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New study supports 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydroelectric plant as least-cost option

A study released this week from the Nova Scotia government said electricity purchased from the 824-MW Muskrat Falls hydroelectric plant could cost more than US$408 million less than energy imported from Quebec.

The report, prepared by Massachusetts-based Power Advisory LLC, also found that Muskrat Falls could cost $1.5 billion less than a combination of wind and natural gas sources through the project's 35-year commercial contract.

The study was commissioned by Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter in September 2012 and supports a previous report submitted by Nalcor Energy in November 2011 that defended Muskrat Falls -- part of the larger 3,074-MW Lower Churchill hydro project -- as the least-cost option for future power generation.

The Muskrat Falls project received an official go-ahead from Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Kathy Dunderdale in December 2012, who said the first hydro turbines at the controversial $7.4 billion plant could be producing power as soon as 2017.


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