sure seemed that the words of Joseph de Maistre, the 18th century French Monarchist, moralist and philosopher, were being invoked once again — this time
by Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry. “Every nation gets
the government it deserves,” asserted de Maistre, an advocate of social
hierarchy (a system based on class division) in the period immediately
following the French Revolution.

Consumer Advocate’s legal Counsel, Chris Peddigrew, was questioning Marshall’s
assertion a day earlier when he opined that the vast majority of people in the
province had supported the Muskrat Falls project and that, accordingly, we are
all to blame for what has occurred.

did seem for a moment that Peddigrew was engaging in overreach. Marshall, after
all, exhibits patience only for matters black and white. But Peddigrew
approached his prey tenderly, which is his skill: “[When you say that] we are
all to blame do you mean that as voters we are all to blame in the fact that we
elected a government that sanctioned this project in 2011 that was largely
built on the Muskrat Falls project?”

Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall

Marshall in a tone less arrogant than certain: “We elect our governments, they
are entitled to make public policy decisions, sometimes we don’t challenge them
enough; this is not a jurisdiction that politically welcomes challenge… So yeah,
I certainly agree that we all bear some of the responsibility.”

might have pursued the matter with Marshall, but chose to move on. Though less
categorical than de Maistre, Marshall’s assertion deserved to be vigorously
challenged even if he is correct that, as a polity, deference all too often
characterizes the relationship with our political masters.

while it is not wrong to criticize the voting public, in the blame game it is
best to be sure that the evidence is decidedly tipped. Given what we know about
Muskrat and its origins, the question is not so much why the public voted for
the Government that gave it sanction but, in light of how badly conceived and
executed it was, why their anger hasn’t taken them to the streets. 

CEO, Stan Marshall has been exposed to the Muskrat narrative since early 2016.
It would be terribly naive to think that he does not get a daily briefing on
testimony heard at the Inquiry, unless he is as deaf as his predecessor. When
one considers the falsification of the project estimates and an otherwise
contrived business case, including with respect to the issue of power demand
forecasts — now long debunked — followed by deliberate and continuous deception
of the numbers surrounding the project cost overruns, a wiser head might have
acknowledged the public’s treatment by their odious leadership as akin to the
lowly mushroom (feed them sh*t and keep them in the dark) rather than as
mindless devotees of the vainglorious kind.

addition, we have to be careful when voters in an immature — some would say
broken — political system are blamed to justify events when others more
experienced, knowledgeable and savvy in the world of big business, including
Stan Marshall, failed to perform their civic duty and sound the alarm even if the
choice exacted a price.

course, it is not new for the voter to be appointed whipping-post when
something has gone awry. A prescient warning is often issued with similar force
— just in case — should the great unwashed dare not follow what the
self-assessed clairvoyant sees as history’s preferred course.

an address in Milan, Italy in 2017 former American President Barack Obama
included this remark: “People have a tendency to blame politicians when things
don’t work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve… and
if you don’t vote and you don’t pay attention, you’ll get policies that don’t
reflect your interest.” You see, the poor voter just can’t win.

it’s no more complicated than that elements of de Maistre’s philosophy
constitute fuel for personal and political agendas. On the other hand, an
orator in full flight, like Obama, intent on spicing a well-paid gig with lofty
intonations of Mahatma Gandhi (“You must be the change you want to see in the
world”), shouldn’t always be taken seriously — any more, that is, than Stan
Marshall deserves the effort of attribution.

if the job of leadership is to prevent the masses from straying off the deep end,
shouldn’t the basis of the inspiration so afforded not be more exacting? In
that context, shouldn’t Stan have appended to the admonition “we are all to
blame” with the words: “but some are more responsible than others”? In that
case he might have shared with the Commissioner a pathway for assessing the
real culprits, already having long been exposed as worthy of the Sheriff’s pursuit.  

it may feel momentarily gratifying to bash partisans over the head for their
readiness to forgive Party leaders who badly screw up, having sold them on
misguided public policies, it makes a lot more sense to recognize the voters’
limitations when only a few hundred get to choose the leader/Premier in a
leadership convention.

it is good to remember that, in Canada, the British Parliamentary system has
been engineered to diminish even the role of the Party Caucus in the selection
of the Leader. In our system, the Premier/PM holds virtually all the political
cards. More baldly stated, the Executive Branch has been gifted with
overbearing power when it comes to defining its public policy agenda. The
notion that elections are sated with insightful discussion around public
policies is another fanciful notion — to say the least.

the public’s assumption that senior public servants might offer a bit of
backbone with their expertise, which itself is in doubt, has been proven to be
an unwarranted expectation, too.

Marshall’s qualified admonishment of the public, while voters ought to ask
themselves what they hope to achieve by following Danny Williams over a cliff,
we should not be too judgmental of voters, most of whom are just trying to make
it to Friday.

that’s not important when a scapegoat is sought. 

Joseph de Maistre was also an advocate of the need for the public executioner. Said
he: “Remove this incomprehensible agent from the world, and the very moment
order gives way to chaos, thrones topple, and society disappears.”

too bad that his dictum exempted Kings and Premiers and heads of Crown
Corporations, likely even for wrecking the public Treasury.

easily we might have been adherents of de Maistre, too.

Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


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. All I remember is the L'il Trump tearing down flags, lambasting any opponent as a traitor, and all the torch & pitchfork crowd (meaning 80% of the population) cheering, raising their fists to "we got it bye, we got it". They cheered when he drove old Newfoundland down and all the bells were ringing. We own the whle MF mess, lock, stock and debt.

  2. Marshall made the same comment in his address at MUN.

    Is he is right though? A government gets elected with less than 40% of the vote and can bankrupt the province / nation?

    Is this case it was a project not operational or infrastructure. The Banks made the loans without any basis other than the loan guarantee. That is clear based on the evidence at the inquiry.

    Is there any protection for the citizens. The Banks are heavily regulated in Canada. That is why there are only 5 major banks. If they made the loans based on the federal signature what about the rest of the Canadian population who elected them and what about the Banks themselves.

    Shouldn't there be some sharing of the consequences?

  3. It is only adherence to de Maistre second principle that the first has any rigor.

    Unless politicians feel there is jeopardy from abusing, or in MF case, destroying the fiscal future for generations to come, de Maistre principles do not hold.

    As evidenced by Ed Martin's ongoing praise for the disaster on the Churchill, the denial for the destruction of the treasury is ongoing, buttressed by his golden parachute.

    A frequent troll to this blog, PENG2 has made blaming the victim his apparently well paid mission. We elected them, it is our fault, period according to his chant.

    We do NOT live in a democracy but an inverted fascist state. We are left with our meaningless rituals of a democracy while more and more power is handed of to corporations. Westminster governments are crumbling around us replaced by a totalitarian corporate world.

    Golden handshakes for the perpetrators, a middle finger inserted in our arses for the victims!

  4. "Forgive them for they know not what they do". That may have been a better admission by both our fearless leaders, Stan and Danny. Now that statement from the "Good Book", and was referring to the almighty God, and on second taughts, Danny was God or at least in his own thinking, and by some of his followers. So, they were willing to blame the people for something they knew nothing about, but put their trust in those elected. And then someone like Stan the man did not exercise his civic duty, as the uncle said, and warned us only after it was too late, the horse, barn and all was gone. So why warn us now, was it because there was no public domain to allow that to happen, as compared to the public inquiry where he was forced to appear and answered those questions. Now Danny's short appearance at the inquiry did not give much insight, in his thinking, except that muskrat was worth a lot more than 15$ billion, did he not say, maybe worth more than 100$ billion. What are the people supposed to do and think with such deceptive and no knowledge leaders, or those with knowledge fail to speak up. Average Joe.

  5. I've heard it suggested that a simple large chart should be created showing the flow of cash and all the connections to the politicians and Nalcor and Hydro and contractors who are complicit in this egregious and bankrupting disaster by date and amount. With names highlighted and relationships listed. It would make the facts more understandable to all.

    Most do not care to read the detailed and mind-numbing facts associated with all of this. Charts might bring out the pitchforks.

  6. I hear Costco is offering Bruno batteries free if you buy enough tea bags, and Danny will do the promo on NTV, and plug the Bruno concept, as good as Muskrat.
    BM's master plan which he says is wise, (and therefore must be lowest cost and reliable), does not say how long the energy will be stored in his batteries, and what our new standard of reliability :hours/days/ weeks we would be without power. Can we have a little more info on capital cost, MWs of wind, and MWh of storage, and rate impact please? Stan's Plan had no Bruno batteries, but wind and hydro for 1.1 billion, and he probably envisaged some island transmission addition, but no CDM. PV magazine says BM, would they be biased? Batteries Exploding you say?
    Have lots of sweaters and long johns on hand when the batteries run low. Stan figures let the wind conserve our water, so wind and water storage, a Winston water battery, as Robert would call it, but Stan ignores CDM and HPs. Which is better and more cost effective, water or battery storage?
    Brunonomics! A wise move he says. Stan got it 2/3 right, Bruno 1/3 right.

  7. OK so the voters are responsible by electing the government of he day to fulfil their mandate to proceed with the project. That's is somewhat fair to say. However the people voted on a $6.2B project that was the least cost option, that was to be managed by world class people at Nalcor to come in on schedule and budget. That was the information the voters had to make their decision on, not the real information that was purposely kept in secret. We obviously did not get what we voted for. How is that possibly the voters fault.
    On a more basic level we elect people to make the right and necessary decisions to protect our interests. This as well failed not only in the case of the PCs but also the Liberals who for the most part carried on with the status quo.

    • Don't you recall getting the clear information prior to KD election that the project would cost $13 billion and would require approximately $750,000,000 per year each year in revenue or $1500 per person from each and every NLer for each and every year for about 50 plus years. What channel do you watch your news on?

    • If you had followed my vision 2041 website you would have indeed read that MF cost estimates were being kept low, and that indeed, MF would require an addition $700 million a year out of the pockets of rate/taxpayers.

      But how many of those with clout (like Stan Marshall) spoke up? You could count them on one hand.

    • Anon: 16:28. What planet are you from, and you must watch Dr. Spock channel. When KD was elected in 2011, the figure was pegged at 6.2$ billion, and maybe 300 thousand contingency. And guess your other figures are as bogus as your your 13$ billion at that time. Average Joe.

    • And ref. my 16:32 post below, what I should have said was that 98% of that average historical 2.3% increase was in the first half of that 40 year period. And for the most recent half of that 40 year period, energy use was flat to 0.1% (so a 50 year, 0.8% forecast is eight times more than what our use had essentially leveled off at). Yet somehow Martin had repeatedly said that the MF forecast was 'conservative'.

  8. They were also told that Holyrood in winter operates at capacity and at capacity it burns 18,000 bbls of oil a day.

    When in fact on average it operates at capacity only 1.6% of the time — less than 6 (24 hour) days a year (e.g. 2011, 18 hrs, 2012, 8 hrs).

    Also that it is a great polluter (when 92% of GHG emissions come from other sources (like transportation and industry such as Come by Chance).

    And how about Nalcor's 0.8% average annual forecast increase in demand for the next 50 years, and on top of that, we were repeatedly told that compared to the 40-year historical annual increase of 2.3%, 0.8% was a "conservative" forecast. What Nalcor chose not to tell you was that 98% of that 40-year, 2.3% annual increase was due to homes switching from oil heat to electric heat and that that market was approaching saturation.

    And on, and on, and on, and on, and on it goes.

    • On ,, and on: actually NP survey showed before sanction that off the Avalon, electric heat as primary use was falling, yet they assumed more up take of electric baseboard. Stan kept quiet on that, or Nfld Hydro never read the report?
      Also Nalcor stated efficiency improvements for houses were approaching saturation levels, which was more BS.
      So dozens of instances like this was WILFUL BLIND, which is an offence in law, is it not? But Stan said to Leblanc "accountable but not culpable".
      Accountable means "me bad" but no penalty, so a free pass.
      Stan continues with the dumb statement "heatpumps don't reduce grid peak demand". That falsehood repeated for a few years by Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro. PENG2 is silent on why this is so!
      Winston Adams

    • Hydro Bogus Claim. Not a fan of Paul lane, but have to agree with him on this one. The rate increase of 7.6 percent this fall for electricity is a bogus claim, and blaming it on increases in oil burned at Holyrood. Paul says on VOCM it is just an excuse to start gradual increases leading up to muskrat power coming on stream down the road. They need to come clean and tell us the real reason, have we not had enough of the lies, more lies and dam lies coming from those buggers. Joe blow.

  9. Great info being presented this morning, only problems… why were these not presenting this to the PUB or the Harris Centre in 2012?
    Martin Luther King said , in the end, "it will not be the words of your enemies that will be remembered, but the silence of your friends".
    Consider where was NP and Stan Marshall, as to what Peter Alteen is saying now! Now NP is very concerned about it's customer base and impact from MFs.
    Are you listening PENG2?
    Winston Adams

  10. Surely these opinions today should have been stated in 2012, now everyone is scared as to the impacts that we face. Compare what we heard this morning with DW's rosy outlook at the start of this Inquiry. Only thing rosy these days from Danny is teabags at 3 cent costs, but Tetley,and not the ones with the rosy picture (and too, small USA bags, as their gallon and cup is also 20% smaller that the Canadian),

    AJ third time I notice you and I have posted at exactly the same time. Couldn't do that if we tried,but happened anyway, Believe it or not.
    Must be the Spock mind meld.

  11. NP Peter ALteen: says heatpump installations went up 57% increase in just one year, 2018, with 12,000 units added. And that, I note is without incentives, and too past NP submissions at the PUB said few installer would limit uptake. Shows what our few contractors in this can do. So having a big impact on reduced energy sales going forward.
    They have consistently resisted meaningful CDM, now shit baked as to the impact.
    Reliability of the LIL now a concern, and if no Holyrood, a shortage on the Avalon, big time; assessing options, so more expenditures !
    That too, they were silent in 2012.

  12. Kevin Fagan: key infoon rates analysis for Nfld Hydro
    1.If 5 %v reduction in energy use, rates must increase 4 %
    2. Holyrood power costs for Holurood for 2019 is 18 cents per kwh
    3. May do rate shifting for some rate mitigation, but 70 million must be spent for new meters.
    4. Looking at CDM and demand management, dual study by NP and NH.
    5. EV review (good for tourism as other Atlantic provinces and Quebec already ramping this up, so infrastructure needed here.Can increase power sales here, but need to control peak demand on our grid
    Winston Adams

  13. REMARKABLE , Alteen says power sales decreased last year, ( after record Hp installations), of negative 0.8 %.
    Nalcor forecast power sales to increase to + 0.8 % from growth in baseboard heat, that from Nfld Hydro forecaster Stratton, who testified he would do the same forecast all over again, (and not use end-use models that would allow what we see now).
    Stratton got the number right 0.8 % but the wrong direction!
    Winston Adams

  14. As to the 5% reduction resulting in a 4% rate increase … consider that I added a multi head ductless heat pump to a baseboard heated house and reduced the annual kWh consumption (entire bill, not just heating) by exactly 35%. I have compared bills over the last several years and it is a very consistent decrease.

    Does this imply a 28% increase due to heat pumps on top of the doubling is required? It is 12 cents now — double + 28% would be 30 cents per kWh. At those rates, if you do not have a heat pump, you use oil or propane or wood and the spiral continues.

    I think a better way to look at it is to focus on the billion a year to operate the system. It can't be covered by electricity rates. It isn't coming from a doubling of the income tax or by exterminating K-12 education or a 30% cut (salaries + benefits for all eastern health staff are about 800 million) in the health care system. It is going to come from the federal government as part of some bargain (austerity or loss of independence).

    • Not exactly:
      1. if you use a Hp, and reduce energy use, and an oil or wood user installs a Hp and adds load it cancels
      2. If you use a hp and also an EV one reduces and the other adds load.
      3 If you use hp and and others do switching as per item 1, and also uses EVs, it adds more load and helps mitigate rates
      4. Item 3 is the rationale of Synapse and for cold climate models like yours, it reduces peak load to permit EVs and switching, and an argument why cold climate models only should get incentives as an over all plan, to reduce existing peak load from baseboard. But likely will be opposed as can affect Fortis shareholders, who take priority over customers.

    • I guess it is hard to predict human behavior. Assuming that monthly bills are a great motivator, nobody will use baseboard for primary heating. So baseboard electric -> heat pump electric.

      Electric vehicles are a wild card, however I do see more talk of supporting the grid with the car batteries while they are parked at home. Nissan is supporting V2H (vehicle to home) in Australia as an energy asset. Thousands of EVs that could supply power when needed, and charge during periods of surplus energy would be an alternative to the Tesla battery.

      There was a transporation association conference a year ago. One of the hot topics was the uptake of EVs and automonous vehicles. Will they be a service run by fleet companies (Avis/Hertz etc.) — you order it and it arrives at the curb by itself and when you done, it goes elsewhere? Will seniors use them and become more mobile? Will people send them out empty to kill time rather than paying to park? Nobody really knows how it will all play out and this is complicating urban planning.

      I do believe that it would be a waste to have tens of thousands of 60 kWh batteries connected to homes and not have an integrated plan to support the grid like a giant Tesla battery.

  15. Did NP's ALteen today redeem Stan Marshll's of his dumb statement when he said to Leblanc recently that heatpumps do not reduce the power grid peak demand? Anyone paying attention from the Shadow Inquiry?
    Even PENG2 abandoned the discussion? That dumb statement can't stand as the whole truth, nor truth at all. It was an Ed Martin type dumb statement. Worse even than Bruno saying sea temperature don't affect cod and capelin , which is not factual from a "so called environmentalist". But what was Stan's excuse? Stan : A very experienced person is the power utility business misled this Inquiry, but why?
    Winston Adams

    • I'm a minisplit user achieving results like the guy above getting 35% annual energy reduction. People like us wouldn't dare reach for the thermostat on a cold day even when the minisplits are struggling to meet the need. However, I have no expectations of ordinary folks to do the same. Most will say what odds and decide a few hours of baseboard heat a few days a year won't kill them. I don't trust to minisplits to resolve peak load requirements very much.

      That said, I do believe they will continue to proliferate reducing the winter energy profile a bit. Electrification of government buildings might offset those reductions while simultaneously worsening peak load demand which is just stupid policy. This probably leads to 30% efficient diesel turbines running because government removed 80% efficient oil heating systems.

    • Cold Climate Models. Winston, been looking at heat pumps with the objective of buying one. Are you familiar with the Costco, Lennox min-split. Is that one best for our weather?? Or maybe I should ask Stan. Cheers, average Joe.

    • 1. Units properly sized shouldn't struggle on a cold day, if they struggle they are undersized some.
      2 At -17C I have monitored units loaded to about 80% of rated capacity, so could handle temperatures lower.
      3 Tech savy people would keep the baseboard heaters off and not do night setback more than 1 degree. "Ordinary people" can be informed how to properly set and operate their units, not all but most would get it.
      4. Proper sizing is a contractor issue, few do heat loss calculations, and may tend to under size .
      5. Nfld Power does NOT recommend cold climate models for residential and so contributes to our grid increasing high peaks form inferior models via Take Charge. Shameful.

    • Joe, I think Lennox may not be recommended, NS has a comprehensive list of approved CC models, about 10 or more different manufactures and about 4 or 5 of those handled by local contractors.
      I think Costco and Home depot etc handle models that are a bit cheaper and inferior for our climate, and actually what Nfld Power would say is OK, because it uses more electricity and does not reduce peak load on the coldest days.
      Why have they not duplicated NS list for here? Deception is their game.
      Key is to see the units chart showing power used low temperature and shows their COP (coefficient of performance) under the cold conditions. Contractors should have this, and often is available online, but NS cites minimum performance for cold climate.

    • WA @ 11:28:

      I am still puzzled as to why people are expecting a for-profit corporation to either assist in setting up or rebel against public policy – public policy is the prevue of government and those who vote. And I still don’t accept that MF is going to enrich Fortis, the damage to Fortis is public perception (and most don’t understand the difference in NP, Hydro or Nalcor). Just who sets the path/direction for TakeCharge – is it a committee of investors, rate payers, PUB, government, NL Hydro or NP etc? This is the issue – TakeCharge is a policy, not a Fortis corporate practice; in the same way it is not the responsibility of Loblaw’s to advertize healthy eating options, that is for Health Canada.

      For those that listened, SM in 2010 was quite clear in his statements that NP was not going to be involved in a project that was government majority for some of the very reasons MF went bad. What SM didn't comment on in 2010 was the Engineering for MF – and it isn't his field anyway nor would he have had access to it, but he was 100% correct on the political stance (remember the 'boondoggle buffoon' comment by DW).

      My memory is the PUB said they didn't have enough info and didn't believe in MF viability in a limited 2012 review – so what else was to be said? Nobody wanted to listen or think then.

      What we are seeing now is the naysayer minority in 2012 being shown as being correct, unfortunate that the 80% of supporters now have jumped band wagons and blame everybody but themselves. Easy for everybody to be right in hindsight, but using foresight is more difficult.


    • WA @ 08:30:

      You are very technical on HPs, and it is appreciated. A large part of the problem is that about 5% of the population can be sufficiently educated on achieving best results.

      In reality, I'd expect 50% of your result as a realistic savings target among the general public.


    • Heat pump advice: Any cold climate model from a well known Japanese manufacturers like Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Daikin, Panasonic is a good choice. The inside head/fan units will be quiet, the automatic louvers will move up/down/left/right and the outside unit won't rust out. The bargain rebranded units are inferior but if the price is right and the warranty is long, you can treat them as disposable. These might be your best value.

      At the absolute bottom end, there have been some absolute junk sold locally in St. John's – things that literally rusted off the walls within a few years and were dead by year 5. UTL international is a good example.

      I'd consider the Chinese Gree. They claim to manufacture 30% of all heat pumps worldwide, and rebrand them for others. The ones sold under their name are probably their best. Companies of this size usually spend a lot on research and development.

      I chose a Daikin multi split because my neighbor had a Daikin and liked it (an air-to-water unit for floor heating). I can't recommend air-to-water unless you have a lot of spare cash.

      A few years from now, I expect another technological change. There will be a shift to very high pressure carbon dioxide (away from Chlorofluorocarbons) units that are far more efficient and can also heat domestic hot water.

  16. Re winter peak and heat pumps.

    If the heat pump is struggling and running at 100% on a cold day, it is still only on a 220V 20 amp curcuit. It can never draw more than a few baseboard heaters. If you look at your electric panel you will find many 20A circuits for baseboard heaters. By comparison, the heat pump is very frugal.

    If the heat pump can output enough to bring the room temperature up to 18C and you set your baseboard to 22C, then the baseboard only has to output the extra energy to add 4C to the house. It isn't like you switch to baseboard when you use it exclusively — it just becomes a supplement. At no time has the heat pump ever quit on a cold day. It is just limited by the temperature difference, the colder it gets outside, the less warm the air from the head units.

    My savings of 35% annual electric consumption are based on having a heated basement, 23C daytime in summer, 18C at night and air conditioning during hot or humid periods during the summer. On the coldest day, I program a few selected baseboards (usually the living room that has lots of windows) to give a few degrees of boost.

    When the baseboards are on with heat pump, they are running at about 20% while on, and at times turn off completely. The electronic thermostats rapidly turn them on/off to adjust output (1 second on, 5 seconds off for 20% power). The result of all this is that even during the coldest night, peak load is severely reduced compared to pure baseboard heating.

    As performance increases (I am thinking C02 pumps that claim 90C water and a COP of 3.9 = three hundred and ninety percent efficient), supplementary electric heating will never be needed on the Avalon peninsula of Newfoundland.

    The whole idea that heat pumps won't are aren't reducing the winter peak is dishonest. It is also a shame that we were replacing oil heat with electric heat in government buildings – it seems most unwise given the capacity problems.

    • Anony @ 10:22:

      The interaction between a HP and baseboard isn't as simple – the baseboard cuts in if temp drops under 22, the energy consumed by the baseboard doesn't directly depend on temperature except that the baseboard is cut in (ie its simply on/off, not a rheostat throttling consumption) and thus is only time dependent which is then related to heat loss.

      If the house is at 22 and temp drops to say 20 and the HP can only work upto 18 – then only the baseboard works to get the house from 20 to 22. Now the other influences are the outside weather, rate of heat loss through the house etc – WA would be much better to explain. It is incorrect to say the HP heats the house to 18 and the baseboard heats 18-22 – the baseboard is always cut in if temp is under 22 unless you are 'manually' manipulating the heaters.

      Though when you say a HP is frugal, you are 100% correct – my heating load in 6 breakers at 20amps.

  17. I am joining late on this expert this morning, but just heard him say that MFs is great because it has prove reliable alternative to CFs, and gives strength to dealing with HQ in 2o41!
    Let me get his straight: CFs is worth about 20 billion now , of whic we own 2/3, so = 13.3 B asset.

    We have spent 12.7 B and counting = to our full value of CFs, accumulated over almost 50 years, to prove an alternate route theat is neither economic nor yet proven reliable, all to give us strength fo rdealng with HQ in 2041. HQ own 1/3 anyway , and will not want to loose it's share of profit.
    This argument seems cracked at best. We face bankrupting ourselves over this and he says it was prudent move? What did I miss in the first 1.5 hrs of his testimony?

  18. Early in his testimony today the Inquiry's expert witness stated (paraphrased) that forecasts beyond 20 years are "meaningless".

    My 2012 Written Submission to the PUB stated in part that "Beyond 20 or 25 years, … forecasts become not only unreliable — but meaningless."

    Furthermore, as early as 13 November 2012, I wrote on my website:

    "…instead of building the Muskrat Falls dams and generation facility, if a $3 billion power purchase from Hydro Quebec… were combined with a Labrador Island Link alone, island ratepayers could save 10's of billions of dollars over 50 years. Such an option appears, by far, to be considerably GREENER and LOWER COST and deserves further analysis, consideration and evaluation………….. a 25-year power purchase from Hydro Quebec, combined with the Labrador-Island Transmission Line/Link would cost ratepayers, even in year one, about $150 million LESS THAN than Muskrat Falls.

    Furthermore, unlike Muskrat Falls (which escalates at 2% annually), a power purchase from Quebec would mean that rates would continue to decrease so that by year 2041 costs for ratepayers would be about $300 million a year (50%) LESS than with Muskrat Falls — and with the return of Upper Churchill power in 2041, electricity rates would DECREASE even further — BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN SAVINGS over 50 years.

    You can see that:

    . over the 50-year Muskrat Falls 'take or pay' contract period, the Muskrat Falls dams/generation facility will cost ratepayers about 5 times as much as a Labrador-Island Link
    . the costs for the Labrador-Island Link decreases over time because it is paid for using the industry standard Cost of Service (COS) method, while the cost of the Muskrat Falls dams/generation facility increases because Nalcor is using an escalating supply price scheme escalating at 2% annually that shifts costs to future ratepayers (our children and grandchildren)
    . supplying power to the island by way of a power purchase agreement with Quebec (instead of Muskrat Falls) has the potential to save island ratepayers about $500 million per year ($26 billion) over 50 years, and would facilitate access to near-zero cost Upper Churchill power in 2041


    . 10's of billions of dollars in savings
    . All (and more) of the environmental advantages of Muskrat Falls
    . Debt free
    . No need to share transmission ownership with Emera
    . Can buy energy as needed (no excess power that must be given away)
    . Frees up money to build a stronger transmission line and thereby improve reliability
    . Frees up money to build additional or higher capacity lines come 2041
    . No longer an 'isolated island'
    . Provides a 'cooperative' negotiating experience "PRE" 2041
    . Facilitates access to Upper Churchill Power come 2041
    . AVOIDS Muskrat Falls risks — such as cost overruns, higher interest rates, etc.
    . Provides power for Labrador mining companies (at lower cost to island ratepayers)

    In short — all of the advantages of Muskrat Falls —- WITHOUT the risks and weaknesses.

    It is time therefore to speak reasonably and collaboratively with Quebec".

    However, the Inquiry expert seems to suggest that such a solution might not have been reasonable at the time.

    See graphic at

  19. Coliavacovo pointed out that aggressive DSM was NOT considered in the MF decision. That means as some of us pointed out that spending a billion or so on DSM would have saved 15 billion that MF costs.

    That means the RATEPAYER would have saved upwards of 10 billion if DSM cost to deliver a SERVICE replaced MF. Think about that.

    • Too bad that alternative wasn't elaborated upon a bit more by the witness. It wasn't in his scope to delve further it appears. This is the type of area where I expect the Commissioner to come up short. Nonetheless a few very good critiques were made today. The failure of the PUB to explicitly say the project could be too big a risk is one of them. His opinion is the PUB abdicated responsibility and I think he is right. This left a void where Government then stepped in and made the decision with hardly a shred of PUB influence.

    • Nonsense, the PUB was denied financial info repeatedly by lawless Nalcor. Government chose NOT to insist the info was delivered and the PUB did ALL IT COULD! Some of us think they should have been more forceful.

      Are you a PEGzero reincarnation?

    • Anony @ 12:14:

      Maybe review what the PUB did say:
      The Board concludes that the information provided by Nalcor in the review is not detailed, complete or current enough to determine whether the Interconnected Option represents the least-cost option for the supply of power to Island Interconnected customers over the period of 2011-2067, as compared to the Isolated Island Option.

      If that statement wasn't enough to make people to pause and consider, then nothing will – people bought the DW 'energy warehouse' and were in love with the idea. Doesn't matter if the review by the PUB was incomplete or not, the public should have questioned the MF decision based on that statement alone.

      For reference, the PUB report is here:


    • ANd the PUB decision was pretty much as I wrote in my 2012 PUB Written Submission:–

      The evidence therefore before the Board (the cost estimates themselves, their quality and relationship) is not sufficient from which an objective and reasonable conclusion can be drawn that the Infeed Option is "least-cost"…………

      Accordingly, there are insufficient grounds on which the Board can reasonably, rationally and reliably conclude that the Infeed Option is least-cost. UNQUOTE

    • MA @ 14:29:

      I agree 100% – the question is why did the people not listen then? And the 2nd question becomes is why do we want to deflect blame now?

      The issue in NL is deeper than NL – it is that we believe hard-done by everybody but ourselves. Until we fix this attitude it wont change – the population will just wait for the next preacher from the pulpit.


    • PENG2, You say above that only about 5 % of the population can be educated to achieve best results for heat pumps, yet you expect most Nflders to have been educated on the vanity and imprudent MFs project.
      There are perhaps 100 technical issues impacting success or failure of MFs. Many engineers got it wrong in many respects, as you and I know, and as this Inquiry shows, so what chance did the public have to be educated on all that, form a handfull of informed naysayers?
      If only 5 % can be educated on heap pump best performance, I suggest only 1 % could be educated on MFs. If this so, you can't have it both ways.
      Now I disagree with your 5 % figure.
      Contractors and Take Charge (or Efficiency NL) should be doing the informing and educating residents on best practises. If good models and good sizing is done, here is what I think would get 80% doing the correct operating method….. . Tell them
      1. That they should avoid using baseboard or portable heaters, as they use 3 times more electricity than their heatpump. People who invest to save money on heat, will pay attention to the 3 times figure. Leaae a phamplet stating that.
      2. Do not set it back in the night time, as it makes it use more energy in warmup, but if any setback , not more than 1 degree, or if the house is vacant for at more than a week.
      3. Vacuum the indoor head filter 4 times a year; Nov, Jan, Mar, June.
      4. If the outdoor unit snows in, get rid of the snow.
      Anyone who can operate a automatic washer or dishwasher, should mange those simple instructions,
      Avoiding setback also permits grid peak reduction, without the person knowing this is very beneficial to saving fuel or conserving the hydro water resource. The 5 % you mention or more can understand that.
      Also, kids could understand and assist older people on the controller for up and down and off/on etc. 80 % of the buttons are not needed ……my wife is blind and she manages the basics: off, on, up and down, easier than the programable thermostat, because the hp controller beeps to tell her it got reset.

    • WA @ 19:16:

      Correction – I never 1x said people should understand the issues with MF, just that there was enough dissenting info out there that questions should have been raised. This is a big difference – FYI, I have also said that 90% only read the exec summary of a report and never bother the details. I stand by this.

      I think you over estimate the 'attention;' of most people – there is a big difference in understanding and living by a credo. Just how many people don't change smoke detector batteries, clean dryer vents, and have poor conservation habits. Even the poster above thinks his baseboard only supplements his HP – again a myth.

      I agree with your life theory but think NLer's are 'too green to burn', and I am born, bred and educated here which is sad to say about my kinfolk.


    • PENG2, got to agree, Nflders are too green to burn, stated by Morine I think, a century ago, is very applicable, but I suppose look at the USA and Trump supporters, that so many fall for falsehoods.
      Sorry if I misinterpreted you, that the issues are indeed complex, and that more questions should have been asked……..but I again say those in the know with clout should have been more vocal, Stan, ALteen, Vic Young even ( who did not make a public statement). How many business men/women supported MFs,or high profile people, how many supported it in public, and made written presentations?
      Today we hear that MFs was a"good times" project, so reflects Oil on the brain, like the person who wins the lottery, and is soon broke. We had our day in the sun, and then the fog moved in.
      And "too green to burn" includes letting Nfld Power fool us with meaningless measures for energy saving, a prime example, paid for with our own money. Nfld Power should be out of that business, as a conflict of interest, well recognised as to energy efficiency and conservation. Yet they want that. Why? As Gil Bennett said, We're here, we wear it" as to the boondoggle. Our failed CDM falls heavily on Nfld Power. They were/are proud of their poor record, as they took no steps to improve it.
      Now they will do the HP investigation …….again, having failed in their first attempt with a bogus report, by their own admission at the PUB. Are Nflders too green to trust them, I suggest yes. A long record of 2nd worst in the country. CDM here , 5 million a year here and should have been 40 million, and meaningful programs.
      Government didn't want it, and Nfld Power played along, good for shareholders with the status quo, as I see it, customers be dammed, too green to burn and don't know the difference. Sad to say, but my honest opinion. Yet understand Fortis would not have given us Muskrat, against their self interest to impoverish the province.
      We'll see how this shakes out for mitigation plans.

  20. The modelling did not include a two year delay on cost. This plus that a 50% cost overrun was not modeled. The result was a dramatic underestimation of the MF costs.

    Is MF fair to ratepayers? The risk is all on the ratepayers with a heavy burden until 2041!!!

    Transfer value to upcoming generations is a solution. In other words borrow even more money from future generations. Inter-generational transfer is the euphemism for stiffing your kids!

  21. Expert says for the Isolated should have " Start with Conservation, but that option was't done". Then says island hydro and wind to save fuel and gas turbines for backup.
    Stan's plan: island hydro and wind @ 1.1 billion cost.
    Bruno ways DSM only would save 15 billion MFs cost……DSM alone would not do it, and is a progressive build out over about a decade.
    Obviously both of these combined is by far best, with CDM and EE key, as the expert says that first in importance. Also new generation is an added cost, CDM is so efficient that is NOT a net cost, but helps to reduce yearly energy cost, (this known to 12,000 a year now installing HPs and reducing costs by 35 % as from comments by others above.

    Regardless, costs for the Isolated would have been less than 2 billion. This expert says MFs competitive even at low loads and low fuel price and 25 % over budget, so this way out of line with Stan's, Bruno, or my estimation. Maybe questionable at how low of load he uses, and how much fuel could be saved with wind. His figures seem very suspect to suggest MFs was rational at the time. That is BS.

  22. Again, today's expert witness speaks of ratepayers forced into a disproportionate high risk situation.

    But I would suggest that all, or most all, of the issues raised today WERE KNOWN and KNOWABLE well before Muskrat was sanctioned;

    Here's another excerpt from my website, originally posted mid 2012:


    Ratepayers NOT PROTECTED — WHY NOT?

    In 2007, Premier Dunderdale said:

    “the (oil) companies needed some downside protection if the price of oil went very, very low.”

    Now why would offshore oil companies need to be "protected" against low oil prices?

    If multi-billion dollar oil companies need protection against low oil prices, what will low oil prices mean for Muskrat Falls, for government, —– for ratepayers ?

    70% of the so-called cost advantage of Muskrat Falls is due to Nalcor's 50-year, high, very high, oil cost forecast.

    In short, the viability of Muskrat Falls depends on oil prices going HIGH, and staying HIGH — VERY HIGH.

    So if oil prices go lower, (and oil companies are protected), will ratepayers also be 'protected' from the "locked-in" take or pay 50-year rates imposed by Muskrat Falls?

    In short —— NO.

    If oil prices go low, ratepayers are still LOCKED IN to Nalcor's 50-year "take or pay" contract. That way, Nalcor is protected — AT THE EXPENSE OF ratepayers!

    So, since the Premier recognizes that oil companies (and Nalcor by way of its 50-year, 'take or pay' contract) need protection from low oil prices, why is that so? And why then is there no protection for ratepayers?

    Since ratepayers are not protected, how then (and for whom) does Muskrat Falls make sense?

    NOT HAVING "low oil price" protection for island ratepayers is the Muskrat Falls EQUIVALENT of a not having an "escalator" clause in the Upper Churchill contract.

    Surely, that should be a non-starter.


    Ratepayers NOT PROTECTED — WHY NOT?

    In the case of Muskrat Falls, ratepayers/taxpayers are doubly at risk. While Nalcor is also protected (through its 'take or pay' contract) against 'low demand', there is NO PROTECTION for ratepayers (and taxpayers) against low demand.

    If demand is lower than forecast, Nalcor still MUST HAVE the hundreds of millions in cash flow every year to meet its debt servicing and operating costs ($14.5 billion over 50 years) — and those BILLIONS must come from island ratepayers or taxpayers. UNQUOTE

  23. We all, concerned citizens, should not be surprised of this state of ratepayer risk. Thank you David Vardy, and others, (Shadow Inquiry), who persisted with the General Inquiry, forcing the Leaders??, to tell all. What action now? Where will the Minority Government take us next? Keep the heat on your MHA, MP, and Municipal Council. Liberals are active, here in Cranbrook this morning, putting funding in the energy upgrading of Native housing. Demand the same for NL. Cut the waste energy in your own community. Time is running out.

  24. THE BUMP OR THE BULDGE. No one seems to be addressing that. Experts can talk till the cows come home, and it don't mean a row of beans. There was no business case to be made for muskrat power being on the island, 1100 km and we didn't need 600 or 800 mw, or be shipped on to NS or New England. Therefore our plan of attack back then should have been directed at the bump, and that should still be the objective to get rid of the 3 month winter bump. Now what genius could tackle that and solve the problem, for maybe less than a billion. Was heat pumps of different forms the vehicle to achieve that. So what if it added 5 or 10 thousand to new house construction, that was better than adding 15$B for everyone. Joe blow.

    • Boyz, if you can't get your Municipal plan reviewer to reject all permits involving baseboard heating, how in the name of C—— are you going to bring about the necessary change to the power demand, to offset more capital expenditures, putting more stress on rate and tax payers!! Enough of this "what might have been" talk.

    • The Battle of the Bulge: how to shave the Nfld peak.
      Do laundry at 11 PM says BM. Time shifting. Synapse suggests it is one tool, but Nlfd power says it is of little benefit to Nfld, On this Nfld power is right Bruno , as usual is wrong, like his Bruno battery or solar PV solution,
      It's a matter of arithmetic. Time shifting may work some in NS, where load profiles may be different.
      Now as to Bruno's laundry, does he use cold or hot or warm water, for wash and rinse? And his dryer, electric resistance heat or the clothes line, or the heat pump dryer?
      Didn't Alteen say new meters for time shifting would cost 70 million? There are better ways to skin a cat, or shave a hump. Robert is right, baseboard heat is the main culprit, technical called resistance heaters. Building codes must change. And they still use 10 watts per sq ft as used in the 1960s! Now they will converts schools etc to resistance heat, just need to add a few gas turbines for backup.DUMB and DUMBER

  25. Kudos to co-counsel Collins.

    The first time yet that I have seen insightful, precise and eye-opening questioning about the flaws in Nalcor's forecast modelling.

    Many naysayers were aware of these very significant flaws and put them out there in a general/high level fashion, but Collins has nailed the essence of some of these flaws that up til now have had no one with credibility able to clearly flesh them out.

  26. I have to disagree Bruno.

    I have not heard mumbling from Collins. I find him precise, methodical, and focused on what he sees as important (and sometimes) deeply flawed aspects of Nalcor's assumptions, analyses, etc.

    • I must agree with MA, fully and add that Collins has a stammer in his speech, that is I tend to like, indicating careful and logical thought, I suggest.
      On technical matters he is exceptionally good, indicating preparation in advance, and sceptical of Nalcors many ways of deception of technical issues.
      Bruno says technical issues are technobable, so I would not expect Bruno to appreciate Collin's skill, that surpasses Hogan and Budden , who at times do very good. Also Collins in new here, to o bad he was not around at questioning of Stratton and the Trio who impressed Leblanc with their BS, now known to be BS for best practice forecasting.

    • Only your incessant blather about very little that I call technobabble, don't demean others who have something useful to add to informed discussions winston.

      You don't speak for me, you barely can speak for yourself!

    • I have to type actually, to correct your lack of knowledge, Bruno, but you can squeak a lot. I seldom speak, perhaps I just mumble, more so. My numbers and arithmetic says much more.
      Meanwhile, what fishery course did you take,and duration, 2 hr, 2 weeks? Why the silence? And was it on cod or capelin or jelly fish?
      Did they have a spine or back bone or hide behind a rock or in kelp? Don't keep UG readers in suspense as to your fishery training. Now I have hearing problems too, but did not hear Collins mumble.

    • Again I am not your chimp. One thing for sure your rants are incoherent. Please your attempts at humour are painful.

      Again please leave me alone. You pump that fragile ego with your verbal masturbation. It chases thoughtful input as you have been repeatedly told.

      You are in the wrong place as well as knowing little about capelin.

      Get thee to where they roll and say hi to my friend Victoria.

      "Find Where the Capelin are Rolling, Online

      Residents are tracking the capelin action on a new website called eCapelin.

      Victoria Neville, a specialist with World Wildlife Fund in St. John’s, says they started rolling in Trout River before making their way to the South Coast, Port aux Port Peninsula, Placentia and then to the St. John’s area.

      She suspects Conception and Trinity Bay will be next to see the pelagic fish.

      eCapelin allows people to upload photos of the capelin, write comments, upload and place the information on an interactive map of the province."

    • Bruno, you are indeed my money.
      Your comments on capelin is what I have reported here as to both ecapelin and calelin calander, this year but also last year. A monkey learns to imitate, and you state what I have stated already several times from those sources.
      Further, I have made thousands to visits to beaches or seashore to monitor capelin rollings. Bet no one at WWF can match my quantity of visits, and likely none of few take sea temperatures as I do.
      Who is your friend Victoria? DId she take the same fishery course as you on capelin, cod or jelly fish? Is she an expert like you?
      UG readers waiting for your qualification, but your spin, and twist and hide. Why. What do you fear? Bruno is a fake environmentalist? The monkey should not outdo his master, but you try but restating my comments on ecapelin.
      ANd you are a week late as to Conceptions and Trinity Bays. ANd ecaplin is slow and secondary to capelin calander, Sanders website.

    • Least I state a number in error, Bruno, I just checked my CAPELIN FILE FOLDER:
      I checked one year and get about 200 visits for monitoring the sea temperature. As i did this for 10 years, it would indicate about 2000 times, I expect a bit less, maybe 1800 or so, but close to 2000, so not off much to say thousands, but not more than 2 thousand.
      Let me know if you know someone who has done this more, or at all?

    • Thank you TM for pointing out an error: I said @12:58 I have made thousands of visits to beaches or seashore to monitor capelin rollings. At 14:05 I said 200 a year for monitoring sea temperature. I looked quickly at my file, about 200 per page, and I thought a page for each year, but each page covers about 3 years
      My purpose was to monitor sea temperature to coordinate with capelin rolling.
      Example for 2006, from my data:
      6 visits in May
      9 visits in June
      19 visits in July
      2 visits in Feb,
      For 2004, about 60 readings , for 2005 about 70 readings. So over 10 years about 600-700 readings.
      Temperature changes little in winter so a few reading are adequate. As they roll mostly in July , I took frequent readings to try and coordinate the timing and temperature in this period.
      Not good to speak or type too quick,being goaded by Bruno, and make an error, deserving of your WOW.

      For forecasting rolling in advance, here is my data
      1999……June 23, actual June 18
      2000……July 3, actual July 4
      2001……July 9, actual July 10
      2002……July 14, actual July 14
      2003……June 27, actual June 28
      2004……june 27, actual June 28
      Other years I did not yet plot them for accuracy.

  27. "HINDSIGHT BIAS" suggested Nalcor's lawyer Dan Simmons to the Inquiry expert. How much of the issue of technology change is hindsight bias he asked. Ed Martin's lawyer too, Harold Smith was taken up with this technology change thing.
    We heard that Nalcor used only about 10 input scenarios to their Strategist forecaster model. Yet MHI says 80 or maybe as many as 200 would be applicable.
    UG reader may recall me saying Stratton and the Trio should be all fired for incompetence for their false forecast which got Muskrat out of the gate. Without that, there could be no case, we did not need the power, except as concocted by Stratton and friends.
    Recall that when they testified, Dan and others nodded in agreement that these issues: econometric, and end-use modelling and technological change factors were all too complex for mere mortals following this Inquiry to understand. Leblanc agreed, thanking the Trio for explaining a complex subject, which was hardly explained at all. Dan was very relieved, got that behind him.
    Basically Stratton put garbage in and got garbage out ( as Gilbert said about Quantitative Risk Analysis)
    PENG2 agreed months ago on this blog, one should run many scenarios to see what they tell you. Various combinations, not just a few stand alone inputs.
    Ideally: various combinations of CDM, island hydro, wind and gas turbines. Allow for efficiency improvements from changing technology goig forward. This is common sense stuff, but was not done. Inexcusable. Unless you argue this is now hindsight!
    But the expert said other utilities do this for robust planning. Simmonds tried in vain to argue that the forecasters acted reasonably with what they knew then, and should not be judged on what we know at this time. The expert said you should assess all the scenarios. He cited improvements in wind turbines and lower cost power, and improvements of 5 % in gas turbine efficiency as standard stuff.
    Yet he missed the most important example: heating technology!
    We all know that the excuse for MFs was to address our growing electric heating problem. Yet heating had seen, not 10 or 20 % efficiency improvement, but 300 %, a disruptive technology to traditional baseboard heat. Yet this was not modelled with the Strategist program! That Nova Scotia started incentives for them in 2008, and were installing 20,000 a year by 2011, was ignored by engineer Stratton! That our climate surpassed much of Nova Scotia for operating efficiency was ignored! That cold climate models permitting operation to -20C or lower and COPs exceeding 2 at low temperatures was all ignored!
    Nfld with perhaps the highest electric heating load of any jurisdiction, this technology pointed to this being distruptive for Nlfd Power system loads.
    Now this morning on VOCM , the Inquiry new says; Peter Alteen alarmed at 12000 heatpumps installed in 2018! OMG, not only Stratton didn't see it coming, neither did Nfld Power! And if you believe that, you will also now believe these units cannot reduce the grid peak demand, because Stan Marshall said so. ALteen corrected that partially, by saying they had low temperature limits. But no lawyer asked Atleen what those limits are,and he did not offer the information.
    Of course informed UG reader know, as I had documented it last year, and also provided information to the PUB in 2012, and since then. But the big lie is out there: They will all fail in our adverse winter conditions. ALL WILL FAIL. DOCUMENTED IN THE ICF REPORT , with the caveat that ICF don't believe it is true.
    What games are played by our power companies, at or expense.
    Hindsight bias, yes, for sure. Take a note on that Commissioner, no one knew, neither at Nalcor, Nfld Power, nor Nfld Hydro. Engineers didn't know, but now 12,000 homeowners know of 300 % efficiencies, in just one year.
    Winston Adams

  28. By the way Des, Marshall's assertion that the polity was told and therefore share in the blame misses the point. The problem remains that Nalcor is a political construct empowered with exalted powers and unlimited access to the treasury.

    The late Jane Jacobs called utilities that rather than providing a SERVICE as intended become monstrous hybrids as instruments of public policy. When they are afforded the secrecy Nalcor has the results are a fifteen billion disaster that still has technical issues yet to be addressed like the spur, the GE software circus about to begin and how robust the under-designed transmission proves to be.

    The solution MUST be kill Nalcor, focus on providing a service and not building monuments to arrogance and vanity.

    NL needs NLHydro to provide a reliable service and behave like a utility not a piggybank for megalomaniacal political bullies.

    The "inquiry is about done and the root of the dysfunction of both the utility and your political system remain unexplored. If the project exceeds the expected cost by 50% or more, now a virtual certainty, this eventuality was not modeled for! Why was this possibility not considered? It did not fit the POLITICAL AGENDA and everyone delivered the 6.4 billion lie.

    Nalcor must die, the PUB must be restored as a functioning regulator and access to information must be restored.

    The "inquiry" has exposed no flaws and has just provided cover until the election was over. Get ready for a cost update or another WHOOPS moment.

  29. Nalcor's counsel and the expert witness saying that MF creates a fairness issue in the 2020 to 2041 period that increases the benefit to ratepayers from MF.

    Is not that benefit cancelled out by the loss to taxpayers/ratepayers due to the poor economic and fiscal position created by MF in the period leading up to 2041 —– another delusional, so-called benefit.

    And inquiry and other counsel should rectify that issue to the Commissioner.

    • ANd again, Nalcor's CPW DID NOT take into account the risk variability of oil prices and load in the long, long, long 50 year comparison period (and that relates to an argument I made weeks ago that discounting itself does not thereby reduce the real risk/impact of long range oil price and load forecasts at the 30, 40, 50 year periods so that there impact is essentially negated back to the present time.

  30. Expert says since 1989 Integrated Resource Planning is the norm because of many more options to consider from CDM options etc. This was not done here.
    Dan suggests this approach can be costly
    Expert says its's an up front expenditure to make sure your investment is as good as possible, if not you risk being inefficient and offer poorer choices to your customers.

    SO : Nfld POWer and Nfld Hydro poor CDM and not considered in planning has landed us where we are.
    Now Nfld power will do some of this, after the fact for mitigation assessment. Lesson: Dumb and dumber approach.
    Winston Adams

  31. How is it possible that many of the individuals responsible for this "boondogle" remain employed at Nalcor? I would have been fired or offered my resignation long ago! The "headman" took his pension and parted ways with Nalcor. Why haven't his friends followed, voluntarily or involuntarily?
    It's also interesting to see discussion on risk, its significance and potential impacts given our small economy. This should have been obvious from the beginning. In my view it was deliberately left out of the discussion by senior management and others in leadership positions both elected and unelected.
    It also seems as if a lightbulb has been illuminated on the potential impact to our economy if $700M plus is withdrawn to pay for Muskrat Falls. With meaningful discussion finally taking place on some of the alternatives, I really don't see how the small number of middle class folks in this province can or for that matter willingly will acquise and ultimately pay for it. No one else can! I've also noticed more and more homes come on the market, admittably in the east end, and remain unsold. Is it the Cost-Co affect or perhaps reflective of something more sinister which could spill over into the entire economy of our small province?
    As someone who has recently entered retirement, I and I suspect like many others am considering moving to Ontario. I really have no desire to struggle to heat my home, pay higher taxes, drive on marginally maintained roads, endure marginal or perhaps minimal healthcare standards, pay higher rates for airfare and for that matter food. I've enjoyed living here and raising my family but perhaps it is time to move on. Lots of communities in Northern Ontario are quite affordable and offer many amenities.
    While its difficult to predict the future, one can look south and the economic predicament faced by Puerto Rico. While there are many differences, climate and population size, among others we share similar or comparable per capita dept levels and a declining population. And perhaps most importantly a need for a Federal Bail Out!

  32. I agree with you on NALCOR.

    I have know idea how some of the “key” individuals who led all of us, NALCOR included into the deep dark abyss that we have now, how they still have their jobs is beyond comprehension?

    I feel quite sure is it were you or me we would have long been unceremoniously removed from our jobs WITH CAUSE!

    I can understand how they haven’t left on their own?

    Their are still riding the ego/money train until their next “cash cow” comes along!

    All of which is “cold comfort” (pun fully intended) for those of us who remain in the Province and have to try and pay for this mess!

    There is little doubt that unless some drastic measures take place, the trickle down effect of trying to pay/subsidize Muskrat Falls year over year for the next 57 years is going to put a huge strain on trying to deliver all of the services that our Government is tasked with carrying out!

    You may very well be into something that people will give a second thought if they actually want to work and retire in this Province with our current state of financial uncertainty?

    I guess only time will tell?

    Onward through the Muskrat Fog!

  33. Most interesting today is the comments to Consumer Advocate comments on CBC, when he said Nflders would do best to take the future of their electricity bills into their own hands…"consumers probably need to take control of their own density" while acknowledging many can't afford to switch from baseboard to heatpumps.
    Comment summary:
    What an insulting comment
    Let them eat cake is what is he is saying
    Eff Galway, Eff Costco, or any business that sets up there
    Stay out of Dannyville
    Browne has turned his back on low income Nflders who can't afford heat pumps. Time for Browne to be removed
    Lower use, higher rates? What a Frigging joke!!! Bloody vultures
    Same economics that MUN hack Wade Locke used.
    This Dannydoggle just keeeps getting worse
    Don't support Galway
    Only ones "controlling my own denstiny" is Nalcor executives, construction companies owners and politicians
    Go to the Confederation Bldg and stay warm, can 2000 join me all winter?

    This in relation to the 7 % hike now looked for. Imagine if rates were 22 cents?
    Indeed , seems like Browne says he cannot help consumers, so who is he advocating for? Why is he getting paid?
    When did CAs ever advocate for consumers, Johnson voted for Muskrat, now Browne seems to abandon residential consumers. He likely got a heatpump, same as Stan, Gil And Danny. So do I, in my cottage, and will install in the main house soon.
    Browne says when MFs was considered, nobody put into consideration that electricity consumption could go down if strict demand side management conservation measures were in place. Really Mr Browne? Must have missed my analysis published in the Telegram?

  34. re discussions of baseboard + heat pump and peak demand here is my take given that no thermostat will integrate baseboard and heat pump automatically: comments welcome.

    Most heat pumps are not large enough for the absolute coldest day of the year, and the hot air blowing out of them is only warm during the coldest of nights. As room temperature gets close to the thermostat setting, the pump slows down (less heat), especially those units marked "inverter". Inverter is just an efficient technique to run fans and compressors at variable speeds.

    Scenario: Baby, its cold outside. Desired room temperature is +23C. You have a modern heat pump and baseboard electric.

    Solution: Set the heat pump to 25C day / 20C night. Set the baseboard to 23C day / 18C night. The room will never get to 25C day or 20C night so the heat pump will be running at 100% of its potential, i.e. it will run continuously and at full power. The electric baseboard will add just enough wattage to heat the room up to 23C/18C and then cut out for several minutes at a time or smoothly reduce output (if you have an electronic thermostat like a Honeywell / Aube).

    When the weather improves, the heat pump will warm the house to 25C/20C and you will then turn off the baseboards and reduce the settings on the heat pump.

    Additional background: When sizing a heating system, you look at the insulation values (U values) of walls, windows, attic ceiling and then multiple the areas of each (windows, walls, doors) by its U value times the maximum temperature difference. If you want to heat a house to 20C when it is -20C outside, then this difference is 40C. This calculation gives you the approximate watts (or British thermal units) required to get the house to 20C when it is -20 outside. You can add extra for drafts and mechanical ventilation (heat exchanger) but you are still in the ball park.

    You need this wattage (power) to get to 20C. You want as much as this power to come from the heat pump, and to use the baseboards only for extra needed.

    On a really cold day, the performance of a heat pump will drop. You might be getting 200% instead of 300% efficiency. You will also be adding some extra wattage from the baseboards at 100% efficiency. Peak load on the grid is still down because the heat pump is still working, and still more efficient than baseboard. I have never had my heat pump cut out due to cold in St. John's during the last five years. Only ice storms have shut it down by encasing the unit in an ice cocoon.

    • Thank you for useful info for those looking for a HP. Others have provided little info beyond my way (the attic install) and only my way, never mind the condensation problems, without the general advice on practical usage of HP in concert with baseboard heat.

      Don't make the mistake I made and get drawn into rabbit holes with the its only my way guy and what qualifications do you have to give practical advice (that I am unable to provide the curious) and that I have no specific knowledge or training about!

      I am getting to old to deal with the wood backup I have been using (to hydronic oil heat) and am interested in trying a HP. I currently use the oil to set the bottom temperature 17-18C and the wood to stay above the thermostat temperature.

      Thanks for the advice.

    • Inverter: yes allows variable speeds, and generally improves efficiency 30 % over single speed. But at milder temperatures, spring and fall, and occassional in winter, at low speed this is partial loading on the compressor, and if at 47F unit is rated at COP of 3.5, this assumes full load, but at part load, this COP can be as high at 5.5 or 6.
      If for a -20 C day, and your unit is sized so it can exactly meet that load without baseboard, and so running at 100% rated, expect COP of 2.5 For Nfld. But if the unit is sized to handle -23C, then at -20C, it is likely running about 80 % of its rated capacity,so the compressor is part loaded, and COP increases to about 2.7.
      This shows it is prudent to oversize the unit a little to handle the absolute coldest day, to optimise performance, but certainly should not under size, exactly meeting the coldest is a reasonable compromise, since undersizing drives the compressor to very high speed and a significient loss of COP then.
      Some may argue that over sizing leads to cycling at milder temperatures, and loss of efficiency there. But that loss is little compared to the gain from slight over sizing. The gain is from the lower residential energy used, but also very important for reduced system peak demand drop. The power company should be aware of this and "discourage" any undersizing, if concerned about conservation or customer power bills, and fuel savings.
      You say on a real cold day you might get COP of 2 instead of 3. I have monitored getting 2.7 at -17C, but units were oversized a little. So I would expect about 2.5 if sized to match the load. Many manufactures claim COP of 3 at -15C, but this does not account for some frosting from RH , which will occur, so allowance must be made .

    • Bruno is going for a heat pump, that is BREAKING NEWS, but has a stock of native coal in his shed for backup. He discourages attic mounting of the compressor, which in fact, is tricky to do, but offers many advantages. Data of 2.7COP at -17C is for non attic mounted, which most will do. Bruno is full of S..t , as usual. Proper attic mounting causes no condensation problems, so fake news, typical Bruno. Performance provided to the PUB, and highly praised by no less than NP engineer, was not for attic mounting, knowing most will not do that, so is more representative for expectations for most good installations. Guess Bruno did not look at that information. So my way or nothing is false, and deliberate by Bruno.
      Bruno is like the power companies who desire poor installations to sell more energy. I showed attic mounting that is optimum option, but also for regular outdoor best practise and practical and less than optimum.
      Take my advise or Bruno's, and too for solar and Bruno batteries, he offers world class advise, a technobabble wizard. I can only laugh at him for his humour content, I cannot compete with him there. I will try and get him a fake iron ring, a piece of rebar wire should do, and he will be pleased as peacock.

    • SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on you Bruno. From the past I thought you were strictly a wood burner, wood is renewable , so not an issue with GHG impact. Wood is even better for the environment than a HP if the electricity is produced by dirty coal or oil or gas. So wood burning was good for a "professed" environmentalist.
      Now in addition at promoting dirty native coal for NS electricity, we learn Bruno is also a oil burner. He promoted coal , like used in the Kyle, and uses oil, not muck better than Bunker C used for the old Holyrood units. What other secrets has he kept form us? Oil for back up he says! Likey he does a lot of backing up, getting old as he says. My brother is 76, and still burns wood, almost excluseively, no oil or propane.
      He is upset I have asked his qualification on capelin and cod, and appears to have zilch, ( saying he is unable to satisfy the curious)…….many UG readers are curious, I suggest, after him making a DUMB statement that water temperature does not affect fish. Make the mistake of going down a rabbit hole he says. More like a fish hole. And a coal and oil hole. Now Bruno enters the heatpump hole,again, with words of wisdom. Practical advise he says. That's an hole where Stan and Alteen get lost and mislead.
      Some think Bruno is Greg Malone. Are you bitter, Bruno, that we see your other side?

    • Have you evaluated the solar hot water installation in Okotokes, AB. A cluster of town houses, (50 or so), Drake Landing, have solar collectors, storing water at 80C for the Winter. Requires collaboration at the planning level on Urban and Suburban development. When temperatures drop, cluster together, like a bunch of bees and stay warm.

  35. It seems Leblanc did not accurately paraphrase the witnesses position that government could have negotiated with the feds (and others) if it could conclude that the economics to continue with Muskrat (as planned) no longer made sense to continue.

    The witness did not suggest that that would only have been possible BEFORE 2016, but suggested that that would have been appropriate even if at or after 2016 it was determined to be economically feasible and then the other restrictive agreement re-negotiated with the feds/others.

  36. Anon @ 09:48;
    You say most heat pumps are not large enough for the absolute coldest day of the year.
    This is true due, but only due to the selection of sizing, most are undersized causing attempts as you suggest to supplement. This is not true due to a lack of capacity of cold climate heat pumps to meet the absolute coldest day. This is an important distinction and critical to reducing grid peak load for 80 % or 90 % or 99% of 100 % of all winter days.
    It goes to the heart of the question of why Stan Marshall made the DUMB statement and mislead the Commissioner, and why Peter ALteen, only muddied the water, to say heatpumps have limits, without defining the limits,so never stated the"whole truth" and again, a DUMB statement and misleads the Commissioner and the public.
    Your experience is correct, that low temperature is NOT the critical issue for shut down or maximum loss of efficiency, but icing, and this happens at much milder temperatures, -2C to +2 C, under outdoor very high humidity, typical wet snow or high mist, and when grid peak demand is considerably less than at cold conditions.
    What is your technical background? You have technical knowledge and experience it seems.

    MA @ 11:09
    Agree, it seems a start /go analysis was prudent before or after Stan's arrival, and that negotiations with the Feds and NS was an option, given, the clock was ticking daily to the point where it could be too late. Seems this expert does not agree with PENG2 that it was too late based on a casual, rule of thumb , by Stan.

    • Good to see you very alert PENG2 , and haven't seen P-03589 nor many other exhibits. This expert seemed to heave it an open question, and I will let time tell if it was prudent to continue or not, I hope this asset has value to justify completion.
      Can you reply to my prior questions on the North Spur, which seems important?

    • WA @ 12:14:

      I wont comment on another Engineers design – he might have other info that I am not privy to.

      I have previously said I think the testing and investigation was insufficient and it is no secret to those that have read my comments as to what I thought is a complete testing matrix – being insufficient means I cant say if safe or not safe. Without the necessary testing matrix, talk of mitigations, soil reinforcements / improvement etc is pretty meaningless – clay solutions don't work in silt and a methodology for a soft clay may not work in a hard clay.

      Not the first time I have typed this, not sure what else you questioned me on.

      For reference the 2 GT reports are P-00014 and P-01677, and the legal opinion of pause/halt etc options for MF commissioned in March 2016 is exhibit P-03589.


    • Basically I think, given your interest, experience and knowledge in this field, and if no data is hidden from you that you can access, and your opinion is that testing and investigation is insufficient to say if this is safe or not, it clearly implies it is a crap shoot, and may fail. This is a most serious situation, alarming I suggest.
      Stan's or Ball's assurance means nothing except blind faith in others, and such faith you do not have.
      If Bruno says the Spur is not safe, is one thing, for you , entirely different.
      If I were Leblanc, I would subpena you to appear, order Nalcor and their consultants for all data to be available to you, and then report back to him. This is life and death stuff.
      Leblanc said he would not review the North Spur design, but you are or were a consultant for Nalcor, and this your field.
      Failing that, I feel you have an obligation to go public before this starts filling on Aug 7th.
      A expert panel is probably best to assess, but how do you react if this fails and there is life lost?
      Winston Adams

    • WA @ 16:42:

      The best approach if a Spur review were to be undertaken would be by assembling a panel – I am well experienced, but my CV wouldn't even be close to what would be needed on a review/design panel), but my CV isn't close to the league of those needed to review this technically challenging of a problem.

      This is type of review is in the league of true experts – probably best suited for the US Army Corp, NGI, UCLA-Berkley, C-Core etc.


    • Understood, but what worries me is that Leblanc has only heard evidence from non experts in this field, if I am correct, and all Nalcor or govn has a bias, and there is opinion out there that questions Nalcor's assurances, but no expert called with dissenting opinion. Pretty one sided evidence, stating 30 studies all support safety, and you agree that a panel is best.
      Likewise, various witnesses reference efficiency experts, issues discussed beyond their expertise, but this Inquiry has called no efficiency expert. Nothing to show how Nova Scotia is achieving big success from CDM and efficiency since 2008, but this Inquiry, questions put only to non experts in this field.
      Leblanc seems to defer to the the PUB and Synapse, yet this important :why was it ignored by Nalcor and Nfld Hydro as to alternatives. How can reasonableness of assumptions used by forecasters and planners, for load growth, if this ignored by this Inquiry? This subject has been discussed at a very high level, I suggest, no deep dive, nor a shallow dive to permit reasonableness consideration by Leblanc.
      Please comment, and if outside his scope, then this a problem I suggest as to what went wrong.

    • WA 2 17:49:

      I don't think LeBlanc needs to dive into the weeds on a lot of this – he has more than enough to state that in terms of articles 4a, 4b and 4c that Nalcor/Government were deficient in their actions.

      The item 4c, ie determining if the PUB being excluded caused 'harm' is going to be tougher to figure out – the PUB said it didn't have the information to make a proper assessment – so, the MF decision becomes a government policy decision that over ruled all common sense.

      I just am not sure the Inquiry needs to delve into the details – just determine if government / Nalcor decision making was totally of the rails. The rest of the fixing the policy making processes at Nalcor and Government will follow through when the LeBlanc report says no notes, forecasting etc was totally BS.

      The biggest issue uncovered to date is that the lack of documentation and the fact that Nalcor deliberately hid $300m prior to sanction – the rest will be muddied by opinion.

      There are no issues with the ToR – plenty broad. The report wont be read by most – and most wanted a shorted time frame and called it politics by being after the Nov election date. Go back and see what I said then – my opinion is unchanged (though most have changed).


    • PENG2, as to testing matrix, I assume you mean that sufficient tests holes and sampling of the material at the Spur, on a grid layout as to spacing, so you have sufficient data to do a proper design, and this would show quantity and characteristics of clay and silt and sand even?
      You feel this has not been done to sufficient standard to even permit a proper design?
      If so this suggest negligence?
      And as to the Kettle Lakes area, is this at risk in your opinion?
      And monitoring was considered to be done but this cancelled, can you confirm?
      And the big hole and steep slope just downstream, does it cause concern to you or not, with present design now complete?

    • WA @ 01:04:

      You are correct in what I mean by a matrix – but there also needs to be an advanced testing matrix (memory tells me my tri-axial gear was loose when I said this awhile back).

      Engineers are different in how conservative they are in design – I am more conservative than most by nature and this is because of the regions I work in. If the design or the influences around it (ie Kettle Lakes, downstream hole etc) are sound – I haven't seen enough to convince me, an Engineer that is loose might think otherwise.

      Likewise I also don't think there is enough info to say the Spur in not safe – its up in the air by my analysis, but I wouldn't live downstream at this point.

      All the talk of analysis of downstream holes, Kettle Lakes is premature until a good analysis and investigation around the Spur and area is complete – cant say anything until you know what is there.


    • Generally I feel as you do, so a crap shoot. Appearance right now, with the current water elevation, might now lead a person not to worry much. Once that water rises and the pressure increases, and not knowing much detail as to what is the make up of the Spur, even appearance will not be good, not like if this was concrete on a solid bottom.
      Stan says absolutely safe, he would camp there!
      I wonder if 5 people who have ultimate responsibility who would they be? Stan, Dwight, Leblanc, Coady, Crosbie, Bennett? As to who could insist a expert panel be struct? Or local First Nation leader ?
      Seems irresponsible to me for the filling to proceed,

      Anon @ 18;01, August 7 if memory serves, to start filling and will take a month or more.

      Minimum I suggest is to post online the data on seeping at the pumps, when at elevation 14, 21.5 , and continuous after Aug 7, as indication of effectiveness of cut off wall etc. All can then see as we can now with the river water flow in spring flood, from the stations.
      Advise what flow from the pumps is considered safe, or sensor data, and what is a concern etc. Still, that offers no assurance against a liquidification that could be sudden, but transparency is important.

    • PENG2, this stability issue of the North Spur is very troublesome.
      It was troublesome to the enginning firms in the 1960s.It was brought to the forefront again by Cabot Martin, and his association wit Bernander. I have seen the video of slides on marine clay in Norway and similar marine clay slides on the Churchill River and past slides at the North Spur. I have read the opinions of engineer Gordon on UG, and the analysis of Maurice Adams on his blog. I have considered your opinions, and you alone as a Nalcor consultant have long expressed your view that this area is not safe to your satisfaction. While you are not an expert to sit on a review panel, you agree that such a panel is necessary. Yet all people n positions of authority, turn a blind eye to this risk, it seems to me. And only govenoment or Nalcor could authorise funding for such an independent panel. And even that would be suspect, as we see from the Inquiry that independence of consultants is not very independent, with reports edited and changed, the record shows.
      So is there anything to be done, I have asked myself.
      With this in mind, I propose that a GO FUND ME or something like that be done. The flood investigation of Mud Lake cost 100,000 dollars I think, I could be wrong. What would be the cost of a panel to address this question? I have little idea of the cost, maybe 300,000 or more?
      Anyway, if that way forward makes sense, I would contribute 50,000 dollars to the cost, which could kick it off.
      Does this sound sensible? I am not anxious to part with that amount of money, but neither am I content to hear of this reservoir being flooded soon with safety much questioned.
      If I had no understanding of pressures and forces on such a structure and not followed this issue, I might have a clear conscience if this dam failed. I could claim being ignorant on the subject, and trusting to the so called experts of Nalcor and our government. But I cannot claim ignorance, and the doubt of safety for the people downstream is substantial. I respectfully have no faith in the assurances given by Stan Marshall at this Inquiry that the North Spur is absolutely safe, nor safe at all.
      If this a foolish suggestion by me, please advise. If it makes sense, can you help in advancing this idea?
      Winston Adams

  37. This is how "virtual power plants", hundreds of rooftop solar installations lashed together with battery storage, is now replacing fossil generation in California. Wind and battery would work as well in NL.

    "There has been increasing interest, and now development, in using solar and energy storage for the replacement of combined cycle gas turbines (CCGT) to provide peaking power on the US grid.

    • What did we hear from these experts this week?
      1. That solar power generation for Nfld is not cost effective, that Nfld is the worst area for solar in North America.
      2.That battery storage is largely experimental for unitities, but that are are available to 100MWh or larger, but not cost effective for storage for Nfld application.
      These are 2 of Bruno's wild ideas put to rest as to cost effectiveness, except not to rest in Bruno's grey matter, where it remain a pipe dream.
      However, Bruno's other recommendation of more wind energy for Nfld is valid, within reasonable limits. Generally Bruno's limits are NOT reasonable, as he ignores stability issues. Bruno has proposed wind and batteries as a complete replacement for Holyrood's 500MW.
      As wind has a capacity factor of 43 % , even if we can get 50%, this means 1000MW of wind and massively expensive batteries for storage.
      Now we have but 54 MW of wind, about 2 % of our island capacity.
      Nalcor Isolated Option largely ignored wind which was wrong to do.
      MHI suggested 10 % wind as a limit, so about 175 MW, giving 43 % of that on average, so this equals only 75 MW, still very small.
      This week we hear Hawaii mentioned, now at about 30% wind.(PENG2 and I have agreed Hawaii is a good example, I have also oted Texas has achived 20 % and hit 40% on some days) This 30% would be about 550 MW for NFLD , and 43 % of that on average,is 236MW, a significant input to reduce fuel burning.
      Hatch, apparently upon instruction from Nalcor, or Nfld Hydro, included restraints to recommend very little wind, instead of measures to address the restraint to permit 550MW.
      Hatch was not a witness at this Inquiry. No expert on wind was called to counter the low wind consideration for the Isolated option. This is a failure by this Inquiry, to let stand that as to reasonableness of that decision. Was that decision by the Inquiry deliberate?
      That Stan Marshall correctly identified more wind as an option, and that it can both add capacity to reduce fuel consumption and also to conserve water on our hydro generation ( effectively a very cost effective hydro storage, much more so than batteries), further discredits Nfld Hydro's decisions on wind. This should require an expert opinion for the Commissioner on this, but no expert on wind has been called, a shameful error, I suggest, to expose the deceit by Nalcor to dismiss our wind potential. Costs of wind generation now at about 4 cents, and was about 7 cents in 2012.

      On cost effective power alternatives Bruno :
      Solar: wrong
      Batteries : wrong
      Wind : part right, but over estimates .
      Overall about 25 % of his ideas as to cost effectiveness is correct
      Bruno's biggest problem:
      1. He applies what may work, or help for one area and climate and load profiles , such as California , to Nfld needs. A gross mistake.
      2. He applies not even fundamental arithmetic for analysis if cost effective.
      3. He acknowledges no errors in thinking and reasoning, and repeats the same nonsense over and over and over.
      4. His opinions on solutions generally can be discarded, as Gil Bennett says "garbage in garbage out", as too Nalcor did.
      5. He also appears to have no formal technical training, and have not effectively self educated on these issues.
      6. His ideas are generally futuristic wishful thinking, largely lacking common sense, and a recipe for another boondoggle, thinking like Nalcor.
      7. When challenged on his lack of analysis, he personally attacks one's character instead of answering his lack of anlysis rigour. He is masterful at this technique, dishes it out in spades, but unable to take it. He displays bully tactics, sometimes cloaked with humour.
      Would you personally invest in a pilot project Bruno, to prove the cost effectiveness of your idea? Recall Danny Williams would invest in MFs he said, but chose Galway instead.
      Winston Adams

    • Bruno, You didn't/couldn't counter a single point, thank you for apparently agreeing on all that. Now be a good monkey and try to remember it, and you can repeat it even, but give credit if you can remember.
      Now try to respond to Robert on that solar application question, you have a few hours. If you get a right you get a banana.

    • Robert: solar heating would work fine in Newfoundland. Look at the solar insolation maps – we are fine. There are solar homes in Alaska that use huge storage tanks to store summer heat and keep it for the winter. The same techniques would work here. The large tanks work well because as you make the tank bigger, volume goes up much faster than the surface area. Less surface to lose heat and more volume means it stays hot for a long time — even months. Same goes for huge tanks that can serve many homes.

      I use evacuated tubes to heat domestic hot water and they work well on sunny days. If I was to do it again, I would use solar electric to heat the water instead and avoid the complex plumbing, i.e. pumps, glycol loops, heat exchanger.

      As for district heating, why not have a modern garbage incinerator in Robin Hood Bay, generate electricity and use the waste heat for heating nearby subdivisions?

      Before anything goes "solar", you really need to design the home so that it doesn't need much energy. Just like demand reduction is cheaper than building a new power plant, building a solar passive home is far cheaper than fitting a typical home with a massive solar system. The biggest problem in new homes is that there is far too much glass, the home is randomly oriented often with glazing on the north side, and the windows are usually cheap double glazed. Ideally, no north glazing, lots on the south side, all triple glazed argon filled and with low emissivity coatings.

      Have a look at this home:

      Homes like this could share a common tank if you wanted to share the infrastructure.

    • Robert, while it works, is it cost effective?
      Cost of the system for just for heating was about 134,000 dollars per house. If done again, since the design is now done and could be duplicated, they suggest about 77,000.00 per house for the heating system.
      This is only 1500 sf ft R2000 houses. They charge 720 dollars year for heat, which seems to cover pumping costs for electricity.
      Is this cost effective?
      They use the sun with a roof solar collector to make hot water at 176F and heat up the soil 115 feet deep, and use this heat in winter to heat the house. It took 5 years to optimise the heat build up in the ground. Occasional winter days they need supplemental gas boiler heat, but this is not more than 7 % of the heat needed, so mostly sufficient for heat from the sun.
      Instead of this compare an alternate ground source heat pump, which does not heat the soil underneath but actually extracts heat form the soil being just 45 F and produces hot water at 125F.
      That would be about 25,000 cost per house, and would provide both heat and domestic hot water, and electricity about the same per year.
      So this solar system is about 3 times more expensive.
      For Nfld , with less sun, more collectors would be needed. Also the solar house in ALberta gets about half of the heat direct through the windows, and the balance from the solar storage. In Nfld , at times we go a week or more and no direct solar, so the storage would need to be much larger, maybe 50 % more, and I suggest 100,000 cost per house instead of 77,000. So that would be 4 times more expensive than a ground source HP.
      Both of those systems are ok for -40C outdoor.

      But most of Nfld seldom goes below -15 to _20C, so a air source HP is much cheaper.
      For 1500 sq ft, say 5000 to 7000 dollar cost range. Cost for electricity still about the same, not more than 700 per year.So the Alberta system is 15 to 20 times more expensive than minisplits.
      A passive design reduces heat load more, and the minisplit and electricity would be a bit less costly still, about 4000 cost, and 500 per year for electricity.
      If Nfld rates went to 23 cents, and say 1000 a year for electricity it may be cost effective to use some supplemental PV solar for electricity, and for backup if a power failure.
      Of course a Bruno battery added to the PV is an expensive add on,not cost effective, but good for those who can afford it, 10 grand or more to add.So depends on reliability of the grid here going forward with MFs connection.
      That's my opinion.

    • The smart NL Consulting Engineers should get a Green Energy grant, $1M or so, from M. O'Regan now before the election, and do the Feasibility Study. The Drake Landing project received all kinds of grants and subsidies to get built, and now the home owners have seen their property values increase, through the investments made. With better technology transfer available, who knows what might be the outcome?

    • Too bad Galway wasn't Green. The Alberta project has been around 10 years and no duplicates done that I see.
      The house sold for 380,000 it says, 10 years ago, which seems expensive for a small house. Has the values increased since? If so you would expect other similar projects, especially in sunny locations. I fear for Nfld that it would be a bit of Peckford Pickle Palace result: it works but not cost effective, and as Clyde Wells said "you can grow cucumbers at the North Pole but is it economic"?
      There are some who will pay a premium for "solar", but if the heating system is many times more expensive than air source HPs, or 4 times more than geothermal HPs, what would drive the market price up? And why no more of these existing already? The Greenest part may be the greenbacks of 1 million to the consultants, me thinks.
      R2000 typical 10 % add on, so if a house is 250,000, then add 25,000, so 275,000. A passive say another 25,000 add , so 300,000. Each reduces heat load say 25 % . So if heat was 1500, R2000 drops it too 1125, passive to 843, a HP for 4000 cost drops heat 50% so now 422 dollar per year for heat. Passive plus HP is 29,000 more than R2000.
      So a solar heat system for 100,000, or even if half that,50,000 add on, they still pay in Alberta 720 a year for heat component with that system just for pumping water back and forth. The heat is free and not the pumping. The passive + hp is much cheaper and nearly half the yearly operating cost.
      Am I missing something?

    • A Council, committed to sustainable development, with an Energy Plan, based on renewables, not "just tie it to the grid" mentality, would have sent the Galway back to the drawing boards. The buck stops with the people we elect to local government.

    • Agree, Robert. And the substation for Galway would have been reduced in size and capacity, and Nfld Power profit reduced. They are spending about 100 million a year , part for these oversized infrastructure based on old wasteful energy approach, as I have mentioned to PENG2. The more they spent on that the more their profit ( even PENG2 admits profit tied to spending on infrastructure)
      This part of Integrated Resource Plan, discussed briefly at the Inquiry this past week, and ignored by govn, PUB, and power companies; all in the same bed, including the Consumer Advocate.
      So the public get screwed on paying those higher costs. PENG2 say no need to dive into the weeds on such matters at the Inquiry!
      Such attitudes led to no meaningful CDM and no wind additions, no island hydro upgrades, and the boondoggle.

    • If a group of us were to get funding for a green housing project, I would be designing and building houses that didn't need much energy, and then add a small heat pump rather than complicated solar systems. I would use double wall construction, and fill it with local sawdust. The house would be a sealed plywood cube with a peaked roof sitting on top solely to shed snow. I would have a few large windows on the south side, and a few small windows east and west. North would have no windows at all. The heat pump could be in the attic. I would get MUN engineering (electrical for monitoring, civil for construction issues and analysis of sawdust vs other wood fibers and tree species for insulation. Lots of research papers could be published. Designs/blueprints would be public domain, and the homes would be reference homes for other builders. Siding would be vinyl because of the very wet climate. Sub-slab vacuum to minimize Radon gas. Maybe a masonry stove for a wood burning option. It would be a fun project. The homes would also be small to minimize construction cost so that they cost no more than current homes.

      I've discussed this with local architects and engineers. Unfortunately, nobody has any interest in these things and I feel like some kind of freak for suggesting it.

    • WA @ 16:16:

      Ok, 2 fairly big corrections:
      1) typically when a developer creates a sub-division there is no cost to NL Power or NL Hydro – the developer carries the costs for sub-station or line running. Though I cant say what happened in Galway – but typically this would be represented as a cost and thus not be reflected in profits/expenses etc except by the developer. Now, when we are talking the number of customers, that is directly ties to NL Power profit, the quantity of power flow is a minor input – I would think we could agree that there would be minimal difference in cost for say 5000kms of 35mm diameter line vs 5000kms of 25mm diameter line – if both are distribution sets; likewise it is the number of subs, not the size that is most important to the cost factor?
      2) I have said the Inquiry isn't the place to dive into the weeds on CDM, CPW etc – that's an issue best left for regulators like the PUB. I have never said those issues are not important – just that there are more important issues for LeBlanc to focus on. Most important to most consumers coming from the Inquiry will be the recommendation that future developments wont be excluded from the regulators assessment.

      Debate and by all means call me to task – but quote correctly.


    • PENG2, yes , please call me out if I misquote, as I don't review past postings, but try to remember as best I can.
      1.I can't say if DW or we the ratepayer paid for transmission and a substation for Galway, or other developments. It may vary on the size and growth project, but NP is spending about 0.5 billion over 5 years, so this adds close to about 10% to power rates I suggest, but some may be for new construction and some necessary upgrades on the existing.
      2. It is a misleading example to just use your transmission line conductor …….if you look at substations, power tranformers in particular are costly items, and sized to handle peak baseboard heater loads, not reduced loads using HPs at 2.5 COP at -15C or lower, and reduced loads from more insulation and window R value.
      These are important cost reductions for power needs on the grid, in addition to reduced transmission line diameter. Then there is the reduction of fossil fuel backup capacity required, and reduction in fuel for these. ANd too, there is the added benefit of conservation of our water resource…… the synergies of all of that, as Robert implies, about sustainable approach.
      3.Agree that your opinion is that diving into the weeds on CDM, wind etc ins't important for the Inquiry, and to which I disagree:
      a) as the devil is in the details(or weeds), this is critical as to why it was excluded by Nalcor to favour the MFs option and over estimate by a factor of 3 or 4 on the Isolated option. Stan gave a figure of 1.1 billion for gas turbines and wind, and CDM is cost neutral due to savings, and the Isolated would not in any case exceed 2 billion. That said, the issue is 12.7 billion vs 2 billion, and the Inquiry spent a month on this tiny o.3 billion issue, ignoring the big picture of meeting our needs with 2 billion. So the 0.3 billion,is largely a distraction with so much time wasted on it.
      b) the forecasters , Stratton and friends was THANKED by Leblanc, for their great explanations of their methods, that in fact were not best practice, and this little explored,and forecasts that were completely wrong, and they said they would do the same all over again. The faked and false forecast was key to other missteps to sanction, deserving of a deep dive to their poor methods and false assumptions.
      c) same goes for the choice of supply for the Isolated and the wind analysis. Bypassed by this Inquiry, except a high level reference at times that our wind resource was not properly assessed, this by experts without expertise in wind.
      d) any statement by an expert outside his field will be ignored, or likely to be, by Leblanc. And as to the experts for CDM, wind, and our small island hydro, Leblanc had not one expert for any of these; yet this central to the Isolated lowest cost considerations.
      Lawyers in their summaries will, if smart , point that out to Leblanc, that no expert evidence was called to the matters I mention. Are you naive, not to expect that? say most important for customers is that future developments won't be excluded from regulator assessment.
      I suggest most important was to show if the power we needed could be done for 2 billion , why go with a 6.2B that goes to 12.7 , interest included. Customers want the full story on the deception, not part of the deception, fearing to go into the weeds. It is not rocket science how these deceptions occurred.
      And for the future, if the PUB again skips CDM or IRP, this can happen all over again. The PUB is no guarantee of tranparency, even now excluding some from "technical conferences etc"
      What did you make of Bernard Coffey's little piece at the end, and his self satisfied expression as he walked back that he scored big?

    • Anon@16;41…….realise that that the MUN experts you reference have been engaged by both Nfld Power and Nalcor to do the opposite of the correct approach you suggest, as I found out.
      For Nfld Power, if permits promoting meaningless measures of energy saving for customers. For Nalcor, it was to promote MFs.
      Our Consumer Advocate say customers must look after themselves, so no leadership there to help your idea.

    • What would the impact have been, had the Galway been thinking long term?

      The shopping centre/Costco/ apartment/townhouse/retail block, LEED Silver building and systems; hot water heating and ground source cooling. Roof, say 50% coverage with solar collectors; Bruno Batteries, Solar hot water in ground storage, Photovoltaic power, excess sent to grid. Solar powered electric vehicle charge stations, electric public bus transit. What other measures? Where were the Engineering Studies, part covered by Municipal Green Fund? A few such installations, (MUN/Health Sciences, etc), would achieve Holyrood Thermal major expansion deferral. Life Cycle Savings? Brains over Brawn.

    • PENG2, correction, item 3a, Stan 1.1 billion also included the added capacity of 150 MW at Bay de Espoir.

      Robert, I hoped DW might consider a green concept, as Ireland is known for being green. A friend of mine laughed saying he can't believe Danny said the big box Costco building was a tourist attraction. Another said the wind out there blows you away, and dust storms from areas not seeded. I haven't yet seen the area, but don't think capelin spawn there. I was told about a tourist from Alberta, at Middle Cove, walked into the water and capelin with his 500 dollar cowboy boots on, all excited as to the millions of capelin.
      Now dat'sssss a tourist attraction.

    • WA @ 18:52:

      I am most interested in seeing policy change – and what that encompasses, we will not get money back from contractors etc. At some point we have to understand that MF is done and the money was spent – opinion on the spending of that money is irrelevant on what LeBlanc’s main task is now, that is preventing a MF situation in the future. Inquiry’s are used to make go forward policy adjustment – not change the past.

      I wont try to hit your points individually, but you are off the mark on #’bers 1 & 2 by a large margin – the impact to the consumers for either is minimal or non-existent. If we look at MF, there is a ~$225m annually costs of the $12.5b, but operations is somewhere about $135m – this operational cost is the same as if MF was completed for $6.2b, so more or less operations is equal to or more than construction. The same theory applies to NL Power distribution, except developers typically pay for new construction – consumers usually only pay for operations and few upgrades.

      In considering #3, the $0.3b is critically important to the Inquiry because it shows a deliberate effort to mislead – the forecasting methodology, while not best practice was the purview of Nalcor. Best case from the Inquiry is a directive that future forecasting methods are updated to be concurrent with best practice. I agree that no one was called to counter the forecasters, but it wasn’t necessary – they gave good detail of poor practice that was previously chided by MHI at the PUB as being poor practice, overall this is a win for consumers.

      Best case from any Inquiry is that recommendations are such that government policy is affected – hopefully we will get the same here. LeBlanc wont in anyway, shape or form dictate how to forecast or develop a grid, just that current ideologies are not compatible with consumers and the policy makers need outside help.


    • Better check that Costco and the Galway don't get discounted power rates as compared to residential rate. Who does the meter readings? Would they have backup power? Bruno Battery? Somebody mentioned schools converted from hot water heating to baseboard electric. Do School Boards get a discount rate also?

  38. Anon@16:41

    Have you approached NALCOR? They have "World Class" Management and engineers who surely will do a first class job at evaluating and implementing. I hear Ed Martin is looking for work. Choices! Choices!

  39. "Most important … will be the recommendation that future developments wont be excluded from the regulators assessment"?

    You're joking, right?

    Is that what your engineering degree tells you?

  40. Now as you all know, I am no expert on muskrat or the North Spur, or on very little for that matter, but I normally use common scense and comparisons with other ententies. So I will mention or compare the reports, studies, evidance give on the north spur by nalcor, Stan, Ball and the Inquiry to some extent. So if we compare the spur evidance studies with a court of Law, it goes like this. All the evidance is collected by the crown, and the defence and equal opportunity given given to both sides to present their case pro and con on the defendant as guilty or innocent. We would never entertain just evidance only against the charged, or only evidance on that which supported only his inonence. Otherwise if we permitted only one side of the case to be presented, then depending on the side, pros or cons , the charged would be found only in that favor of evidance presented. And the judge or jury would make their decision on evidance presented. That is not Justice, the rule of law or the law of the land. WHY SHOULD IT BE ANY DUFFERENT FOR MUSKRAT OR THE NORTH SPUR? In all the studies, and ball and Stan said many studies were done to say the Spur was safe. They accepted arguments, or the pros of safety, but commissioned no studies that were cons or said muskrat spur was unsafe. And the Branander commission, opinion or study was not accepted, no cons were accepted. Imagine if that were the way our courts operated?? You be the judge says Joe blow.