New Brunswick grid access requested for 2,824-MW Lower Churchill

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro has requested long-term transmission service from the New Brunswick System Operator for Newfoundland’s proposed 2,824-MW Lower Churchill hydroelectric project.

Lower Churchill would include two power plants on mainland Labrador, 2,000-MW Gull Island and 824-MW Muskrat Falls. (HNN 1/18/07) To make the project feasible, it requires wheeling through neighboring provinces to more populous markets in Canada and the United States.

Newfoundland previously applied to Quebec and Ontario for permission to wheel power in that direction. The latest application envisions the possible construction of a subsea cable to carry power to New Brunswick.

�The recent heightened attention to climate change reinforces our view that new hydroelectric development has an important role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emission from power generation,� Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said. �The Lower Churchill is an ideal project which fulfills this country’s ambition to see more environmentally sensitive energy development.�

Concurrent with the New Brunwick request, NLH is making a request to Hydro-Quebec to increase the transmission capacity it is reserving from Quebec into New Brunswick to be consistent with the New Brunswick request.

The Newfoundland minister of Environment and Conservation last month required the preparation of an environmental impact statement for Lower Churchill. NLH began that process in December by registering the project with province and federal environmental regulatory agencies. (HNN 12/5/06)

Work also is proceeding in other areas including impact and benefit negotiations with Labrador Innu, engineering, project executing planning, and commercial terms and financing. NLH seeks to achieve project release in 2009 and first power by 2015.

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