Canadian government ups funding for 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydroelectric plant

Muskrat Falls Hydropower Project

Canada’s federal government will provide an additional CAD$2.9 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of the 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydropower plant, per an announcement made to the House of Commons today.

The $11.4 billion project — located on the Churchill River in Labrador downstream from the existing Churchill Falls plant — is one component of the Lower Churchill complex that could eventually include the 2,250-MW Gull Island plant.

“Costs on the Lower Churchill project were mismanaged by former conservative governments, putting Newfoundland and Labrador at financial risk,” Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr said. “Today’s decision means we will contribute to our climate change goals, and Atlantic Canada’s future energy needs.”

The funding is part of the federal government’s long-term infrastructure plan that was unveiled earlier this week, with more than $81 billion earmarked to help “bring more clean and reliable energy on a smarter, better-connected electricity grid, creating jobs for middle-class Canadians and providing a healthier environment for future generations.”

HydroWorld.com reported in May that Andritz Hydro Canada had sued the Muskrat Falls Corp., alleging that it is being forced to complete its work on a compressed timeline following construction delays.

The project has sparked controversy throughout its development, though multiple studies have defended it as the least-cost option for future power generation.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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