T&D World Magazine

Agreement Signals Lower Churchill Project to Become a Reality

Signaling the commencement of the long-awaited Lower Churchill River hydroelectric development, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today announced a partnership between Nalcor Energy and Emera Inc. This arrangement complements the partnership already in place between Nalcor and the Innu Nation. The Nalcor/Emera deal will result in the development of Muskrat Falls, with power being transmitted from Labrador across the Strait of Belle Isle for use on the island of Newfoundland. Power will be available for recall use for industrial development in Labrador. Nalcor will then transmit surplus power from the island to Nova Scotia Power, a subsidiary of Emera, across the Cabot Strait into Lingan, Nova Scotia.

The announcement was made in St. John's today by the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources, Ed Martin, President and CEO of Nalcor Energy, Chris Huskilson, Chair and CEO, Emera Inc., Joseph Riche, Grand Chief of the Innu Nation and Sebastian Benuen, Chief, Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation.

Transmission plans
The Lower Churchill Project consists of two proposed installations, Gull Island and Muskrat Falls. The combined capacity of both facilities will be 3,074 MW, providing almost 17 terawatt hours of electricity per year.

Extensive pre-feasibility work, such as the progression of the environmental assessment process, finalization of a Water Management Agreement; negotiations for an Impacts and Benefits Agreement (IBA) with Innu Nation of Labrador; development of a financing strategy; as well as extensive engineering studies and field work have been undertaken.

The Lower Churchill Project will be developed in two phases beginning with Muskrat Falls. The Gull Island Project will proceed several years after Muskrat Falls. The Muskrat Falls Project will include:

A. Muskrat Falls Generating Facility

  • 824 MW generating facility
  • two HVac transmission lines connecting to Churchill Falls

B. Labrador-Island Transmission Link (~1,100 km)

  • Labrador (900 MW) Converter Station (ac/dc)
  • Overhead HVDC transmission line from Muskrat Falls to Strait of Belle Isle
  • Submarine cables across the Strait of Belle Isle (30 km)
  • Overhead HVDC transmission line from the Strait of Belle Isle to Soldiers Pond
  • Soldiers Pond (900 MW) Converter Station (dc/ac)
  • Electrode sites in Labrador and Newfoundland

C. Maritime Transmission Link from the Island of Newfoundland to Nova Scotia

  • Overhead HVAC transmission connecting to the Island transmission grid
  • Bottom Brook (500 MW) Converter Station (ac/dc)
  • Overhead HVDC transmission from Bottom Brook to Cape Ray
  • Submarine cables across the Cabot Strait to Lingan, Nova Scotia (180 km)
  • Cape Breton (500 MW) Converter Station (dc/ac) tying into the existing Nova Scotia transmission grid.
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