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N.L., Emera reach Lower Churchill hydropower project deal

A C$6.2 billion (US$6.1 billion) deal has been reached to develop the proposed Lower Churchill hydropower project in Canada.

Emera Energy, the owner of Nova Scotia Power, says the proposed project will bring energy from the Lower Churchill hydro project to customers in the Maritime Provinces and New England.

Chris Huskilson, president and CEO, Emera Inc., and Ed Martin, president and CEO, Nalcor Energy, made the announcement Nov. 18. They were joined by Premier Danny Williams of Newfoundland and Labrador and Premier Darrell Dexter Nova Scotia.

Nalcor said the project includes a pair of generating facilities at Muskrat Falls and Gull Island, with a combined capacity of more than 3,000 MW. The Muskrat Falls facility, with a capacity of 824 MW, will be the first developed, Bloomberg reported.

Emera and Nalcor will jointly develop transmission in Newfoundland and Labrador to enable the movement of Lower Churchill energy through a joint venture that is 71 percent owned by Nalcor and 29 percent by Emera which will establish a new, regulated transmission utility in Newfoundland and Labrador. Nova Scotia Power will develop agreements with Nalcor to build subsea transmission between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in return for 20 percent of the energy from Muskrat Falls for 35 years. This subsea transmission (the Maritime Link) will be 100 percent owned by Nova Scotia Power.

The total investment by all parties into the project would be C$6.2 billion. Nalcor would invest C$2.9 billion for the Muskrat Falls facility. The transmission link from Labrador to the island of Newfoundland will cost C$2.1 billion, and Emera is investing approximately C$600 million. The Maritime Link connecting the island of Newfoundland to Nova Scotia is expected to cost C$1.2 billion, which will be funded 100 percent by Emera.

Agreements resulting from this term sheet are subject to a number of conditions including final approval of the Boards of Directors of Emera and Nalcor Energy and by regulators in the provinces of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador.

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