ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The proposed multibillion-dollar Muskrat Falls hydro project has taken a step forward with the signing of 13 formal agreements between Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.
Newfoundland Crown corporation Nalcor Energy and private Nova Scotia utility Emera (TSX:EMA) signed the deals today based on a term sheet announced in November 2010.
Officials told a background briefing that the 35-year deals are to wheel power from the lower Churchill River to Newfoundland and then Nova Scotia using subsea cables.
Nova Scotia would get 20 per cent of the power for covering 20 per cent of capital and operating costs.
Muskrat Falls is expected to generate 824 megawatts of electricity at a cost of more than $6.2 billion.
Nalcor and Emera signed the agreements in what they said is a necessary step toward a utility review in Nova Scotia and a decision by Newfoundland on whether to sanction the project.
Officials say the deals allow for flexibility should those reviews raise unforeseen concerns.
They say costs for the project and the resulting price of power will be clarified later this year.