Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Newfoundland and Labrador to Examine Potential Hydro Sales to Ontario

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Newfoundland and Labrador to Examine Potential Hydro Sales to Ontario

Article excerpt

Newfoundland, Ontario to consider power sales

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HALIFAX - Newfoundland and Labrador is exploring ways of selling electricity to Ontario, but how to transmit the power halfway across the country remains unclear.

Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley said a commitment was made Monday with Ontario Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli at a conference in Halifax to set up a working group to study electricity trade.

"Newfoundland and Labrador has tremendous energy resources -- clean, renewable energy resources that some of the larger markets in our country and certainly in the U.S. are keenly interested in," Dalley said.

"Ontario has some supply needs, Newfoundland and Labrador may have some supply options, so let's take a look at this and see what we can develop."

The announcement follows last week's agreement by provincial premiers at a meeting in Newfoundland to establish a Canadian Energy Strategy, but Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador have been talking about a power deal since last year, added Dalley.

The two provinces will discuss opportunities presented by the $8.6 billion Muskrat Falls project on Labrador's lower Churchill River and other options.

Chiarelli said Ontario also wants to look at importing electricity from Gull Island, which is considered the next big hydro project in Labrador and is expected to cost at least $12 billion. Firm, long-term purchase agreements in provinces such as Ontario would be required for its development, Dalley said.

The hydroelectric power generated by Muskrat Falls would be through new subsea cables, including a 180 kilometre underwater Maritime Link from the island of Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, where it would be sold to U.S. markets and other provinces.

"There's game changing infrastructure that's being put in place," said Chiarelli. "It's apparently feasible, and it's going to require a lot of technical work to determine whether we will be able to make something happen there or not."

The two provinces formed a working group that includes Newfoundland's Crown corporation, Nalcor Energy, and Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator. They said the talks will be guided by reducing costs, fighting climate change and improving system reliability. …

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