Natural Resources Minister Jerome Kennedy. — Telegram file photo
A report on the environmental benefits of closing the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station concludes the replacement of power from the facility with Muskrat Falls electricity addresses an environmental challenge for Newfoundland and Labrador, the provincial government announced today.
The discussion paper, Environmental Benefits of Closing the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station, was released today by the Department of Natural Resources.
“From 2000 to 2010, the Holyrood plant emitted an annual average of approximately 1.1 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and an annual average of 11,610 tonnes of sulphur dioxide,” said Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Natural Resources.
“Retiring this facility will address the environmental and health concerns expressed by residents of Conception Bay who are impacted by Holyrood generation.”
Retiring the Holyrood plant helps meet Energy Plan and Climate Change Action Plan commitments and would help Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada meet their respective greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The Holyrood plant is 40 years old and is operating beyond the typical life expectancy for this type of generator. Continued use of the facility means escalating maintenance and upgrades, installation of emissions control equipment, and continued dependency on fossil fuel generation. The installation of emissions control equipment, including scrubbers and precipitators, would cost approximately $600 to $800 million in addition to annual operating costs of $12 to $15 million. Emissions control equipment would help reduce sulphur dioxide emissions, but will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Developing Muskrat Falls and delivering clean and renewable hydroelectric power to both Labrador and the Island is the least-cost solution to meet our growing electricity consumption,” Kennedy said. “It also ensures that the province will generate approximately 98 per cent of its electricity from clean, renewable sources. Muskrat Falls is the best alternative to the Holyrood option and will lead to a reduction of greenhouse gas and other emissions.”