Wednesday, 22 January 2014


Nalcor V-P Gilbert Bennett's second response to the questions raised in two recent Articles posted on this Blog, regarding operational issues at the Muskrat Falls Site, has been posted. Mr. Bennett's reply is available on this Link.  

I acknowledge the clarity of his comments and I will be paying particular attention to how this matter unfolds especially in relation to the Project’s schedule.

That said, now that I have Mr. Bennett’s attention, perhaps he might respond to some additional questions to which this Blogger and others have been attempting to obtain answers.

These questions relate especially to the Province’s ability to avoid ‘black-outs’ in the future.

The maximum output available to the Province, in the winter months will be a maximum of 824 MW from Muskrat Falls, in addition to the 80 MW remaining of Recall power from the Upper Churchill. 

Once transmission losses are accounted for, and the deliveries to Emera are made, the Labrador Island Link will contribute 645 MW to the island grid at Soldiers Pond.  If Nalcor commits 80 MW to Alderon, this will be reduced to about ~580 MW peak winter delivery at Soldiers Pond.  Following the decommissioning of Holyrood there will only be a net increase of about 120 MW available to the island grid.

During the Muskrat Falls hearings the Maritime Link and subsequent deliveries were omitted from the Terms of Reference.  It is unclear if the Muskrat Falls review included the 167 MW peak delivery to Emera.  Let me address the following questions directly to Mr. Bennett:

Could you provide clarification on the following issues:

1)    What Capacity (in terms of MW) will be available to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (NLH) at Soldiers Pond in the months of January – May respectfully, and how does this compare to the Strategist calculations performed by Nalcor in support of the Muskrat Falls decision as the lowest cost option for ratepayers? 
2)    Does Nalcor’s obligations to Emera (the peak delivery of 167 MW, or sales of any surplus energy) potentially compromise the delivery to NLH? 
3)    What recourse (i.e. damages) does NLH have against Nalcor in the event of non-delivery?  Would any such damages be used to offset the rates payable by the NL rate payer? 
4)   Contractually, does Nalcor have a priority to deliver the 167 MW to Emera, or to NLH in the event of a shortfall in island capacity?
5)    What is the true impact in the event that Hydro Quebec is successful in their court case in terms of peak deliveries in the periods of Jan, February and March?  Can 900 MW be guaranteed over the Labrador Island Link, which served as the basis of Nalcor’s analysis in support of the Muskrat Falls sanctioning?
6)      Is the firm winter capacity of Muskrat as a run of the river plant 824 MW?
7)      Can Nalcor provide a status regarding the supply of backup power from Nova Scotia?  In the 15 legal agreements between Nalcor and Emera, has the access and rate been agreed for this back up power?

With the departure of Premier Dunderdale we hope a new era of transparency will unfold; one that includes the Provincial Government and Nalcor, too.  Let’s begin right here, right now.

Your prompt reply is anticipated.


  1. If, as Mr. Bennett states that Mr. Sullivan's comments are ill-informed, it can only be because of the iron wall of secrecy surrounding the MF Project. Nalcor has been behaving as if it is hiding behind its yet to be built dam. Now that Mr. Sullivan has his attention, we can only hope that this openness will continue. We will not be holding our breath, however.

  2. Bloody hell, Des! You have forced Nalcor to respond to your blog two days in a row. I'm beginning to think that comparison to Ray Guy may have a ring of truth. Keep up the good work.

  3. Two and a half weeks after Des wrote "Stop Being Bamboozled by Bullshit" and show Dunderdale who is boss ......Dunderdale is toast. Now we should all know that Ray Guy was most responsible for taking down Smallwood. Is not Des a student of Guy? Good work Des.
    Next target: Nalcor ., Martin and Bennett. They can ignore Des at their peril.

  4. 'Magus' Bennett is still casting spells, his memo was not a rebuttal, but a reaffirmation of his Fantasy viewed from the gold-plated solitude of the 6th floor of Hydro Place. A mantra can't protect this project from the Gnarley knuckles of the barefisted bloggers! Go get'em Des!
    Knock Bennett da F&*K OUT!

  5. I am waiting Bennett's reply to your most recent questions. With Dunderdale gone , will stonewalling by Nalcor continue as usual? maybe so, given Marshall's high praise for all things Muskrat.