ARCHIVED - Lower Churchill Clean Energy Projects

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2011/77 (a)


In November 2010, Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Crown-owned energy company, and Emera Incorporated of Nova Scotia announced plans to develop the lower Churchill River projects, which consist of a new hydroelectric generating station at Muskrat Falls and three transmission lines.

Overview of the projects:

Lower Churchill Hydroelectric Generation Project:

Nalcor Energy is proposing to develop the Muskrat Falls generating station (with a generating capacity of 824 megawatt [MW]) on the Churchill River downstream from the existing Churchill Falls facility in Labrador.

The Muskrat Falls facility is expected to generate 4.9 million megawatt-hours (MWh) annually. Nalcor has indicated that 2 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of the electricity from Muskrat Falls will replace oil-fired generation at the 490-megawatt Holyrood facility, in Newfoundland and Labrador. 1 million megawatt-hours (MWh) will be used by Nova Scotia Power to displace coal-fired power in the province. The remaining 2 million megawatt-hours (MWh) will be available to Nalcor to export to other markets.

Three Transmission Lines:

1. Labrador Transmission Interconnection Project:
The Labrador Transmission Interconnection will involve the construction of a 345-kilovolt, high voltage alternating current (HVAC) transmission interconnection between the proposed Muskrat Falls generating station and the existing Churchill Falls hydroelectric generating station.
2. The Labrador Island Transmission Link Project:
The Labrador Island Transmission Link will involve the construction and operation of a 1,100-km, 900-megawatt high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line and associated infrastructure between Labrador and the island of Newfoundland.
3. The Maritime Subsea Link Project:
The Maritime Subsea Link will involve the construction and operation of a 180-km, 500-megawatt high voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cable to bring power from Newfoundland to Nova Scotia.
Economic Benefits:
According to Nalcor, the projects are estimated to generate total employment of 18,400 person-years (direct, indirect and induced) in Newfoundland and Labrador and 47,800 person-years across Canada. (One person-year represents 2,000 hours of work per year.) Nalcor also estimates that the projects will generate up to $3.5 billion in jobs and economic benefits.1
Environmental Benefits:
The projects will provide clean renewable electricity to help replace oil- and coal-fired electricity in the region. Once completed, Newfoundland and Labrador will obtain up to 98 percent of its electricity from non-greenhouse gas emitting sources. Nalcor estimates that the projects will help reduce up to 4.5 megatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and will reduce emissions of other air pollutants.2

1 Nalcor Energy Website (Note 1)

2 Nalcor Energy Website (Note 2)

Media may contact:

Julie Di Mambro
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada


Celyeste Power
Director of Communications
Hon. Peter Penashue
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
and Regional Minister for
Newfoundland and Labrador

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