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LETTER: Silence from Fortis/Newfoundland Power

The Muskrat Falls generation dam's spillway and powerhouse are shown in this in this October 2017 photo supplied by Nalcor Energy. Auditors testified Friday that Nalcor Energy didn’t adequately investigate energy alternatives before going ahead with the Muskrat Falls option.
The Muskrat Falls generation dam's spillway and powerhouse - Contributed

Nobody with any knowledge of Newfoundland and Labrador’s electric power system was surprised by Liberty Consultant’s conclusions regarding the necessity of reliable backup power on the Avalon Peninsula with Muskrat Falls in service.

Among those with expert knowledge at the time of Muskrat Falls approval (2011/2012) were Fortis/Newfoundland Power.

That the project was a “boondoggle” and managed by “non-utility experts” was known by Stan Marshall (Fortis) at the time.

That there were “reliability issues” was known by Peter Alteen (Newfoundland Power) at the time.

Why did they not speak out then rather than years and $14 billion later?

If they had, the project may well have been cancelled.

It would certainly have started a badly needed public debate of the merits of the project.

It would have certainly have lent badly needed public support to Public Utilities Board’s request for more time to properly evaluate Muskrat Falls.

Instead, they were silent.

On behalf of the 250,000 customers of Fortis/Newfoundland Power I have asked them for an explanation. They have refused to respond.

Why?

I note that one of the costs that must be included in the “reliability issue” is the cost of additional transmission capacity into the Avalon for any power that we may get via the Maritime Link/Labrador-Island Link.

All of these extra costs must be included into the final costs of Muskrat Falls for rate mitigation purposes.

$14 billion and rising.

For what?

Andy Wells,
St. John’s


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