ARCHIVED - Lower Churchill Clean Energy Projects

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2011/77 (a)

Backgrounder


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
Ottawa
613-996-2007

or

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-992-4447

or

Celyeste Power
Director of Communications
Hon. Peter Penashue
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
and Regional Minister for
Newfoundland and Labrador
613-947-7995

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/index-eng.php.