Natural Resources
Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
October 6, 2008

New Energy Initiatives for Coastal Labrador
Announced During Ministerial Tour of Northern Labrador

The Provincial Government today announced two new energy initiatives in select coastal Labrador communities designed to identify potential alternative energy sources for isolated diesel communities. These programs will assist residents and businesses to conserve energy and better manage their consumption.

"These energy efficiency initiatives will identify technically-sound alternative energy options and useful ways to conserve energy in the communities where these initiatives are taking place," said the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of Natural Resources. "The programs will also provide valuable information that can be used in communities all along the Labrador coast. These investments are focused on maximizing our energy resource potential in these communities and assisting property owners to lower their energy costs through reduced consumption."

The initiatives were announced by Minister Dunderdale and the Honourable Patty Pottle, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, at a news conference in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. The ministers are on a two-day tour of northern Labrador that includes a visit to the Voisey�s Bay mine site. The Honourable Joan Burke, Minister of Education, will also participate in the tour.

Both projects announced today are being undertaken by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) and will be completed by the end of 2009.

The Provincial Government is spending $500,000 to conduct an alternative energy study and an energy efficiency community pilot project in coastal Labrador communities. The funding is part of the $13 million allocated in Budget 2008 for implementing key Energy Plan initiatives.

"Our government is committed to improving the lives of all Labradorians and the benefits of these initiatives will extend far beyond the communities where they are being conducted and long after the work is completed," said Minister Pottle. "I am pleased to see that these programs reflect the input government received during Energy Plan consultations on the need to assess alternative energy sources for Labrador communities. Investments in energy conservation and efficiency projects will provide people living in Labrador�s isolated coastal communities with important support to become more energy efficient and make a real difference in their energy bills."

The alternative energy study is being conducted in seven coastal Labrador communities � Cartwright, Charlottetown, Hopedale, Makkovik, Mary's Harbour, Nain and Port Hope Simpson. The study will determine the potential for alternative energy sources to complement existing diesel generation systems, including solar, wind and mini-hydroelectric facility developments. The information collected through the study can be used to help identify the best alternative energy options for isolated diesel communities.

The seven participating communities were selected based on specific criteria to achieve a high likelihood of technical success. The communities had to have a forecasted growth in electricity consumption over the next five years and meet minimum annual energy consumption requirements. The ministers are visiting two of the communities � Hopedale and Nain � as part of their tour.

Hydro will also be conducting a pilot project to explore conservation and efficiency opportunities in two coastal Labrador communities � one in northern and one in southern Labrador � that have yet to be selected. Guided energy reviews will be conducted with residents and commercial customers in the two communities to identify opportunities for improvements in energy efficiency to reduce energy costs. The communities will be selected based on similar load criteria established for the alternative energy study. Hydro will be contacting pre-screened coastal Labrador communities over the next few days to invite them to apply to be part of this pilot project.

"I�m excited to see these two projects implemented in coastal Labrador communities for the benefit of the people of coastal Labrador," said the Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Labrador Affairs. "These projects are designed specifically for communities reliant on diesel generation and they are important initiatives for the people living in these communities."

The two projects are consistent with Hydro�s continued commitment to all electricity consumers to conserving energy.

"Hydro is committed to helping consumers manage their electricity usage through effective energy conservation and efficiency measures," said Jim Haynes, Hydro�s Vice-President of Regulated Operations. "By providing consumers with the tools necessary to reduce their energy consumption, we can help them lower their energy costs."

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Media contacts:

Tracy Barron
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 690-8241
John Tompkins
Director of Communications
Department of Labrador and Aboriginal Affairs
709-729-1674, 728-7762
Dawn Dalley
Manager, Corporate Communication and Shareholder Relations
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro
709-737-1315, 727-7715

2008 10 06                                                    10:55 a.m.


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