Nova Scotians could face higher energy costs from Muskrat project

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Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter. — Canadian Press file photo

The Canadian Press — Halifax

Nova Scotia’s premier says he believes his province will face higher costs for the proposed Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador.

But Darrell Dexter says he still believes the development is the cheapest option to meet Nova Scotia’s future power needs.

His comments came shortly after the Newfoundland and Labrador government said revised cost estimates for Muskrat Falls are 1.2 billion dollars higher than previously forecast.

Capital costs are estimated to be 7.4 billion dollars -- though that doesn’t include funding the subsea link between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, to be covered by Nova Scotia utility Emera.

Dexter says he doesn’t know what that revised cost will be.

A spokeswoman for Emera says the company will provide that figure during hearings before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board on the subsea link.

Opposition Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil says Nova Scotians need to know the costs of their future power bills before his party signs onto the development.

Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie also called on the government to release more information, saying the province should know what impact Muskrat Falls will have on its economy.

Organizations: Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board

Geographic location: Muskrat, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador

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Recent comments

  • joe
    November 02, 2012 - 06:25

    On behalf of all newfoundland I'l like to thank Darrel Dexter for pleading allegeance to Danny Williams and promote the Muskrat project even tough the project will not be of any benefits to Nova Scotians. Also Emera inc would like to thank Darrel Dexter who has been the best Cheerleader for our company.

  • Jack
    October 31, 2012 - 09:01

    These days, since Nova Scotians have seen their power rates increased by more than 60% over a ten year period, and then just learned that Nova Scotia Power charged higher rates than they were supposed to do, they will likely be very resentful towards additional rate increases for any reason, even so-called green energy projects like Muskrat Falls. Secondly, the Nova Scotia Government are imposing tougher laws against Emera, such as forcing shareholders to pay executive bonuses and proposed rates have to span multiple years. In other words, any proposed Muskrat Falls related rate increases will not sit well with Nova Scotians since Emera has punished them enough with persistent rate increases.

  • manitoban
    October 30, 2012 - 20:32

    the ndp government in nova scotia will be no different then their ndp cousins in manitoba when it comes to hydro rates. the manitoba ndp government have taken from manitoba hydro to balance its books, in return it allowed hydro to raise it rates to consumers, people should be worried about the cost of muskrat falls. just today here in manitoba we learned that we are the food bank capital of canada and growing with more and more poverty on the rise, all thanks to the NDP. hold on to your walets nova scotians, the worst is yet to come.

    • Brad
      October 31, 2012 - 07:22

      One problem: NS Power isn't a crown corp, it's owned by Emera.

    • Jack
      October 31, 2012 - 08:48

      Manitoba, since I'm originally from Nova Scotia, Brad is right. Nova Scotia Power used to be a Crown Corporation until the John Buchanan and Donald Cameron Governments privatized the company in 1992. On December 1, 1998, Nova Scotia Power became a holding company known as Nova Scotia Power Holdings, but their name was later changed to Emera on July 17, 2000.

  • NlerforNovaScotia
    October 30, 2012 - 19:57

    As I NLer I would hope that Nova Scotians follow a different path than here in NL to review this project. This Muskrat falls project is going to cost ratepayers and taxpayers in both provinces dearly if it goes ahead. Unfortunately, here in NL our government has railroaded us by shuting out the public utilities board and with bill 29 has closed off all information on this project. we simply cannot get the facts we need from outside sources only what we are feed from Nalcor. My wish is that you carefully review this mega cost project from every perspective and not allow yourselves to be dictated to by your government and their power corporation as is the case here in NL. Muskrat falls is not in NL best interest in my view as it will take us 50 years plus to pay for the cost of the project when we know that we will not need the power come 2041. Muskrat falls will be redundant at that time and we will have to forego the benefit of very low cost power from churchill falls at that time if it goes ahead. We are being lead down the garden path by our government to supply cheap power in the short term to business developers who want cheap power that consumers now and well into the future will have to pay for. Future generations should not be saddled with this debt - it is wrong we have already swamped our children with enough debt.

  • Very Concerned
    October 30, 2012 - 17:08

    Three things that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have no control over: Global Warming, The Price of a Barrell of Oil ($85 for the next ten years), and Energy Efficienent Appliances. This is the way of the future. Why are they pushing this so hard when its about to destroy a lot of people lives. It's unbelievable.

    • Global Economy
      October 31, 2012 - 05:59

      With all the development in China and India their thirst for oil over the next twenty years is going to grow exponentially as they drop their bicycles and start driving cars. Look at the investment in North America and more importantly in Alberta by the Chinese and consider their motivation. They have enough foresight to know that their need for oil is going to be huge. We will be glad we have the lower churchill then because, make no mistake about i,t the price of oil is going through the roof and electrictyprices right along with it.

    • Fred Penner
      October 31, 2012 - 06:23

      The usage of a hydro plant will decrease greenhouse gases and thereby decrease global warming, MF is viable as long as oil stays above $60/bbl and the more energy efficient applicances we have the better.

    • a business man
      October 31, 2012 - 07:09

      We are accepting a solution my might destroy a lot of people's lives because the benefits will improve a larger number of people's lives. Democracy is about the greatest good, about the maximum benefit for the most.