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Canada utilities eye export options for 2,824-MW Lower Churchill

Three Canada energy companies announced Jan. 13 they will explore options for exporting power from the proposed 2,824-MW Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Labrador to Canada's Maritime provinces and to New England in the United States.

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, Emera Inc., and Emera subsidiary Nova Scotia Power Inc. signed a memorandum of understanding to study the technical, economic, financial, and regulatory aspects of exporting project power to the Maritimes �- Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island -- and to New England. Following a preliminary assessment, the parties are to decide if there is merit in advancing potential joint initiatives.

�This MOU complements our initiatives currently under way in other jurisdictions and is another step in ensuring we have the right portfolio of markets for the Lower Churchill project that will generate the best value for the province,� NLH President Ed Martin said. �We are looking forward to working with both Emera and Nova Scotia Power in an effort to identify mutually beneficial opportunities for this renewable, predictably priced, clean energy.�

NLH said all options remain under investigation, including a portfolio of market destinations and market access alternatives. Potential routing options being explored by NLH include a Maritimes submarine route and delivery through Hydro-Quebec's transmission system.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency is considering comments on draft guidelines for preparing an environmental statement on Lower Churchill. (HNN 1/3/08)

The project includes 2,000-MW Gull Island and 824-MW Muskrat Falls on the lower Churchill River. The two new powerhouses are expected to generate 16.7 terawatt-hours annually, which NLH said is enough electricity to power about 1.5 million homes.

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