Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro), Emera Inc. and Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the possibility of bringing energy from the Lower Churchill Project to the Maritimes and New England markets.
As a result of this agreement, Hydro, Emera and NSPI will work collaboratively to study in detail the technical, economic, financial and regulatory aspects related to exporting lower Churchill power to these markets. At the conclusion of this preliminary assessment, the parties will decide if there is merit in advancing potential joint initiatives.
"This is a potential opportunity for Emera and for energy customers in both the Maritimes and New England," said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO of Emera Inc. "We are hopeful that the outcome of these studies will result in sustainable energy flow to the Maritimes and New England markets."
A portfolio of market destinations and market access options for power from the lower Churchill remain under consideration and this MOU complements Hydro's initiatives currently underway in other jurisdictions. "This MOU complements our initiatives currently underway in other jurisdictions and is another step in ensuring we have the right portfolio of markets for the Lower Churchill Project that will generate the best deal for the province," said Ed Martin, President and CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and the province's energy corporation. "We are looking forward to working with both Emera and Nova Scotia Power in an effort to identify mutually beneficial opportunities for this renewable, predictably priced, clean energy."
A portfolio of market destinations and market access options for power from the Lower Churchill Project remain under consideration. Potential routing options being explored by Hydro include the Maritimes submarine route and transmission through Hydro-Quebec's transmission system. All options are still under investigation.
"Fully assessing this opportunity is another element of Nova Scotia Power's strategy to provide our customers more electricity from renewable sources, as well as an important example of co-operation among the Atlantic Provinces," said Ralph Tedesco, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power.
The Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Project is the most attractive underdeveloped hydroelectric project in North America. Its two installations at Gull Island and Muskrat Falls will have a combined capacity of over 2,800 MW and can provide 16.7 Terawatt hours of electricity per year – enough electricity to power approximately 1.5 million homes and contribute significantly to the reduction of air emissions from thermal, coal and fossil fuel power generation. In particular, the projects could displace over 16 megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 3.2 million automobiles.