Fathers and sons

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Above the letter to the editor by Bernard Coffey in your Aug. 18 issue is the following headline: “Manitoba PUB order should be required reading.”

To quote from the excerpts included by Mr. Coffey: “(Manitoba Hydro’s) business model includes building new generating stations in the expectation of being able to export the energy generated by these stations prior to the output being gradually required by Manitoba consumers.”

Contrast the Manitoba business model with that of Nalcor for Muskrat Falls.

The Muskrat Falls business model does not include a single dollar for potential export sales.

In other words, Mr. Coffey is trying to compare apples to oranges. Or in local terms, Mr. Coffey, Manitoba is a different kettle of fish when compared to the Muskrat Falls development.

Mr. Coffey winds up his article with the statement, “In view of the foregoing, what confidence can the public have in MHI’s  assessment of Nalcor’s Decision Gate 3 numbers?”

Manitoba Hydro International is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Hydro.

I have re-read the excerpts that Mr. Coffey included and nowhere does the PUB question or comment on information, if any, supplied to the PUB by MHI.

Would Mr. Coffey have us believe that because the parent company has presented a plan the Manitoba PUB does not approve of, that should somehow reflect adversely on a subsidiary's ability?

Would anyone try to argue, in a court of law, that a son’s case should be affected by the actions of the father?

Mr. Coffey, based on your presentation, I have two words for you: “Case dismissed.”


Jack Swinimer


Organizations: Manitoba Hydro International, Manitoba PUB

Geographic location: Manitoba, Decision Gate

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Recent comments

  • Winston Adams
    August 24, 2012 - 13:06

    Jack, the title of your letter is "Fathers and Sons. You pose the questiion, "would anyone try to argue, in a court of law, that a son's case should be affected by the actions of a father?" Well the answer to that is yes. Two examples of that are 1. Peter J Cashin, and 2. Maurice E. Adams. It's a matter of court record, regarding their father's estate. But I get the point you make. Manitoba's case was being made on export sales of electricity that once seemed reasonable that then turned bad. Nalcor's case was made solely for the island needs and not on export sales. Any export sales they promote as gravy. But Coffey's point has merit as not even the island needs are reasonably justified and may be met by less costly means. You make yourself the judge by dismissing the argument as having no merit. Before the court the full case and all the facts should be heard. Peter, Maurice , and Bernard Coffey are not without bias, but some of their points should not be so quickly dismissed.

  • Winston Adams
    August 24, 2012 - 09:31

    Maurice, I disagree that it is the total electricity demand that will make or break Muskrat Falls, but the domestic demand, which you describe as "only" half the total. Yes, Nalcor is grossly off on the total demand, but because this was due to the error in industrial demand forecasting. And MHI let this pass because they judged it not so unreasonable: that any forecaster could seriouly err on our industrial load, given the loss of the paper mills and fish plant closings etc. This type of forecasting is bound to be highly inaccurate. Not so with the domestic. The domestic has been reasonably well forecast. And this forecast is only about 1 percent per year increase. This domestic load, being one half of the total is very large. And the domestic is made up of almost 80 percent by domestic heating and hot water, both of which is vulnerable to huge reduction by efficient heating systems. There reductions are greater than 50 percent reduction and are very economic at about one quarter the cost of new generation sources. Obviously, if Nalcor is way off on the industrial they are way off on the total. But it is the domestic load that offers a solution to the total load, since efficiency gains there are so huge, if this is persued like say in Vermont. And the small business sector offers the same advantage Combined these are two thirds of the total load. It offers an opportunity to recover 600 MW of present waste. It offers an opportunity to avoid price increase for a decade or two, to the great benefit of domestic consumers. So , errors as to the industrial and total load, while correct, is a moot point. The small growth due to our heating, and the huge potential for reduction there is what will make or break this project, in my opinion. And I am confident the facts will support this. And you will notice that both Nalcor and MHI ignores this efficient heating technology, and even suggests that efficiency has reached a saturatiion point. How silly. And Nalcor avoids end use research which would affirm the effectiveness of efficient technology already used worldwide and now a standard for our large buildings. Surely that was bias and unprofessional.

  • Maurice E. Adams
    August 24, 2012 - 08:26

    Even though, it is the island's 'total' demand (not the island's 'domestic') demand on which the viability of Muskrat Falls depends, MHI's report effectively de-emphasized the fact that Nalcor's total island forecast was on average 10 times the industry standard. ....... MHI went to some pains to emphasize that Nalcor slightly 'under-forecast' (by only 1% annually) 'domestic' demand, even though such under-forecasting was within the industry standard of plus or minus 1% annually and even though such domestic demand only accounts for half the island's total demand......... And it was that minor domestic demand under-forecasting that MHI loudly proclaimed that Nalcor should have forecast higher......, So why did MHI not loudly proclaim that Nalcor grossly OVER-FORECAST the very demand on which Muskrat Falls depends? ..... Readers will recall how government and the media picked up on Nalcor's MINOR under-forecasting (which MHI emphasized), while no one spoke loudly about how Nalcor vastly OVER-ESTIMATED total island demand..... MHI's report over-emphasized the less important, while effectively de-emphasiziing (almost ignoring) the most important......... --- MHI even offered up inappropriate rationale, and almost "made excuses" for Nalcor's over-forecasting---- that in my opinion borders on bias..... Here is an excerpt from my April 21, 2012 Telegram article "Nalcor's faulty forecasts", -------- "Manitoba Hydro International, Navigant, Dr. Locke, Dean MacDonald (and others) all seem to have accepted, relied on, and based their decisions on Nalcor's load forecasts. Perhaps however, before doing so, they should have taken a closer look at Nalcor's forecast accuracy and reliability track record. If therefore, Manitoba Hydro International did not have reasonable, rational, and reliable grounds on which to base its advice to the Public Utilities Board, how can the province (and more importantly how can ratepayers) now rely on and have confidence that Manitoba Hydro International can objectively, rationally and reliably make recommendations using Nalcor's new Decision Gate 3 (DG3) numbers and on which government will have to, through necessity, base a sanction or no sanction decision? Manitoba Hydro International, Navigant, Dr. Locke, Premier Daryl Dexter, and aspiring premier Dean MacDonald notwithstanding, it is time that our provincial government paid more heed and gave more weight to the findings and recommendations of the only two independent reports that have been done to-date --- the Joint Federal-Provincial Review Panel Report and our own Public Utilities Board Report, both of which concluded that Nalcor had not adequately shown that the island needs more power. But why rely, once again, on Manitoba Hydro International, a company that has already relied on and supported inadequate, inaccurate and incomplete information?"......... Accordingly, MHI already, previously, pre-judged and supported Nalcor's Muskrat Falls project.......... How then can MHI be objective? ..........MHI has already, previously, accepted Nalcor's numbers, assumptions and conclusion that Muskrat Falls is least cost........ MHI has previously formed a judgment on the matter, expressed it in no uncertain terms, and CANNOT --- in any sense ---- be "independent". Maurice Adams, Paradise