HQ against NL, and NL took the bait, hook , line and sinker.

    Nfld Hydro assets of 1000MW hydro produced power at about 3 cent cost. Nfld Power'S small 100 MW of hydro capacity cost about the same , 3 cent power.

    NS does not directly get MFs power , but 160 MW of our low cost 3 cent power build and paid for by hard working Nflder for 6 decades.
    NS pays not 3 cents but zero cents for our heritage hydro power. Zero cents for 35 years. This Ed Martin traded off to accept ownership of the DC cable to NS, after it is essentially wore out. A good deal for Nfld he said.

    So when our low cost power goes to NS this way, we now get 59 cent power for Nflders, from Labrador MFs , 1100kw away, and not reliable. This to compensate for what we supply to NS. This 59 cent power all to be paid by NL ratepayers ( which Ball says not so, because of Pixie Dust that will eliminate by mitigate.).

    Our reliable 3 cent power, 300 miles from St Johns is going to NS, while we get unreliable 59 cent power 1100 kw away via very harsh terrain.
    NS link can handle 500MW, so at times we sell them an extra 160 MW of our island power for 5 cents, while at times we may have to pay 18 to 28 cents for thermal generation at Holyrood, so at a further loss for Nflders.
    For kickers, wind is now about 3.7 cent cost. This normally a treasure for Nfld's high wind capacity from our geographic location. . Wind needs to be anchored with hydro generators for stability, so a excellent benefit for Nfld wind potential. NS, however, knew how to hold them or fold them, so held off until Ed Martin gave freely to NS our wind anchoring capacity to NS. So NS is now lickety split developing wind power for their province, aided by our island hydro anchoring for stability. They boast of this as causing lots of econmic development there, even co ops in the wind business. And too Mi'kmaq First nations. Of NS renewables, wind is now 19 % of that, but was only 1 % in 2007! But we must remember Nalcor told us wind was of no benefit for Nfld! If you tell a lie, tell a big one. Can't get much bigger.
    So we made a GREAT DEAL, right? Think HQ would fall for such a deal with NS?
    Who was the brains for our deal making? Who was the dirty dozen, that betrayed our people and our province?
    Now we have Synapse, Liberty, PENG2 etc proposing solutions and mitigation. And Nfld Power wants in. Nfld Power's 100 MW of generation was not in the trade off with NS.

    • Surprised Winston, that almost no one has commented on your excellent summary of the big picture of what this is all about and makes some of us so angry, that like you said a dirty dozen or so has put this province in Jepardey for generations to come. It's a hell of a lot more than nuts, it's stupid at its best and treason at its worst. I just can't find the words to describe it, plus I am too angry to write right now. Are there any readers on the blog from higher institutes of learning that can use their gifted writing skills to express the views of the average Jane, Mary, and Liza, as well as Joe, John and jerimira, and do a better job than I can. Is there a brave media person that might want to add the signature and publish this, to inform the people. Cheers, just an average joes' opinion.

    • Great summary Winston but I must add a little more bad news.

      Without a WMA the maximum output will be cut by as much as half depending on how kind HQ is to Nalcor.

      NS accomplished the increase by taking advantage of a desperate Nalcor. Nalcor had orders from the emperor to build a legacy. I only wish he had built a pyramid! Fast Ed was desperate to make MF look good on paper and NS took Ed to the cleaners. As you know the first block was free and then Emera extracted another block at "market rates" from a desperate fast Eddie Martin. He caved to Emera, gave away most of MF after HQ wins the WMA war. Then Eddie left town with his loot before the reality hit the rate/taxpayer The worst news is yet to come.

      Wind can now be backed with battery storage to make for unlimited wind potential. They, sadly, will cost a tenth! (at 3.5 cents kWh) of what MF costs.

  24. Suggest that some on this blog really need to give it a break for a change, get outdoors and let the stink blow off'em… they've used up all the oxygen on this site with their non-stop, rambling, one-dimensional never-changing, un-ending, perpetual bullshit.

    They really must have their poor wives driven nuts.

    • Well buddy boy you speak for yourself, as I walk/run every day of the year, unless it is pouring rain. Yes I do use a groomed trail in snow, and cross country ski too. Also take my grand kids to hockey as well. So you can give some of your bullshit too, and you can also tell us what else you do. But as an after taught what are you do here anyway, you must enjoy. Cheers, average Joe.

    • I think , Joe, that the comment is aimed at me too, as I alone has ever mentioned my wife. She developed stage 4 cancer to the colon, lymph nodes and liver. In the last 8 months she has gone through 3 major surgeries, 2 locally , one of which took 14 inches from the colon, another took away 60 % of the liver, then one more operation in Texas, with 2 resections there on the remaining left liver lobe.
      Recently a scare here, that another liver tumor had appeared, but this was not so, and now, as far as scans can show , no evidence of disease, a NED. I call her a neddie, as we called the tiny tom cods.
      As Margaret Thatcher said "I'm not for turning". So too, my wife, she's not for dying. We both walk daily unless the weather stops us, and indoors there is the thread mill. And too, she is not poor, financially or in spirit.
      She often asks me "What is Uncle Gnarley saying", and she is familiar, through me, (she being visually impaired, so cannot read the blog) with key people on this blog: Average Joe, Dave Vardy, Ex Military, and Heracles from Quebec, Robert Holmes, Bruno,and recently Fred Wilcox, and not least, Des Sullivan.
      She appreciates my interest here. She too knew many key players at Nfld Hydro in the 1970s when I worked there. This blog too is a distraction too, from health issues and she encourages my engagement.
      Chemo, of course , causes what is referred to as brain fog, so that issue needs close attention, but no signs yet of her going nuts, from either source. She is at times amused by some UG comments that I read to her.
      So, anon @ 18:34, I thrust your wife, if you have one, has a spirit like my wife. Good that you are concerned as to my wife's health. I will try not to neglect her, which will ease your concern. .

    • Keep trucking along Winston!

      Always enjoy reading your posts – even when we drown under overwhelming EE details ;-).

      I always appreciate your continual respectfull and caring tone. (We need more of this here…)

      Again, I really hope things keep going for the better, to you and your wife!!

    • Anon@18:34
      You either don't live here in NL and will not be subject to the power rates/taxes we have now and will have once MF must be paid back
      OR you're one of those who are responsible for the colossal mess we're in because of MF.