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  • Maggy Carter
    January 15, 2014 - 12:40

    Another strong case from Penny/Vardy which also, indirectly refutes arguments from Gordon Weil in Monday's paper. Following comment did not make it into that column: With all due respect to Mr. Weil and his knowledge of the industry, his analysis is flawed. All things being equal - that is to say a modern, efficient , properly maintained thermal generating station at Holyrood versus a new hydro-electric facility at Muskrat, Holyrood comes out ahead on reliability. Where Holyrood's reliability exceeds Muskrat is on transmission. Holyrood is on the doorstep of the province's most dense electrical market - the St. John's urban area, while Muskrat is 1200 topographically and climatically challenged kilometres away. Whether it is along the rough mainland wilderness, the Labrador Straits, or the Northern Peninsula's Long Range Mountains, the delivery of Labrador power to St. John's is no cake walk. An ice storm that fells transmission towers or, worse, an iceberg that scours a subsea cable can take weeks if not months to repair - especially in the dead of winter. Indeed, as Weil himself hints, while Muskrat and Holyrood were promoted by NALCOR as an either/or proposition, the reality is that Holyrood - or some other on-Island alternative - will always be needed as a back-up for Labrador power destined for the Island. Weil sees that redundancy coming in part at least from the Maritime Link - alluding to unspecified sources in the Maritimes and the New England states. To make that case, Weil would need to demonstrate that - for example - in the depths of our blackouts two weeks ago (and assuming a break in the Labrador-Island Link) there was surplus power in the Maritimes that could have been rerouted back to Newfoundland across the Maritime Link. Weil provides no evidence to that effect - nor logically would we expect it to be given that the Maritimes were suffering the same deep freeze as NL. We can expect that it will be even less likely a scenario once NS has become dependant on Muskrat power. But more astonishing still is Weil's assertion that NL should contribute even more to a Maritime 'power pool' by not committing excess Muskrat power longterm, for example, to industry in Labrador. Mr. Weil seems not to appreciate the extent to which NALCOR, by acquiescing to the UARB's latest demands, did in effect create such a power pool. NALCOR agreed not to sell excess Muskrat power under long term contract to markets, for example, in the U.S. in order to give priority to EMERA and NS Power. NALCOR and the Dunderdale government have given and given to solve NS's power dilemma until the NL ratepayer and taxpayer bled - profusely. Already Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are on the hook to subsidize NS power rates (BELOW OUR COST OF PRODUCTION) for the next 35 years. I am astonished that Weil is still asking for more.

  • Tony Rockel
    January 13, 2014 - 10:19

    Talk about adding insult to injury--- the Blunderdale government, having previously excluded the PUB from any effective input into electric power management in this province, now wants to investigate the PUB!

  • Anna
    January 13, 2014 - 08:51

    I agree. Why should the tax payers fund another independent review by the government when we all know the reviewers will not be qualifed to undertake such a review? The review by Nalcor and the PUB should be suffice.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    January 13, 2014 - 06:52

    If reliability is a problem now when Holyrood and the bulk of the applicable distribution system is in the midst of its Avalon customers, how reliable will the 1,400 kilometer extension cord from Labrador be and how reliable the available power when almost 2/3rds of Muskrat's rated power will legally be committed to Nova Scotia?