Monday, 9 January 2017

PREMIER NOT READY FOR CBC's ANTHONY GERMAIN

One of the most worrisome aspects of Premier Dwight Ball's leadership is confirmation that he does not understand the critical issues facing the province and he is blissfully content in his ignorance.

Former Premier Dunderdale suffered the same malady. She, too, seemed confused especially with respect to Nalcor, the Muskrat Falls project, and the relationship between development costs and market value of the power. The only difference is that Ball is less imperious.

Premiers Tom Marshall and Paul Davis were slightly more articulate but both men either did not understand their briefs or deliberately misled the public. They, like Danny Williams, were never reticent about boasting of the province’s good fortune Newfoundland and Labrador, they said, was going to earn hundreds of millions from the Muskrat Falls project. Of course, it just wasn’t true.

With the election of Premier Ball, mindlessness to facts received no appeal.

Interviews conducted by the mainstream media in recent days illuminate the current Premier’s vacuity; often he isn’t coherent enough to be able to say that he is being loose with the truth.

The Telegram of December 27th quoted the Premier reflecting on recent budgets: “We had lived on, in some ways, false hope and false optimism. And people were told all these wonderful things, but their future wasn’t secured.”

Then the Premier added: “I am hopeful about 2017 and 2018… because we’ve put in place measures now to make sure that is secure.”

The Premier continued: “… one of the enduring criticisms of the budget was that it was… full of tough choices and painful cuts…”

Of course, all of this chatter is a gross misrepresentation of the single budget of his administration. Ball’s Minister of Finance imposed the gas tax, the income tax levy, and the ill-advised decision to cut a raft of public libraries to save an amount close to what he paid E&Y, a consulting group, to review the decision.

The “tough choices and painful cuts” the Premier refers to were avoided including public service bloat. In addition, the budget update contained a forecast drop in the deficit from $1.83B to $1.58B but even that reduction was due entirely to higher revenues, not to spending cuts.

In a CBC Morning Show interview with Anthony Germain on January 5th, Ball admitted that, so far, his steps to tackle the deficit constituted "drops in the bucket" a bald admission, to be sure, and one giving his own claims to “measures now in place" the status of 'poppycock'. 

The CBC Host reminded Ball that his administration “has pledged to reduce the deficit and return to a surplus by the year 2022-23”. To do that, Germain suggested Ball would have to cut $275 million annually. The Premier directed Germain to the “negotiations” getting underway with the public sector unions. But, again, Ball seemed unaware that is no guarantee of anything especially given that, in the absence of layoffs, wage reductions will be a necessary precondition to a balanced budget, and that is something the unions will not endorse.

The Premier did say, quite rightly, that: "It's really a spending problem, not a revenue problem." But describing the problem is not the same as having it in hand.

Ball was blissfully oblivious that "drops in the bucket" at $275 million per year, akin to death by a thousand cuts for the economy is an approach that will result in a far larger debt. It will increase interest costs by $100 million (or more), making the cuts needed closer to $375 million annually. A more knowledgeable Premier might have invoked the problem of taking half-measures as proof of the necessity for immediate action in any budget-balancing strategy. Instead, he gives the fiscal crisis the same urgency as snow-clearing.

But it was on the Muskrat Falls project that Germain drew the most blood.

Ball stumbled through Anthony’s questions about why he did not cancel the project and declare it “sunk cost” allowing incoherent rhetoric to substitute for a reply to the legitimate, and necessary, economic question. Then the interview started to get interesting.

Ball ventured to suggest that he was against the Muskrat Falls project in 2012. In his notoriously disarming manner, Germain nailed him for that untruthful assertion.

Germain had done his research and began quoting Ball his own lines from 2012 confirming his support for the project. Ball quickly retreated - acknowledging that the Liberals merely had a lot of "questions" about the project and that ultimately they didn’t want the project put “on the backs of the ratepayers”.

Ball didn't say who he thought was going to pay for the project. Would a mining company pay fifty cents a kWh and help pay for a new transmission line to Labrador West, too?

Indeed, as the 2041 Group discovered, it was difficult to get Ball and his Liberal Caucus to ask the government questions on Muskrat in the House of Assembly. When they did, they were often poorly phrased. Most of the questions given them by 2041 members were simply not understood by them. And the idea of a real cross-examination of the Government questions with follow-through content was an impossibility. The Opposition had no stomach for it and, to be frank, little talent for the effort, too.

Germain kept up his Muskrat offensive.

The CBC Host asked Ball about the impact of a doubling of the cost when Muskrat power comes on-stream. He told the Premier “you can’t sell that”. Ball agreed, but then proceeded with comments that were incorrect and misleading.

Said Ball: “… what we have to do is spend the next 2 to 3 years to put in mitigating efforts… but keep in mind Muskrat will be less than 400-500 MWs of power in a system that will be blended with Bay d’Espoir, Cat Arm, Hinds Lake, and others available to us. We have to extrapolate to the extent possible the cheap power… let’s keep in mind… people are looking for green energy to support the foundation blocks of power you would use to back up wind energy we want to tap those options as well…”

Germain must have been apoplectic at this point, but chose not to be responsible for his listeners losing their breakfast.

The Premier the guy whom the public depended on in Opposition and whom they trust now doesn’t seem to understand the basis of why David Vardy and others argue Muskrat should have been stopped a long time ago, that it is a fraud upon an unsuspecting public. For instance:
  1. The Premier's answer implicitly fails to recognize that the amount of power ultimately used on the Island is irrelevant. Under the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) the Island is on the hook for the cost of the whole project regardless of the amount of power it uses or how much (or how little) power Muskrat produces. Ball talked about selling power to other jurisdictions. But 20% of Muskrat power is committed, free of charge, to Nova Scotia a cost Island ratepayers must pick up. In addition, current prices at the New England bar an auction mechanism (which Nalcor also used to price surplus energy sales under the Excess Energy Agreement with Nova Scotia) are less than a tenth of the CURRENT development costs of Muskrat. Forecasts suggest an improvement in those prices as a result of the planned closure of some coal and nuclear plants. But even if those forecast prices are obtained, they represent less than a fifth of the fully allocated cost per kWh.  Then there are Emera’s fees and the transmission (wheeling) costs of the power.

  2. Ball’s answer confirms that he did not know that the 21.4 cents per kWh rate that Stan Marshall confirmed (based upon $11.4B capital cost) IS ALREADY BLENDED WITH THE CHEAP BAY d’ESPOIR, CAT ARM, and HINDS LAKE POWER.  21.4 cents per kWh is already a blended price!
  3. Ball did not know that, as a stand-alone power project, the cost of Muskrat Falls power is 55.49 cents per kWh. (Source: Nalcor). 
Ball did not mention the loss of the Upper Churchill Renewal case in the Quebec Superior Court. Neither did he acknowledge that the decision effectively nullified the Water Management Agreement.

We will have to pay Hydro Quebec for this right which will ultimately reflect even lower-than-forecast revenues from Muskrat Falls and higher costs to Island consumers. Indeed, the consequence of no agreement with Hydro Quebec is far more serious and has been dealt with in earlier posts.

In short, the Telegram and CBC Morning Show interviews are illustrative of a Premier increasingly aware of our fiscal problems but still far from able to articulate how the financial security of the province will be attained.

As to Muskrat, Ball appears to be on a learning curve not dissimilar to the one with which Premier Dunderdale marshalled project sanction. There is a lot of similarity between those two Premiers.

Despite the well-heralded implications of the Muskrat Falls project some are already calling for a federal bail-out we are served by a person who, since 2012, has failed to learn the fundamentals of a project that, along with his dither on the deficit, will send this province into a state of penury.


Unenlightened political leadership is bad enough. But this province seems doomed to political leadership based upon abysmal ignorance.

53 comments:

  1. It's time to face a hard reality. As a small and aging population, we cannot afford M Falls, nor should we. It's time to stop this increasing debt, shut it down, declare bankruptcy, and start over. We're being treated as, and governed like a third world country.

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    1. I've been saying this for a while now.

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    2. As long as we you electing incompetent corrupt, crony plagued governments, the people are the one who needs a scolding here for voter insanity. "What part of an 186 year old broken party style system that was built on Taxing itself into prosperity on the backs of the Tax payers"? don't you understand,, Time to get rid of the Debt Slave system, use the natural resources to financially free ourselves, by appointing an assembly that "won't keep giving away the resources for pennies on the dollar. We have the solution right in front of us.Time to wake up!,,"isn't it???

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  2. Ball's interview was confirmation that the NL Government is in deep denial about the extent of the disaster that is Muskrat Falls. The fact that he misunderstood or lied about the 21.4 cost being the blended price is the most troubling.

    His only answer for where 275 million a year each year in cuts needed to balance the budget will come from was an ongoing discussion with the public service unions! Apparently it is the total plan Ball has in mind. Bashing unions and ignoring spending is the totality of his plan.

    Stopping the MF boondoggle and reviewing the contracts signed and costs of stopping vs proceeding without review or any transparency is still not a consideration. Continued feeding of the monster in complete secrecy is Ball's agenda.

    It is high time Ball grow a pair and stop the hemorrhaging of the treasury. His loyalty should be to the rate/taxpayer not the oligarchs that continue to destroy NL in secrecy.

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  3. Its absolutely criminal...today I realize the levy has been applied. over $300 per month from my family. I simply cannot afford it. If they cut my job, im gone...another middle income young family gone. This place will be for the retired rich and the people that cannot afford, or want any better. :( :(

    They all should be held accountable for this whole situation since 2003!!!!!!!!

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  4. I have been doing heating energy use testing on a R2000 house size 37 by 37 with basement , main level and upstairs,in Mount Pearl.Tonight with forecast of minus 14, will give additional key data points.
    The house was built having 18 kw of electric baseboard heaters for heat. Using programmable thermostats, as recommended by the power companies, all 18 kw are on during morning warmup.
    Muskrat is 824 MW peak, about 500 MW continuous, and as little as 218 MW (deducting for the block to Nova Scotia) , according to analysis by the consultant for the Grand River group,(as recently filed with the PUB)
    Using the 218MW as the Muskrat power available for Nfld, and a cost of 12 billion, the capital investment and interest costs just to supply this one house 18 kws is...........$990,000.00
    The house is worth about $400-450,000 range.
    Another figure of interest: a toaster for this house uses 1kw. To feed this toaster, while these heaters are on, all with exclusive Muskrat power, requires another capital investment and interest cost for Muskrat of $55,000.00 These figures are before any blending is considered.
    Any wonder that Stan Marshall said this project can never pay for itself.
    We need more journalists like Germain to hold accountable those that are in positions of power, whether government or corporations. Where is Russell and Ashley at the Telly, Debbie Cooper, or Patty Daley on holding Ball and others (including the architects of the project) accountable........These journalists too need to do their research and ask the hard questions.
    Winston Adams

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    1. The Telegram never had any journalists on the natural resources or Muskrat Falls "beats"... only stenographers.

      Paddy Daly? Pffft. PC Paddy was never going to hold the Lord and Saviour to account was he?

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  5. Received a document from NL light and power yesterday on how to use less electricity to make my home more "efficient". Even had a graph comparing my home to an efficient one...of course mine was above the listed efficient one. But I thought this was very sad, since when I built my own home I used all r2000 materials. Including 2x6 walls with fiberglass pink as well as styro cladding on the outside. We have a secondary heat source as well...when it was built it was considered an efficient home. But today it is obviously not by NL light and powers standards. But then again, what is to be expected....more made up bs and pseudo science to justify the knife in the taxpayers backs of newfoundland and Labrador. Thanks everyone!!!! Especially Dwight, and Danny. Thanks to both you guys Joey will go down in history as a saint. At least he tried to help starving families instead of creating them. :(

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    1. I stand to be corrected, but I think that NP graph was just an example, and not meant to represent your actual energy efficiency. Maurice Adams

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    2. They did a poor job implementing the software that printed the mailings as well as the website. The graph I had mailed to me clearly showed my usage but the other graphs (efficient home, average home) were almost on top of each other. I then went to the web site and created an account, I got a different graph for average and efficient. I poked around the web site and found all sorts of things that made no sense. It struck me as a typical half-baked software product. I am an engineer had have decades of IT software development experience and can tell you that they need a lot of debugging and refinement if this initiative is to going to be useful (and not misleading).

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  6. In other words, Mr. Ball doesn't have a clue.

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  7. What did we ever do to deserve this Premier after losers Davis, Dunderdale, Marshall and Williams. Surely we have been punished long enough.

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    Replies
    1. You voted for him, or worse, you didn't vote at all

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    2. Not voting at all isn't worse. There comes a time when voting for the lesser of the evils is just voting for evil. One fix would be to have a check box for none of the above on ballots. Not sure what we do if "none" won other than to disqualify them all and force a new election.

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  8. I am wondering how many politicians from all 3 provincial political parties had procured contracts on the Muskrat Falls Project? Is that the reason the opposition parties have been so quiet?

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    1. /I know of a few Lookup MHA's and Directors with MF companies. They are there. and will in GOV and Dealing with the Company's First Hand. THey are ALL crooks, and the LOTS, Civil servants to, need to GO. IT's TIME to CLEAN HOUSE. just like Iceland and jail the Bastard for doing this to our Province and People. I'm STANDING UP WILL YOU!

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    2. Why is this not criminal? http://www.thetelegram.com/news/local/2014/5/20/bennett-says-she-knew-nalcor-had-conflic-3732036.html How can you be Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board while profiting off the construction of Muskrat Falls while it is bankrupting the province?

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    3. Working to verify recently obtained info about "insider" trading ref Muskrat Falls

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  9. I'm sorry, but I have a great deal of difficulty finding any sympathy for the people bitching now about the "levy", gas tax, or the so far non-existent "cutbacks".

    YOU. WERE. WARNED.

    You were told by "known critics", over and over again, that Muskrat Falls was a disaster in the making, yet you re-elected the PCs in 2011, and half of you still think it's a great idea.

    You were told by "known critics", over and over again, that the size of government under the so-called "conservatives" was growing from an already bloated size to an even more bloated and unaffordable one.

    You were told by "known critics", over and over again, that it was bad economic policy to increase the government's role in the economy (see bigger government, see also Muskrat Falls)... yet you CHEERED as Danny expropriated Abitibi, including the toxic sites that we are now on the hook for. (And don't even ask about the liability they bought at the refinery.)

    You were told by "known critics", over and over again, that the politically-popular tax cuts would come back to haunt us all if and when the price of oil, and therefore oil royalties, were to fall.

    You were told all of this.

    You were told there'd be a price to pay.

    Now you are complaining that there is a price to pay.

    You were told.

    Don't say you weren't told, because god efffing dammit, YOU WERE TOLD.

    Don't blame Dwight Ball... he's the poor effer left pushing the mop after the Tories flooded the toilet with diarrhea, because YOU, the public, the voters, were told that the diarrhea was golden and aromatic because Danny Williams told you so. You were gullible.

    Looking for someone to blame? Got a mirror handy? LOOK IN IT.

    The "known critics" warned you. You didn't listen. You didn't ask questions. You believed in the fairy tales.

    YOU WERE TOLD THERE WOULD BE A PRICE.

    Now there's a price. Don't act surprised. YOU WERE TOLD.


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    1. Damn straight!

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    2. Blaming the victims of this travesty is counterproductive.

      I saw ALL the pitfalls, loudly decried them over and over. I took a beating for giving voice to the issues plain to see for anyone who cared to do any analysis.

      Telling the victims they were told might feel righteous but it is self serving nonsense. You fear even publishing your name!

      Will you find the courage of your convictions and confront the oligarchs that brought you this disaster? Will you demand transparency and accountability? Fat chance if you snipe at others from the safety of an anon keyboard.

      Stop bitching and ACT!

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    3. Amen Bruno! Start the lobby for reform on Government Energy Conservation Policy, and conversion to Renewable Energy. All things considered, Muskrat, with its long haul, weather outage vulnerable transmission line, is not what one would call "Renewable Energy"

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  10. I guess its time to call on the Quebec Government to come in a solve all our problems and buy muskrat from us and save all us newfoundlanders. I don't understand how a project that was tendered at 6.7 billion has ballooned to well over 11 Billion and climbing. Give me a Break Premier Ball if you are going to come to a gun fight at least bring some ammo and a gun

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    1. "call on the Quebec Government to buy Muskrat..."

      Agree that HQ is probably the best entity to finish and operate MF efficiently/economically - in conjunction with CF. (But all HQ actions will still be scrutinized with high suspicion - not sure HQ will bother...)

      Anyways, make it an international call for tender instead (in order to know the real market value of the present MF project...)

      This way, we will avoid unfairly crucifying/bashing Quebec later, for apparently only paying pennies on the dollar...

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    2. To avoid any "misunderstanding" with HQ... it would be easier to just finish the project (if we decide so), and then sell the whole MF production (less the Emera block) to HQ - until we regain control of CF in 2041.

      In order to achieve any efficiency/effectiveness (with CF), HQ got to control the daily MF operations.

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    3. If you think Hydro Que would touch this fiasco, shake your head. They are much more clever than to take on this losing dam that will never pay for itself. Of course, if you include Churchill Falls in the deal, which you may have no other choice given your pending bankruptcy.... we'll talk.

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  11. Absolutely, cause I am one of them, that was told.

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  12. For all,the liberals who voted in this group of mindless idiots let me remind you again...you voted for a leader who is now premier and he didn't offer one contingency plan on how he was going to govern our province..oh yes you can reply they didn't know the state we were in, well let me tell you Paul Davis outlined a plan that was much easier on our over taxed lives,but no one listened.Now we have a group there that wouldn't manage a snowball fight.When Mr. Ball kept his mouth shut leading up to the election it was for a reason.He didn't know what to say anyway.Just read into what is being said above,you will get the drift.Pissed over this government...

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  13. Why are these former premiers who put us in this position arrested and sent to jail. Not living off pensions down in the sun. Need politicians away from spending the peoples money. They are just clowns who win a popularity contest in the middle of nowhere in the first place. Their main job is to be re elected and represent their party. They all agreed on the budget by voting for it and the one guy who did not paul lane was dismissed from the party. Save their ass first then their job and then maybe represent the people.

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    1. Please remember that Mr. Lane was one of the chief promoters of Muskrat under the PC's. I doubt that he has discovered the road to Damascus. Lane is a grandstander nothing more and nothing less.

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  14. I was asked if my calculation of $990,000.00 as the cost to supply 18 kilowatts of heat to a single house is correct.
    As this number is so high, I was concerned if there was an error, and also my calculator has only 8 digits, so a re-check is very appropriate.
    The unit of power is the watt
    A kilowatt is 1000 watts
    A megawatt is 1,000,000 watts
    Muskrat power for Nfld @ 218MW (if that figure by Grandriver Consultant is correct (this from memory....if someone can verify) means 218 million watts available , that is 218,000,000 watts.
    Cost at 12 billion =$12,000,000,000.00
    $12,000,000,000 divide by 218,000,000 gives a cost of $55.00 per watt

    So $550.00 for 10 watts, $5500.00 for 100 watts , and $55,000.00 for 1000 watts, which is one kilowatt!

    So for 18 kw of baseboard heat, this is 18 x $55,000.00 =990,000.00
    More or less a million dollars.
    This does not include power for the hot water tank, the dryer, the fridge, the toaster or kettle and Tv and lights. But all these together is much less than the heat load.
    Typically this house in the morning might hit 25 kw of load. If one looks at the transformer outside it usually has a marking number of 50. This means 50 kw capacity. typically 3 houses of this size is connected to one transformer. As there is a randomness to the loads, 3 houses will not equal 75 kw, so 50 kw handles 3 houses.
    most houses have 200 amp panels, and are 240 volt. 200 x 240 = 48,000 watts, that is 48 kilowatts. It takes 48 kilowatts to trip this breaker. 48 kilowatts at $55,000.00 per kw means that $2,640,000.00 of Muskrat power. Some large house with 3 car garages have 38 kw of connected load, most of which is heat, so $2,090,000.00 to connect this house with Muskrat power!
    Does anyone remember that it was uneconomic to supply electricity for the Sprung greenhouse.
    Would appreciate if anyone sees and can point out an error in these numbers, as it is rather unbelievable that this project continues.
    Winston Adams

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    1. You're not factoring in time. For how long does this supposed $990,000 heat this house? Energy is not purchased in watts, it is purchased in kilowatt hours. If you have 18 x 1000 watt heaters, these heaters need 18 kilowatt hours of power to operate for one hour.

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    2. That is correct, the cost of power used is not included, as the number $990,000 is only just to get that capacity to that house.
      If we consider energy used, look at the performance data below for -10C last night,and assume the rate of 10 cents per kwh.
      For programmable thermostats, that would set back at say 11 pm, and reset at 5 AM, we would have 6 hours off and about 2 hrs on to recover the temperature.
      Method A: programmabe set back required 18 kw baseboard on for 2 hrs, so 18 x 2 =36 kwh = $3.60 in energy
      Method B: Let 6 kw of baseboard stay on steady. This gives 6kw x 6 hr = 36 kwh = $3.60 cents. In reality this would likely be 5 percent more , say $3.78 cents, as the heat loss is a little more.
      Method C: heat pump with no set back of temperature using 2kw. Energy used is 6hr x 2kw =12 kwh =$1.20 in energy used

      Method A requires 18kw capacity so $990,000
      Method B requires 6kw of capacity, so $330,000 for this capacity
      Method C requires 2 kw of capacity, so $110,000 plus $15,000 for the heatpump. But this $15,000 is paid for by the reduced energy used, less than half the energy. And just use 20cent power for post Muskrat. It should be easy to see it is the cost of MF and such small capacity that will double our rates and more for 50 years.
      So is it justifiable to supply the 18kw capacity for that house?
      When you apply that principle to the 160,000 houses we have, there is no justification for Muskrat at all for island needs.
      Average house in Nfld has just 4 kw of heat, and can heat for less than 2 kw. So over 320 MW reduction. Seems fairly basic principle. And this is just one means to reduce peak demand.
      Programmable thermostats is adding to peak demand not reducing it, and requires large thermal generation capacity.Backward thinking.
      Winston Adams Logy Bay

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  15. Seems like we may not hit -14 C for our monitoring for heat use.
    If the programmable baseboard heaters were in set back mode, and all were reset say at 6am, the heat load would then be a full 18 kw for several hours warm up (and adds to peak demand at Holyrood bigtime)
    It is now -10 C
    At this temperature,if the baseboard heaters were running steady, the load would be 5.2 kw (about a third of the connected load) and stay at this unless the temperature drops further.
    We are at present connected to all electric mini-split heatpumps and have a total load of 1.99 kw. This mean a COP of 2.6, that is for one kilowatt of power in we get another 1.6 kw free, from mother nature. You would have to go south of Boston to get the performance we get in Nfld from these. And some makes do better than the units installed here.
    Nfld Power says these units are unlikely to offer any peak demand saving at cold temperatures.WOW! Speak of false assumptions! One must define COLD. Average coldest month is Feb has night low average of -8.6C Nevertheless, we must wait for colder than -10C and see what performance we get. Nova Scotia looks for operation to -15 C, and we should look for the same. We have operated the units to -18C, but did not then have the monitors to record the peak load saving.
    Winston Adams

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    1. It was about -10C last night in the back yard and the heat pump, a Daikin 4MXS32GVJ 2.5 ton unit, was blasting out hot air from all heads. The baseboard heaters were not on at all. The idea that heat pumps are useless (COP near 1 or less) in cold weather is certainly not true for modern heat pumps and the climate on the Avalon peninsula. From what I hear from manufacturers reps, the latest generation of heat pumps are even better.

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    2. Nfld Power just sows DOUBT to justify not properly promoting these as other provinces do. They avoid proper testing so they can get away with such doubt before the PUB. Ratepayers are not holding the power company accountable, and ratepayers suffer because of it. Testing requires BEST PRACTICES by power companies. They avoid best practices and customers let them get away with it. It any customer with these COLD CLIMATE models are not performing as expected, it is because they are undersized, or cheap models, or poor quality contractor and workmanship. All house will have these in 10 years or sooner, and the power companies dread it.

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  16. Is it true that the Power Monopoly in NL, has Legislation in place since 2012, which makes it illegal to develop wind farms, and sell surplus power to the grid?

    Why is the current government not working for the ratepayer, and the environment, to encourage this form of renewable energy generation? and to rescind this awful and backward Legislation? What is the current Energy Policy statement with respect to conversion from non renewable energy sources, (fossil fuel), to wind and solar?

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    1. Robert, the energy policy was and is MF, for going off fossil fuel. We have 2 percent of our capacity as wind.
      Last January our average peak was 1444 MW. We have almost 1150 MW of hydro, 54 MW of wind which produces 20MW on average. So more or less 270 MW of thermal, unless we get a bad cold snap which can drive up demand another 250MW but for only a day or so.
      Solar has a small value for the island. We are limited to adding about another 150 MW of wind which produces about 43 percent capacity,so could add another 65 Mw of wind to the present. This reduces thermal to about 185MW. There was 80 Mw of more island hydro that was economic , so that leaves 105 MW of thermal.
      Now look at Demand Management, that is efficiency measures especially for electric heating. 160,000 houses with 4kw each of heat that can easily be reduced to 2kw. That is a reduction of 320MW. That alone eliminates all thermal. And there is another 200 MW of demand reduction possible via commercial, hot water and insulating efficiencies, all very cost effective.
      New generation need be only 25 percent of the solution and demand reduction 75 percent.
      Winston Adams

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    2. That is another thing that the "known critics" warned about AT THE EFFING TIME, only to be shot down in a hail of "patriotic correctness".

      You were told.

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    3. I would suggest that most people were , like the PUB too, not given sufficient reliable information to make an informed decision. Power systems, the variety of options,the complexities of cost effectiveness etc is not known or understood by most people. They just expect the power to be there and reliable when the switch is turned on.They trusted our politicians and power companies, who misled us,and undermined our democracy to get their way, and continue to do so.
      Liberty is not even yet fully aware of all issues of reliability for transmission, as some simulations for power faults are not yet even done, 4 years after sanction ( but who reads those reports)
      That some of these alternatives could have been put to the public falls to the media, who ignored the critics and presented no alternative viewpoint.And they largely continue with that, with very few exceptions.
      And what of our great institution MUN, full of professionals, who could have done much more to expose the flaws and put it to the public: of what other jurisdiction have done. I submit they have let down our province big time. I had emailed Wade Locke for him to comment and assess options for efficiency and demand management, as was presented to the PUB....some 10 pages. His reply ......"haven't read it". Maybe if I paid him he might have read it, maybe not, as it was in disagreement with his arguments for MF.
      MF was uneconomic if it exceeds 8 billion said Lock, when 6 billion was the estimate. Now at 12 billion and who believes that is the final number. Does he still have an office an MUN? Does he sneak in the back door? Can Rick Mercer corner him for an interview? Can we send in the warrior princess with her sword?
      WA

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    4. Winston, thanks again for your insightful analysis. The Government, acting for the Power Monopoly, seems to be incapable of understanding that electrical baseboard residential heating is being priced out of the market. You continue to offer the individual single family dwelling ratepayer the renewable option, (heat pumps).
      Are there any active projects in NL, based on Central Heat and Power, (CHP), utilizing a combination of biomass fuel, geothermal, wind and solar? Clusters of apartments, schools, hospitals, MUN campus, industrial, etc. sharing the benefits of CHP?

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  17. The mishandling of MF and the rest of the NL economy by consecutive governments are the reason, my young and educated, family left NL in the fall. We did not see a future for our son or ourselves. MF, ageing population, isolated communities who want the services, crumbling infrastructure and a tiny tax base make the future look bleak. When younger families leave jobs and the province because they don't see a future you have a problem far larger that MF and poor leadership.

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    1. Pity..... as those that really love this province try to improve and change it for the better. As Obama said tonight, if you don't like the way it is, get organized and change it..........Yes we can. Des Sullivan has not packed up to leave. Him and others hope to change things. So, come back now...hear!

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    2. Easier said then done. My sentiments are exactly those expressed by this individual who moved his/her family out of this province while they could. We too are currently in the process of securing a residential property in the Maritimes in preparation for exiting this over-priced carnival as soon as it's possible for us to do so. The dimwits and culprits comprising the NL government, and their cronies and hacks, have effectively robbed this province of its future, and the citizenry is being gouged and levied into the poorhouse, local economies are being sucked dry of disposable income to feed bloated government spending and the Nalcor monstrosity, and the doubled or tripled electricity bills are imminent. That's the lamentable reality of NL. NLers have demonstrated time after time that they're incapable of competently governing themselves, and this wretched sub-Arctic rock is a northern version of a 3rd world banana republic. The real talent gets out upon realizing that, leaving the dregs to pick up the reins of leadership... a classic catch-22 situation. Needless to say, it won't be easy to reverse such an unfortunate dynamic.

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    3. I totally agree with your sentiments. After working "away" for the last 40 yrs, I returned to my native NL two yrs ago. I will be selling & returning to the mainland in the spring. I thought with the change in government there would be some hope for this province. Unfortunately, Ball has proven to be completely inept & probably the worst communicator I have ever witnessed. He just talks gibberish. How did this guy ever get to lead? The price of the basics of life in this province is way out of wack with the rest of the country, and for what? to maintain a bloated civil service and the lifestyles of the 1%ers. Muskrat Falls is the tipping point for folks like me. To stay here I see nothing in the future but crippling taxes & unsustainable cost of living increases. No thanks... Being burdened with the blunders of successive governments is not what I anticipated. Sad to leave but one must survive.

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    4. About classic catch-22 situation;

      As people leaves the Rock, NL taxation base (+ Nalcor consumer base...) gets eroded even further, putting even more fiscal pressure on those who got stuck behind (then, further accelerating the process).

      We must act NOW, before that death spiral process gets out of control.

      Eric

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    5. I left NL for another province as well.
      I wasn't going to subject my family to the current and continuing economic disaster.
      It was sad really, I love NL but the politicians that keep getting elected cannot ever seem to be trusted to do the right thing for people.
      I'll be back in summer to visit some friends and family and lament the good times but sadly living back there is but a dream for me now.

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    6. Good riddance, bad rubbish!!!

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  18. AS a side note, it was great to hear Anthony Germain of "The House" doing a political interview. Many journalists around here would more accurately described as stenographers.

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  19. NB-NS collaboration on power sharing. Can an Atlantic Grid publicly owned to better serve ratepayers be far behind?

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-power-nb-power-make-deal-1.3929638

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  20. Talk About a premier who doesn't have a clue. Imagine knowing that you are going to be asked specific questions about Muskrat Falls and not being prepared, surprised Gilbert Bennett (VP Nalcor), Paul Harrington (not sure what he does) Scott O'Brien (C1 project manager) weren't there beside him. Oh that's right, time to hide because the public are asking questions which neither of the nimrods can answer. Gilbert has been in hiatus since Mr. Martin left because the new leadership at Nalcor has no confidence or no respect for his non existent knowledge of building a mega hydro project (the cable guy). Paul Harrington well he's just too busy sitting in his Torbay road office with the door closed planning his next cruise and wondering if Mr Marshall will realize that he is suppose to be at site dealing with issues. Now the big joke at Torbay road is the project manager for C1 (powerhouse, etc) Scott O'Brien, as long as his hair is fluffed up and he thinks that the staff there fears him (Bully)he refuses to deal with any issues concerning contracts or contractors. Again no knowledge of constructing a powerhouse, no knowledge of forms and no people skills makes you wonder how this idiot got where he is? Isn't a project manager suppose too be where the project is. From day one Nalcor refused to accept any responsibility for this project, and you wonder why Ball has no clue about Muskrat Falls, I'm sure Siobhan is unable to understand the complexity of this project which is evident when she tries to speak on it. Give Stan Marshall a chance, I'm sure he will shine, let him do the interviews because he'll tell it like it is. So hopefully Gilbert will be dismissed as well as the other driftwood that are just there serving no purpose. First power 2021 and the costs escalate to 14 Billion now how do we the people of Newfoundland and Labrador afford that?

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    1. If it wasn't for the fact that we are in serious trouble with incompetant people having a free hand with yours and my money, this whole debacle is a comedy of errors. God Almighty! we must be the laughing stock of Canada and to have had a Premier stumble his way through an interview of which he should have been prepared for, with the Bozos who are supposed to be incharge, still in charge, because Mr. Marshall has not replaced them (which I suspect he was told to keep a "hands off" approach to avoid the possibility of the "real truth" coming out). It is unavoidable that the Feds will most certainly have to step in and oversee the project if not the Government itself---What a testament to a province who had it all and threw it away to satisify the egos of, and business opportunities for, a few powerful people!!!!
      I have no faith whatsoever for our future with powerful people having an iron grip on that future and no one held accountable.--- So we don't re-elect them but elect another government with the same same mindset---Geez! we are our own worst enemies.

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