Maritime Link deal vague and misleading, consultants tell Nova Scotia hearing

The Canadian Press
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Consultants hired by Nova Scotia’s consumer and business advocates say a revised commercial agreement that has become the linchpin for the $1.5-billion Maritime Link project is vague and misleading.

Muskrat Falls, Labrador. — Telegram file photo

The consultants were testifying today at a public hearing held by the province’s energy regulator, the Utility and Review Board.

The Maritime Link would see energy company Emera build a subsea cable that would link Nova Scotia with Newfoundland, allowing Nova Scotia Power to buy energy generated by the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric plant, under construction in Labrador.

The board has conditionally approved the project but wants to make sure Emera has secured a commercial agreement for market-priced electricity from Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland’s Crown-owned energy company.

The consultants, who work for Levitan and Associates, also suggest that under the new commercial agreement Nova Scotia Power will be forced to guess how much energy it would need from Muskrat Falls on a yearly basis.

Consultant Paul Chernick also says Nalcor Energy could increase the price of electricity sold to Nova Scotia Power by claiming it deserved a premium because it is green energy.

“It could be a big mess down the road,” he told the hearing, adding that the agreement could keep lawyers in the Maritimes busy for years.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Power, Labrador.The board, Levitan and Associates Paul Chernick

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Newfoundland

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