September 9, 2009
Maritime Route Still Option for Lower
The Maritime route for the
transmission of Lower Churchill power into the Maritime
provinces and the United States is still one of two
possible market access options being actively pursued by
Nalcor Energy through the appropriate application
process, the Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Minister of
Natural Resources, confirmed today.
"We are dealing with the system
operator in New Brunswick through the established
process to transmit power through that province," said
Minister Dunderdale. "It is incorrect for the Leader of
the Opposition to say the capacity is not there. The
system operator, through the normal application process,
determines what capacity exists and whether additional
system upgrades are required to handle additional
transmission. The Maritime route is still very much an
option for us."
Nalcor Energy, the province�s energy
corporation, made application in 2007 through the Open
Access Transmission Tariff (OATT) process to wheel power
through New Brunswick. This application is for 740
megawatts and is based on the transmission access
required by the Lower Churchill project. This is a
totally separate process from the one referenced by
Opposition Leader Yvonne Jones in the House of Assembly.
"The 300 megawatts transmission
capacity that was tendered in New Brunswick in 2007 does
not meet our needs," Minister Dunderdale said. "We
identified what our needs are and made application to
the operator to transmit 740 megawatts border to border.
With all due respect to the Leader of the Opposition,
she is talking about a totally different process than
the one in which we need to be engaged and are engaged."
Nalcor Energy did not make a bid in
response to New Brunswick�s tender call last year as it
did not suit the needs of the Lower Churchill project.
Specifically, the preferred transmission route has not
yet been determined; the transmission availability is
not in line with the Lower Churchill project schedule,
and other options were not precluded by waiting for more
clarity on the optimal way forward.
"We have not lost our opportunity to
wheel power through New Brunswick. To state otherwise is
absolutely incorrect and it is not how the process
works," said Minister Dunderdale. "Once the studies by
the operator on our application are complete, we will
either be granted access to the existing transmission
system and pay a transmission tariff, or the system
operator will require the upgrade or construction of new
transmission infrastructure. Any infrastructure costs
incurred by us will be taken into account in any power
purchase agreements we sign in relation to Lower
Churchill power. The Maritime route is still very much
alive and well."
The Lower Churchill project is
advancing on multiple fronts. Transmission access
requests have been filed with Quebec and New Brunswick
as an exit point into Ontario, the Maritimes and the
northeast U.S. Nalcor Energy has also entered into
discussions with Emera and Nova Scotia Power to study
the subsea link and access to northeast U.S. markets. A
full environmental assessment process has started for
the generation portion of the Lower Churchill project.
Appropriate consultations continue to take place with
Aboriginal groups and discussions are proceeding with
the Innu Nation on an Impacts and Benefits Agreement.
"We will understand this project
completely before we make critical decisions on the
project," said Minister Dunderdale. "We are doing the
necessary due diligence that is incumbent upon us to
ensure we have the best possible project configuration
from front-end engineering through to transmission and
market delivery. We are advancing this project
methodically and strategically and in the best interest
of the people of this province for generations to come."
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Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
2009 09 09 5:20 p.m.