Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Government of Nova Scotia
November 18, 2010
Lower Churchill Project to Become a Reality;
Province Signs Partnership Agreement with Emera Inc. for Development of
Signalling the commencement of the
long-awaited Lower Churchill River hydroelectric development, the
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today announced a partnership
between Nalcor Energy and Emera Inc. This arrangement complements the
partnership already in place between Nalcor and the Innu Nation. The
Nalcor/Emera deal will result in the development of Muskrat Falls, with
power being transmitted from Labrador across the Strait of Belle Isle
for use on the Island of Newfoundland. Power will be available for
recall use for industrial development in Labrador. Nalcor will then
transmit surplus power from the Island to Nova Scotia Power, a
subsidiary of Emera, across the Cabot Strait into Lingan, Nova Scotia.
The announcement was made in St. John's today
by the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador;
the Honourable Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia; the Honourable
Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources; Ed Martin, President
and CEO of Nalcor Energy; Chris Huskilson, Chair and CEO, Emera Inc.;
Joseph Riche, Grand Chief of the Innu Nation; and, Sebastian Benuen,
Chief, Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation.
"This is a day of great historic significance
to Newfoundland and Labrador as we move forward with development of the
Lower Churchill project, on our own terms and free of the geographic
stranglehold of Quebec which has for too long determined the fate of the
most attractive clean energy project in North America," said Premier
Williams. "The benefits of this project for our province will be
enormous, including thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of
economic activity. From day one, our government has taken a long-term,
strategic approach to developing this project. Our priorities have
remained steadfast; that is to achieve maximum benefits for our people,
and to secure stable rates and markets with a good return for the people
of this province. This agreement achieves these goals and also
solidifies a mutually beneficial partnership with Emera Inc. and the
Province of Nova Scotia. Today marks the beginning of a new era of
Atlantic Canadian cooperation and together we are telling the
marketplace both in Canada and the United States that badly needed
competition in the hydroelectric marketplace is on the way."
The Lower Churchill River system comprises
Muskrat Falls with 824 megawatts of power and Gull Island with 2250
megawatts. Phase two of the project will be the development of Gull
Island for which construction is expected to start several years after
"This is a historic day for Nova Scotia, and
all of Atlantic Canada," said Premier Dexter. "Through this partnership,
Nova Scotia is taking a major step forward as an international leader in
renewable energy. Today's agreement will create thousands of new jobs;
it will stabilize energy prices for Nova Scotia families and businesses
well into the future; and it lifts the idea of Atlantic cooperation off
the page and turns it into fundamental action, building a more
"This configuration is the most economic and
reliable option to meet Newfoundland and Labrador’s needs over the
coming years and opens the doors for the province to begin reaping the
export benefits of our wealth of clean, renewable resources," said Mr.
Martin. "This strategic partnership with Emera creates significant
opportunity today and well into the future as it will assist in building
stronger interconnections among the four Atlantic Provinces and the
northeastern U.S. enabling all to benefit from the wealth of
environmentally friendly, affordable and sustainable power Newfoundland
and Labrador and the rest of the region have to offer."
"This is a historic agreement for our region
and potentially transformational for our company," said Mr. Huskilson.
"It results in a stronger regional system that is consistent with Emera
and Nova Scotia Power’s focus on cleaner, affordable electricity."
"Our Energy Plan clearly stated our intention
to provide the people of Newfoundland and Labrador with a clean,
reliable source of power which ensured the long-term stability of power
rates," said Minister Dunderdale. "By concluding this agreement we have
accomplished these goals along with putting us into the energy
marketplaces of Atlantic Canada and New England. Most importantly, the
people of Newfoundland and Labrador will see a maximum return on this
resource and will have priority as owners of the resource to partake in
the development of a world-scale mega-project."
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro, a subsidiary
of Nalcor Energy, is mandated to forecast electricity requirements in
the province and bring forward the least cost, long-term option for
meeting these requirements. As a result of growing provincial demand for
electricity, Hydro evaluated alternatives to develop new generation
sources. Hydro assessed alternatives and found the Muskrat Falls project
with a transmission link to the Island to be the least cost alternative.
The Muskrat Falls option is also more environmentally acceptable than
maintaining an "isolated" island power system, which would retain
Holyrood in operation as a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Once the Muskrat Falls development is operational, the energy price
structure in the province will be stable and lower cost for consumers
over the long term and the province will avoid the volatility associated
with the price of oil.
Highlights of the agreement:
- 8,600 person years of work on the project within
the province between 2011 and 2017, with 5,400 of these person years
occurring in Labrador. Adding the indirect and induced economic
impact, there will be 18,400 person years of work in the province,
and 47,800 person years in the whole country; with peak employment
of approximately 2,700 people;
- Surplus capacity from Muskrat Falls can be
recalled as needed for industrial development in Labrador;
- The generating station at Muskrat Falls will be
100 per cent owned and operated by Nalcor Energy;
- Total transmission systems (the Labrador
Transmission line, the Labrador-Island Link and the Maritime Link)
will be majority owned by Nalcor Energy (51 per cent) and minority
owned by Emera Inc. (49 per cent); this ownership structure will be
assigned to assets as follows: Nalcor will hold 100 per cent of the
Labrador transmission and 71 per cent of the Labrador-Island Link,
while Emera will hold 29 per cent of the Labrador-Island Link and
100 per cent of the Maritime Link;
- At the termination of the delivery of the Nova
Scotia Block, ownership of the Maritime Link will revert back to
Nalcor Energy for $1;
- Nalcor Energy has the option to acquire full
ownership of the Labrador-Island link at any time and in any event
it will revert back to Nalcor Energy in 50 years;
- All engineering for the generation and the
Labrador-Island link will be done in the province;
- First consideration for jobs in Labrador will go
to the Labrador Innu as outlined in the New Dawn Agreement, then to
Labrador residents, and then to residents of the province generally;
- Of the total 4.9 terawatt hours per year of power
to be produced, initially 2.0 terawatts will be allocated to the
Island to meet domestic demand and to displace expensive, dirty
bunker "C" oil used in Holyrood;
- Approximately 1.0 terawatt hours per year, or 20
per cent of the output of Muskrat Falls, will be provided to Emera
Inc. for use in Nova Scotia. In exchange, Emera will invest over
$1.2 billion, or 20 per cent of the overall capital cost of the
entire project, and will be responsible for 20 per cent of the
operating costs of the entire project for the 35-year life of the
contract. As an additional investment, but not associated with a
power sale, Emera will invest approximately $600 million towards the
Labrador-Island Link in exchange for transmission rights for Nalcor
Energy in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New England.
- The remaining power will be sold into the
Maritime Provinces and the New England market place. Nalcor Energy
will be able to sell power in these jurisdictions as a result of
gaining existing transmission rights from Emera Inc. The total cost
of the project will be approximately $6.2 billion;
- With Muskrat Falls, the Newfoundland and Labrador
electricity system will be run on 98 per cent renewable,
- Emera Inc. will receive regulated rates of return
on its investments in the Maritime Link and other transmission
Today’s announcement is a historic milestone
in the development of the Lower Churchill resource. Milestones that
remain before the project is sanctioned for construction include: the
release of the generation and transmission projects from environmental
assessment processes; final ratification of the Lower Churchill IBA and
Churchill Falls Redress Agreement; conversion of the Nalcor/Emera term
sheet into formal legal agreements; finalization of financing; and
completion of pre-front end engineering work.
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Nalcor Energy and Emera Inc. Term Sheet
Thirty-five year deal which includes construction of Muskrat
Falls Generating Station, Labrador Transmission, Labrador-Island
Transmission Link, and the Maritime Link.
Emera Inc. (Emera) will contribute 20 per cent of
construction costs and provide transmission to Nalcor Energy (Nalcor)
across the Maritime Link and through Nova Scotia. Emera will also
pay the costs of operating and maintaining the Maritime Link to a
maximum of 20 per cent of the operating and maintenance costs of the
Emera will invest in the Labrador-Island Link at
an amount such that its total investment in the overall transmission
assets does not exceed 49 per cent. Nalcor will be provided similar
investment opportunities in future Emera infrastructure.
Nalcor will manage and execute the design,
engineering, construction and commissioning of Muskrat Falls and the
Nalcor and Emera will jointly manage and execute
the design engineering, construction and commissioning of the
Emera to own greenhouse gas credits associated
with its block of power which they cannot sell and Nalcor Energy
owns the remaining credits.
Governing law for the term sheet is Newfoundland
The Term Sheet expires upon the conclusion of the
formal agreements or November 30, 2011.
Both Emera and Nalcor will formalize the
agreements and conclude matters such as environmental assessments
and engineering work.
Nova Scotia Block and Maritime Link
Nalcor to provide Emera with approximately one terawatt hour per
year (Nova Scotia Block) for a term of 35 years.
Power to be provided to Emera for 16 hours per
day (on peak) and Emera’s transmission rights on the Maritime Link
are limited to delivery of the Nova Scotia Block.
Emera may seek to extend the agreement beyond 35
years and Nalcor must negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement
on an extension. If an agreement cannot be reached, Nalcor may sell
to third parties.
Both parties can seek to expand the Maritime Link
together or separately if the other decides not to participate.
Both parties will work together on an
environmental assessment submission for the Maritime Link.
Nalcor will own all transmission rights on the Labrador-Island
Emera will be granted transmission rights on the
Maritime Link sufficient to deliver the Nova Scotia Block. All
remaining Maritime Link transmission rights will be held by Nalcor.
Emera will provide Nalcor with transmission
rights from Cape Breton to the Nova Scotia/New Brunswick border up
to Nalcor’s capacity on the Maritime Link. Nalcor will pay the Nova
Scotia transmission tariff.
Nalcor will be provided use of Emera’s
transmission rights to transmit power through New Brunswick with
Nalcor paying the associated transmission tariff when used by Nalcor.
If these rights cannot be acquired or extended, Emera will purchase
the power Nalcor would have sold through New Brunswick.
Alternatively, at Nalcor’s option, Emera will provide Nalcor with
the opportunity to acquire or use 300 MW of firm transmission if
proposed Nova Scotia-New Brunswick transmission line is constructed.
At the termination of the delivery of the Nova
Scotia Block, ownership of the Maritime Link will revert back to
Nalcor Energy for $1.
Emera will hold its investment in the
Labrador-Island Transmission Link in a Newfoundland and Labrador
The Lower Churchill Project consists of two
proposed installations, Gull Island and Muskrat Falls. The combined
capacity of both facilities will be 3,074 MW, providing almost 17
terawatt hours of electricity per year.
Extensive pre-feasibility work, such as the
progression of the environmental assessment process, finalization of a
Water Management Agreement; negotiations for an Impacts and Benefits
Agreement (IBA) with Innu Nation of Labrador; development of a financing
strategy; as well as extensive engineering studies and field work have
The Lower Churchill Project will be developed
in two phases beginning with Muskrat Falls. The Gull Island Project will
proceed several years after Muskrat Falls.
The Muskrat Falls Project will include:
Muskrat Falls Generating Facility
824 MW generating facility
Two HVac transmission lines connecting to
Labrador-Island Transmission Link (~1,100 km)
Labrador (900 MW) Converter Station (ac/dc)
Overhead HVdc transmission line from Muskrat
Falls to Strait of Belle Isle
Submarine cables across the Strait of Belle
Isle (30 km)
Overhead HVdc transmission line from the
Strait of Belle Isle to Soldiers Pond
Soldiers Pond (900 MW) Converter Station
Electrode sites in Labrador and Newfoundland
Maritime Transmission Link from the Island of Newfoundland to
Overhead HVac transmission connecting to the Island
Bottom Brook (500 MW) Converter Station
Overhead HVdc transmission from Bottom Brook
to Cape Ray
Submarine cables across the Cabot Strait to
Lingan, Nova Scotia (180 km)
Cape Breton (500 MW) Converter Station
(dc/ac) tying into the existing Nova Scotia transmission grid.
The development of the Lower Churchill Project
is consistent with commitments made in the Government of Newfoundland
and Labrador’s Energy Plan which states that the development of the
Lower Churchill Project must be considered in the context of Nalcor’s
broader Integrated Resource Planning initiatives. This assessment has
been completed and Nalcor’s subsidiary, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
(Hydro), has submitted a Generation Planning Issues Report to the
Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities.
The report signals that a
generation planning decision must be made by the end of 2010 if the
appropriate planning, approvals and construction can take place to meet
anticipated demand. Hydro has evaluated all practical supply options for
generation sources to meet the Island’s long-term electricity needs and
it has determined that Muskrat Falls, with a transmission link to the
Island, provides the least cost and most environmentally-friendly
solution to meet this need.
The Energy Plan also states that, if a
decision is made to proceed with the Lower Churchill Project then
Holyrood oil-fired generation will be replaced with electricity from
this project. The replacement of this facility will reduce greenhouse
gas emissions by more than one million tonnes annually, eliminating the
province’s dependence on the supply of imported fuel and remove future
volatility in electricity prices. The project will also eliminate the
requirement for additional fossil-fuel generation in the future and
avoid associated emissions.
The development of Muskrat Falls will meet the
energy requirements for both Labrador and the Island and also provide
sufficient capacity for future industrial developments in Labrador and
throughout the province. However, the power and energy of generation at
Muskrat Falls is initially greater than what is required for the
domestic market and the related surplus presents an opportunity for
Nalcor to export power.
To monetize the value of the surplus power,
Nalcor Energy has partnered with Emera, a publicly traded entity based
in Nova Scotia which is the parent company of Nova Scotia Power, Bangor
Hydro-Electric and Maine and Maritimes. Nalcor and Emera have reached an
agreement that includes equity investments by Emera in the Maritime Link
and the Labrador-Island Link, provision of power to Nova Scotia Power,
construction of a Maritime Transmission Link between provinces and
assignment of transmission rights in the Maritime Provinces and New
England to Nalcor. This agreement will generate value for both companies
and builds on Nalcor’s existing relationship with Emera for the
marketing of a portion of recall power from the Upper Churchill in the
This development of Muskrat Falls is
financially attractive, generates a positive rate of return and ensures
long-term price stability. An agreement with Emera for transmission
access in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and through to New England and the
sale of additional power to export markets, further enhances the
viability of the development and makes this approach the most economic
solution over time. It also creates further export opportunity in the
future for the
renewable hydro and wind resources throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
Lower Churchill Project Economic Benefits
Development OF MUSKRAT FALLS
– November 2010
The Muskrat Falls development of the Lower Churchill Project
will begin in 2011 and is expected to take approximately six years.
The benefits modeling is based on the following components:
- The Muskrat Falls Generating Facility
- The Labrador Transmission
- The Labrador – Island Transmission Link
- The Maritime Transmission Link
Construction of Muskrat Falls will create significant
employment, income and taxation benefits for Newfoundland and
Labrador, as well as Canada.
- Economic impacts, including employment, income and taxation
benefits, are categorized as direct, indirect and induced.
- Direct impacts are associated directly with
the project including engineering and construction activities
such as erecting transmission lines or operating heavy equipment
- Indirect impacts are associated with
materials, services and equipment purchased by the project such
as workers involved with fabrication of equipment at supplier
- Induced impacts are those that occur in the
services sector throughout the economy as direct and indirect
income is spent.
- Direct employment benefits will reach more than 70 occupations.
Newfoundland and Labrador
The people of Newfoundland and Labrador will be the primary
beneficiaries of the Lower Churchill Project as per the Province’s
Benefits Strategy for the Lower Churchill Construction Project with
Nalcor, which ensures opportunities for the people of the province.
- Total direct, indirect and induced employment in the province is
estimated to be 18,400 person years.
- Peak direct employment in Newfoundland and Labrador will be
approximately 2,700 people in 2013.
- After construction is complete, Newfoundland and Labrador
employment will continue with an estimated 120 direct full-time
Newfoundland and Labrador
Direct employment in province
Direct employment occurring in
Total Income to labour and business
$ 1,430 million
Average income benefits per year
Taxes to provincial government
One person-year represents 2,000
hours of work per year
– the equivalent of someone
working 40 hours per week, for 50 weeks.
The Provincial Government’s benefits strategy for the project
specifically provides first consideration to members of Labrador’s
Innu Nation and then qualified residents of Labrador before those
from other parts of the province.
- More than 7,500 person-years of direct, indirect and induced
employment will take place in Labrador – an average of 1,150 people
per year – throughout the development of Muskrat Falls.
- More than 75 per cent of the direct labour for the Muskrat Falls
Generation Facility will be undertaken in Labrador.
- Approximately $450 million in income to business and labour will
be earned by Labradorians and Labrador-based businesses.
The development of Muskrat
Falls and the transmission link to Nova Scotia is a national project, as
reflected by the significant Canada-wide benefits that well be realized
during construction and operations
Total employment (person-years)1
Direct employment occurring in Canada
Total Income to labour and business
Average income benefits per year
Taxes to Federal Government
One person-year represents 2,000 hours of work
per year- the equivalent of someone working 40 hours per week, for 50
RESIDENTIAL MONTHLY ELECTRICITY BILLS
COMPARISON OF IMPACT OF MUSKRAT FALLS vs. ISOLATED ISLAND SCENARIOS
(i.e. status quo with upgrades to Holyrood)
IF MONTHLY ELECTRICITY
BILL IN 2017 IS:
In 2025, it would be:
In 2040, it would be:
MUSKRAT FALLS DEVELOPMENT
GENERATION AND TRANSMISSION
The Muskrat Falls Generating Station will have a capacity of 824
megawatts and annual energy production of 4.9 terawatt hours.
A concrete dam will be constructed in two sections with the
north dam being 32 metres high and 432 metres long and the south dam
being 29 metres high and 325 metres long.
- The reservoir will be 59 km long with an area of 101 km2.
The area of flooded land will be 41 km2 at full supply
level. The current reservoir for the Churchill Falls Generating
Station is 6,527 km2.
- The transmission line interconnection between Muskrat and
Churchill Falls will be located north of the Churchill River,
parallel to the existing right of way.
- The Labrador-Island Transmission Link will be constructed from
Muskrat Falls to Soldiers Pond. It will be approximately 1,100 km
long. The link will be a High Voltage direct current (HVdc)
- The Labrador-Island Transmission Link will cross the Strait of
Belle Isle and have a capacity of 900 megawatts. The sub-sea
crossing will be approximately 30 kilometres long.
- The Maritime Link will run from Bottom Brook, near Stephenville
and connect at Lingan, Nova Scotia. The subsea link will be
approximately 180 kilometres long and will have a capacity of 500
- Estimated capital cost of the project is $6.2 billion.
- The Muskrat Falls Generating Facility and Labrador Transmission
is estimated to cost $2.9 billion.
- The Labrador-Island Link and system upgrades are estimated to
cost $2.1 billion and the Maritime Link is estimated to cost $1.2
- The Muskrat Falls development will result in 8,600 person years
of direct employment in Newfoundland and Labrador with 5,400 person
years of direct employment in Labrador during construction. The
addition of indirect and induced employment means a total of 18,400
person years of work in the province, of which 7,500 will occur in
- There will be peak employment during construction of
approximately 2,700 people in 2013.
- Canada-wide employment will be 47,800 person years during
construction. Direct project employment in this number consists
largely of work of a specialty nature, such as steel fabrication,
which cannot be completed in Newfoundland and Labrador. However, the
greatest part of this number is the induced impact of spending that
flows throughout the rest of Canada.
- A person year is equivalent to one person working 40 hours per
week for 50 weeks.
- Muskrat Falls construction site accommodations will be designed
for up to 1,000 people and will be removed when construction is
Total income to labour and business for Newfoundland and
Labrador will be $1.4 billion or $220 million per year.
- Over $210 million in taxes will accrue to the Government of
Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Canada-wide income to labour and business will be $3.5 billion
or $540 million per year.
- Over $525 million in taxes to the Government of Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador will have an electricity system that
will be greater than 98 per cent carbon free.
- The development of Muskrat Falls would avoid approximately 96
million tonnes of emissions by 2065 – a significant number for a
AGREEMENT WITH INNU NATION OF LABRADOR
In February 2010,
representatives of the Innu Nation, Innu Band Councils, the Government
of Newfoundland and Labrador and Nalcor Energy initialed the following
documents contemplated by the Tshash Petapen Agreement:
- Bilateral NL-Innu Nation land claims
agreement-in-principle (federal issues to be resolved)
- Lower Churchill Project Impacts and Benefits
- Upper Churchill Redress Agreement
Negotiations had been ongoing between the Innu
Nation and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for many years.
The bilateral Land Claims Agreement-in- Principle, the Lower Churchill
Innu IBA and the Upper Churchill Redress Agreement were finalized and
initialed in February, 2010 and were negotiated at the most senior
levels of Innu Nation, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and
Highlights of the initialed agreement include:
Land Claim Selection
5,000 square miles – Labrador Innu Lands (Category I)
Labrador Innu Settlement Area outside Labrador Innu Lands (Category
- The Innu will have legal title to these lands
- Jurisdiction to make laws in relation to
- Resource royalty sharing
- Impacts and Benefits Agreements (IBAs) on
- Crown land, in which the Innu will have special rights and
benefits concerning resource royalty sharing, consultation on
environmental assessment, economic development and IBAs on major
Defined Economic Development Areas
- 13,000 square miles – Permit Free Hunting Area (Category III)
- Areas where the Innu people may harvest
wildlife without having to apply for, pay for or carry a
- The Innu will be able to enter into IBAs on most major
Upper Churchill Redress Agreement
The agreement provides compensation to the Labrador Innu for
impacts associated with the Churchill Falls development.
Under the Churchill Falls Hydroelectric
Development Redress Agreement, commencing on the execution of the
IBA and until 2041, Nalcor will make an annual payment (the
Settlement Payment) to Innu Nation of $2 million. This amount will
be increased annually at a rate of two and one-half per cent. After
2041, Innu Nation will be entitled to receive three per cent of
Nalcor's annual dividend share of revenues from the Upper Churchill
The agreement provides the Government of
Newfoundland and Labrador and Nalcor Energy with a comprehensive
release and indemnity against claims by the Labrador Innu relating
to the Churchill Falls development.
- If the Power Contract changes prior to 2041,
Innu Nation will be given the option to covert to the percentage
of revenue from the Lower Churchill Project established for post
Lower Churchill Project IBA
The Innu Nation was given the option of taking an equity
position in the Lower Churchill Project or an equivalent royalty and
has chosen the royalty option:
Employment and training participation objectives
in place for construction and operations
A target of $400 million in contracts for Innu
businesses or a penalty if target is not met
Joint Nalcor-Innu environmental management
committee responsible for:
- Five per cent of net project revenue
- $5 million per year payable upon project
sanction until first commercial power.
- A guaranteed minimum royalty beyond 10 years
Nalcor Energy and the Government of Newfoundland
and Labrador receive a comprehensive release and indemnity from the
Labrador Innu related to the construction and operation of the Lower
- Environmental policies
- Environmental Management System
- Consideration of Innu knowledge
The three agreements are
subject to ratification on a schedule to be determined by Innu Nation,
and the Innu Land Claims Agreement is also subject to negotiations with
the Government of Canada prior to finalization and presentation for
Agreements will become binding upon
ratification by the Innu of Labrador by community referendum followed by
signing of the Agreements by the relevant parties. The process for Innu
ratification is set out in Chapter 6 of the IBA which provides for a
community referendum following a period of public consultation. The
three agreements will be approved by the Innu of Labrador if: a majority
of eligible voters in Sheshatshiu and Natuashish participate in the
referendum; and at least 60 per cent of the votes cast in each community
support execution of the agreements. If the referendum fails because
less than a majority of eligible voters participate in the vote, Nalcor
and Innu Nation will meet to determine an appropriate course of action
which may include the holding of a second ratification vote. This
process has been agreed to by the Government of Newfoundland and
Labrador, Nalcor Energy and Innu Nation.
2010 11 18