Thursday, 1 November 2018

BIG WINDFALLS TO COME FROM CHURCHILL FALLS?

Guest Post by PlanetNL

PlanetNL18: Big Windfalls to Come from Churchill Falls?
For decades, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) Governments have recited the lost earnings potential of the Upper Churchill and bemoaned the billions earned by Hydro-Quebec (HQ).  They long for the day of August 31, 2041 when HQ’s locked-in low-price contract for 90% of CFLCo’s energy shall expire and most of the profit will flow into NL.

It’s the kind of linear-thinking politicians thrive on: if electricity prices remain constant, demand remains constant, and production costs remain constant, then the dream seems real.  A naïve Premier today may even be thinking of borrowing billions to mitigate Muskrat losses until 2041 because the mighty Upper Churchill will quickly pay it all back and more.
That would be a terrible gamble to take as already there are a number of economic threats to the viability of Churchill Falls power.
Nalcor Energy Marketing Not Earning Huge Profit Margins Today
NL Hydro has an exclusive block of 525MW capacity from Churchill Falls until 2041. It's purpose is to meet the Labrador Interconnected grid power requirements.  Surplus energy from that block has been historically sold through agreements with Hydro Quebec and for a few years by Emera Energy Marketing.

After Muskrat Falls sanction, Nalcor created a new division, Nalcor Energy Marketing (NEM), to manage the coming growth in energy sales opportunities.  It is responsible for sales of Muskrat surplus via the Maritime Link, the ongoing Churchill Falls surplus via HQ, and potentially yet to be developed sales opportunities such as Gull Island.  As well, there is the period beyond 2041 to consider when HQ’s contract for the bulk of Churchill Falls energy expires.  The formation of NEM makes sense within Nalcor’s strategy.

NEM annual reports allow analysis of its financial performance.  In 2016 and 2017, NEM recorded net profit of about 0.8 c/kWh on its Upper Churchill surplus energy sales.  Using this current figure as the baseline, this posting will present three primary issues that will push that profit margin down.

It is assumed that NEM sells mainly into US energy markets and its primary costs are energy and transmission.  NEM pays the same super-low 0.2 c/kWh energy rate as HQ.  Transmission is the main cost.  NEM has a transmission contract that approximates closely HQ’s current open-access transmission fee of 1.25 c/kWh.  NEM may also have to pay additional transmission fees in jurisdictions beyond Quebec depending upon the location of the sale.

Recent History: Export Prices Trending Down
The graphic below shows that the best days for US electricity export ended long before Muskrat was sanctioned.  2017 prices are over 60% lower than 2008, driven primarily by natural gas prices which have plummeted with the success of fracking technology for gas production in many eastern US states.

Source:  Hydro Quebec.com

Next, consider this re-framed snapshot of CFLCo total earnings potential.  If the 30,000 GWh taken annually by HQ from Churchill Falls were sold by NEM at their net profit margin of 0.8 c/kWh, the total earnings would be $240M.  Given NL’s 65.8% ownership of CFLCo, the return to NL would be $158M while HQ would earn the balance of $82M. 
Billion-dollar yields from Churchill Falls are strictly history.

The Future: Ongoing Downward Price Pressure
The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) makes publicly available some of the best statistics and forecasts needed for economic analysis.  The latest EIA long-term forecast is for US electricity rates is quite flat (negligible growth after inflation).  The corresponding EIA graphic below reveals a warning detail for energy generation businesses: their share of unit revenue within the forecast is expected to drop 10% by 2050.


To predict the impact on Churchill Falls profit margin, consider the roughly US 3 c/kWh energy price shown in the HQ chart above and then apply the EIA price drop of 8-10% post-2041.  It appears the profit margin will fall by 0.3 c/kWh.

Followers of energy technology may suggest the EIA’s pace of generation cost decline is too subtle.  Wind turbines and solar panels are winning record low energy supply contracts around the world and surely the trend is going to continue to be impressive over the coming decades.  More disruptive will be energy storage which is already taking off on a small scale and some research suggests it can be utility-scale in a couple of decades.  Ontario already has 20 energy storage facilities in the works.  Success of utility-scale energy storage would leverage the performance of intermittent renewables leading to the obsolescence of many existing power plants: this is a big threat to remote generation sites like Churchill Falls.

Rising Operating Costs
Churchill Falls operating and maintenance (O&M) costs have steadily risen and equate to 0.3 c/kWh at present.  As the facilities will approach 70 years old by 2041, there will be major sustaining capital investments driving O&M cost substantially higher.  

A modest program in the order of $500M could have the impact of adding another 0.3 c/kWh to O&M costs.  Such a budget could be exceeded on the CFLCo transmission assets alone should the replacement of conductors, structural upgrades to towers or other work be required.  If additional upgrades are required in the generating station or on dikes and remote sites, then costs rise more.

For this analysis, a $1B capital program resulting in 0.6 c/kWh cost increase by 2041 is predicted and this may be a very conservative estimate.

Rising HQ Transmission Fees
NEM will have to continually renew its transmission contracts with HQ, a cost that has a 100% certainty of increasing by 2041.  Like Churchill Falls, many key HQ transmission assets will be 50-70 years and HQ will be spending major capital on those assets both before and after 2041 and that will significantly impact their calculation of transmission fees.
For this analysis, a near 50% increase over 23 years on the current HQ transmission rate is estimated: a unit cost increase of 0.6 c/kWh.

Adding Up the Possible Changes
The three primary adjustments described above are summarized in the scorecard below starting with the existing NEM net profit and finally, predicting the profit/loss in 2041.

c/kWh
2017 NEM net profit
  0.8
2041 price decrease
- 0.3
2041 O&M increase
- 0.6
2041 HQT increase
- 0.6
2041 Total Changes
- 1.5
2041 Net Loss
- 0.7

Clearly the losses predicted in this very simple analysis are not what the people of this province have been conditioned to expect.  Whether Government and Nalcor have similar insights is unknown but based on their handling of Muskrat Falls it is very doubtful.  Yet the time to be accurately informed and prepared is now as market opportunities to keep Churchill Falls running beyond 2041 are going to be few and far between.  

Key Market Opportunity – Offsetting Ontario Nuclear
As prospects of exporting energy to the US after 2041 increasingly vanish, the best fit for Churchill Falls power likely exists in Ontario where a substantial part of their nuclear fleet is scheduled for a series of refurbishments over the next 15 years, as shown below.  Churchill Falls energy, in the long run, could offset several nuclear reactors.



There are many informed critics of the risks of Ontario’s nuclear refurbishment program who believe few if any of these refurbishments should be allowed to proceed and that lower risk alternatives exist for Ontario ratepayers.  Recognizing key risks, the project management process being used on these projects allows the option to terminate the project should delays and cost overruns become onerous. 

The new Quebec Premier has not been shy in campaigning on the potential for Hydro-Quebec to offer cheaper energy to Ontario than it would get from the Darlington project (Globe and Mail, Konrad Yakabuski, Oct.24, 2018).  The new Ontario Premier may be inclined to listen although the range of business interests in his province supporting the refurbishment projects are quite entrenched and powerful.

There is a new wrinkle though as Ontario faces potential energy shortages due to both the lost capacity during the nuclear refurbs and Premier Doug Ford’s recent cancellation of many renewable projects.  Ontario’s Independent Energy System Operation is now predicting a 1300MW capacity shortfall in 2023 and up to 3500 MW later in the decade as Bruce units are taken down (Globe and Mail, Shawn McCarthy, Oct.15, 2018).

This Province must ensure it is part of any conversations and negotiations and position itself as ready to commit post-2041 Churchill Falls energy to the solution.  This would allow customers to consider their long-term supply needs beyond the risks tied to the HQ contract expiry in 2041.

One thing is for sure, Hydro-Quebec will be at the center of any such supply arrangement and should be expected to put their own interests first, potentially building new hydro facilities in Quebec that will threaten to strand Churchill Falls energy post-2041.  Simply renewing a contract for Churchill Falls to maintain and serve Labrador power needs economically could be the sole post-2041 goal for NL.

If Ontario stays the course with its current nuclear refurbishment program, their next round of refurbishment would be due in the 2040s and 2050s.  New Brunswick’s recently refurbished Point LePreau nuclear plant would be due in the 2040s as well.  By that time, however, technology advances in renewables and energy storage will likely be proven better than either nuclear refurbishment or importing increasingly expensive long-distance hydro power. 

Should hydro power markets face serious long-term decline, Hydro-Quebec may choose to cut its losses starting with Churchill Falls, leaving Labrador an isolated non-exporting market.  Unless there is furious industrial growth within Labrador on an unimaginable scale, the cost of operations at Churchill Falls will not be sustainable.  Abandoning Churchill Falls and powering Labrador entirely from Muskrat Falls might seem a better fit but could Muskrat even operate if the Churchill Falls up-river infrastructure is not maintained and controlled beyond 2041? 

Not only are major windfalls from Churchill Falls unlikely post-2041 but perhaps in 23 years time, the most economic option could result in Hydro-Quebec supplying all Labrador interconnected power. 

98 comments:

  1. Right on PlanetNL these are the discussion, planning and possibilities of the realities of the future, but certainly not in line with our two greatest hydro experts in the land. KD and Eddie. KD departing words were we needed the power and it is the least cost option. And Eddies departing words were, we will have power from muskrat and CF as long as the rivers flow, and that is forever. All part of Danny's Energy Wharehouse. Yes, the words of our three greatest hydro experts. And they were certainly off to a great start with the boondoggle, so move over PlanetNL and make way for the energy plan of our three greatest hydro experts says Joe blow. Agree our only hope is if we could entice some heavy industry into Labrador that is willing to pay enough to keep CF economical, otherwise it could indeed become a stranded asset.

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  2. Yes this confirms several points I have been making for a while now.

    The age of remote generation of ANY kind is over. Wind and sun (and battery storage) now outcompete remote generation. Utility scale battery storage is here now not several decades away. It is available as a service to even out renewable energy and balance loads instantaneously now! The age of renewables, unconstrained, up to 100% is here now!

    Yes this is bad news for both the UC and LC that will both LOSE money selling into the closest markets. Gull is unimaginably stupid to contemplate at this point.

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    1. Define remote , Bruno. For your TV, 10 ft, for a car start , 100ft. For power generation, do you mean remote generation is 500ft , 1 mile , 10 miles 300 miles, or a thousand miles or more. You never answer that question.You use generalities, and logic like Peckford's Pickle palace,as to cost effectiveness. Wind and sun and battery storage outcompete in some , but far from all locations. Yes utility scale battery storage is here , but not very cost competitive. Wind and battery to offset Holyrood was like 17 billion cost. But the size selection was so foolish, and it was wind / battery alone, which was also foolish. Renewables unconstrained up to 100% here now, you say... but fake news as to cost competitive for most areas.
      So you are deceptive Bruno. MFs too was not cost competitive, not least cost remember?
      All of our energy is from a remote source, Mr Sun, remember? Is it remote? 93,000,000 miles. But even that is enhanced in daytime, then at night time , the stars energy give us light. That generation is much further away. Did you say remote generation of ANY kind is over? You have a closed mind, or you go off in tangents . like mixing up photon production and interactive effect.
      That WEED you smoke must be wicket stuff?

      Winston Adams

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  3. A little off topic here but I just caught Derrek Sturge's last comments to Geoff. Wow. He acknowledges he didn't have all the financial info/facts but still stands by what was done at the time. As VP of finance and CFO, he should've accounted for every cent within this project or lack there of. Derrick, there's only one way you weren't MISLEAD... is if you were following. For the position you held and were compensated for, you needed to be more competent or more angry at those who are now leaving you dangling and and feeling embarrassed. Who are you protecting? You might want to rethink you last few comments to Geoff.

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    1. People at his level are "yes men". They aren't there to serve anyone or anything except themselves. In order to keep your position (and maximize pension) is to do whatever keeps the sociopaths above them happy. Same thing in core government. ADMs and directors question almost nothing and are handsomely rewarded for their sycophantic behavior.

      If we had a culture of pushing back and treating the public service as actually serving the public, it might be different. The first thing that needs to go is end the constant nepotism, cronyism and patronage assignments. The current system is to messed up that you'd have to fire everyone from Manager to Deputy Minister, bring in a 3rd party to oversee the hiring process (gov HR is corrupt) and rehire based on merit.

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  4. A possible salvage solution might be to operate MF at full capacity and provide free electricity to an industrial park nearby. Any large business (aluminum smelting, tire production, cement, etc) that wants to set up labor intensive operations is welcome. Crypto mining is not labor intensive so it would be a poor fit. When we get Churchill Falls back, built another industrial center.

    The export would not be electricity, but finished product with the energy embodied. Revenue would come from income tax on employee salaries.

    Bottom Feeder 1

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  5. I am surprised to see that many elements out of lines in an article from Planet NL...

    1-NEM will surely not pay 2 mills per KwH

    That price proved itself too low to pay back the operational costs. That's why HQ designed the GWAC which is considered to double the amount paid by HQ for UC. As such, a base price for NEM would be more 4 mills, maybe even 5 mills.

    2-You forgot the dividend CFLCo must pay to the government

    In your number, you took a potential benefit of 240 and splitted it as 158 and 82. Know that before distributing any benefit to its shareholders, CFLCo must pay 2 dividends to the Government first. Only what remains is to be splitted. A 75 - 25% share is closer to reality despite ownership being 65.8 - 34.2.

    3-The potential to keep selling to HQ

    In your article, you talked about potential revenues way below 1 cent, or even losses. Considering that HQ's production cost is around 2 cents, why don't you just keep selling all of UC power to HQ at say 18 mills ? That remains below HQ's own cost, so they will be interested. It is also about 13 - 14 mills above CFLCo's costs and no transport fees, so all benefit for CFLCo.

    That also deals with the need to maintain the transport system : HQ will do it itself, from its own revenues, in order to benefit from UC.

    4-Stop competing against HQ

    Trying to do as you describe here means that you would turn into a direct competitor to HQ. Do you really think you can defeat HQ ? Remember the Frog and the Ox ?

    Any market you talk about, HQ will be looking at them too. Why won't you start to collaborate with HQ instead ? Sell all the power to HQ and let them do the re-sale instead.

    Keep selling all of UC power to HQ at a reasonable price that will remain below HQ's cost and you will ensure all the power is sold, without risk, get the best profit reasonable to expect in the power market and more.

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  6. Maybe you should read it again with a less biased mind.

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    1. Hi Anon 11:39,

      The 2 mills rate being too low for CFLCo is well known fact. No interpretation or biais here. Same for the dividend to be paid to government.

      As for collaborating with HQ instead of fighting them, do as you wish. You would rather looses fighting HQ ? Go for it. But should you be looking for benefits better than what Planet NL exposed in this article, you can have if you start working with HQ instead of working against.

      So keep puffing yourself Frog, you are not as big as the Ox yet!

      Delete
    2. You both need to read the piece again!

      Sending energy in both directions (through NS or Quebec) loses money! Hate to spoil your vile nationalist anger at one another but you must find another way to hate since your (il)logic is now exposed.

      Let the electrons speak any language they wish!

      Delete
    3. Hi Bruno,

      So it would not be logic for HQ to buy power 10% cheaper than what they can produce themselves ?

      It would not be logic for HQ to keep operating the second most powerful power plant of its fleet ?

      As for CFLCo, to receive about 500 millions for a plant that costs about 60 millions to operate is a loss ?

      What you said about producing electricity from remote sites is true only because all the most capable remote sites have been developed already and so the ones that remain are not capable enough to justify new development. But as for existing sites like UC, they are still very good and very appropriate.

      Also, when is it the last time that you measured how much toxic chemicals are in these industrial batteries, how often these batteries need to be cycled and so how much chemical waste such an installation produced on an annual basis ?

      You clearly need to re-do your maths on basically everything here because if one is short in logic, it is neither Anon 11:39 nor me...

      Delete
    4. Agree with Bruno that the post demonstrates NL has very little chance to directly monetize export power now, in 2041, or later. Bottom Feeder 1 idea to have electric industrial parks is interesting but a tough road unless enough subscribers come in for all power which is like 20 new IOC mines. And don't forget IOC pays only about 0.2 c/kwh now. Ask them what they'd do if they had to pay anywhere close to island industrial rates - even half - and I bet they'd shut down almost overnight. Going to be a tough sell.

      Delete
    5. Heracles31 and Winston need to have tea with the Red Queen! Only she can follow your logic!

      Delete
    6. Ok... Now I see why UG casted you out of the blog... Let see how long his patience will be this time...

      Until then, have fun

      Delete
  7. What you say Heracles makes total sense. I would just use different wordings than "Stop competing against HQ"... ;-)

    I would rather say it would be much more profitable for CFLCo to just sell directly to HQ (at an indeed win-win 18 mills, by example) than attempting to export it in the totally depressed US market (and paying everyone's wheeling fees).

    We definitely agree that HQ is by far better tooled to extract better export prices, at optimal timings. HQ is also a well known / trusted entity in those markets.

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    1. Hi Ex-mil,

      There are many reason why I am not a politician and this is one :-)

      Delete
    2. You all keep stating the obvious. HQ, by virtue of its geographic location, built infrastructure, political corporate and cultural power, is better situated to develop and capitalize on the massive natural resources of Labrador. How did Danny and his followers, (Danny and the Juniors), not recognize and accept this fundamental set of facts?

      Delete
    3. Robert Holmes: I assume your question is rhetorical, but here's the answer I have for you: The ultimate cause is the NL electorate. Yup.

      Simply put, all successful NL politicians obviously believe, like Milton's Satan, that it is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.

      That is to say, one and all they owed (at least part of) their political power to anti-Quebec rhetoric, with Hydro-Quebec especially being depicted as some kind of sinister monster. This rhetoric made it well-nigh impossible for any of them to seriously consider a solution to NL's energy situation involving active collaboration with Hydro-Quebec (as it would have cost them everything, politically).

      Now, had they as a group NOT made use of anti-Quebec rhetoric, perhaps it would then have been possible for NL and Quebec to come up with such a plan...but then a distinct group of politicians would probably be running NL today if the present-day politicians had refrained from anti-Quebec rhetoric. As a group they all made their choice (perhaps not consciously): They chose political power within NL, even if the means of obtaining said power would have a profoundly negative impact on NL's future, indeed turn it into a Hell in the near future for all too many of its inhabitants. Hence the similarity, to my mind, of your political Elite to Milton's Satan.

      If Classical English literature is not to your taste, you might compare them to John Yossarian in that fine American Classic, CATCH-22. The Catch-22 any would-be politician in NL must face is the following: 1-Any viable solution to NL's energy predicament requires collaboration with Quebec, 2-In order to make such a deal, a politician must be elected and be either Prime Minister or at least a Cabinet Member, and 3-Getting elected to such a position requires pandering to the electorate's anti-Quebec prejudice, indeed strengthening it, thereby making 1 impossible.

      So: Don't blame Danny or any other elected politician. Accepting this "fundamental set of facts" would basically lead to these elected politicians losing their next election. It is the NL electorate which needs to change its attitude, needs to accept this fundamental set of facts, not the politicians they put into power or remove from power at the ballot box.

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    4. No rhetorical approach needed Etienne; My premise that Labrador development is stymied by the colonial governance on the Avalon. Taking Piketty's, (Capital in the twenty first century), Rentier concept, what would you say to a 99 year lease to QC the mineral and water resources of the complete Grand River watershed. This would include the disputed Southern Boundary which would permit full development of the four rivers into the St. Laurent Basin. One stipulation would of course involve the indigenous, with treaty similar to James Bay.

      Delete
    5. And I wonder why Nflders think the 4 Atlantic provinces as one is a better situation than Nfld alliance with Quebec, with which we have a long border, shared resource opportunities, and Quebec too has a long coastal stretch on the Atlantic. Is it the French language that hinders the obvious better arrangement, and the 4 Atlantic provinces are more Anglo Saxon? Hasn't that cost us this boondoggle and other lost opportunities?
      Winston Adams

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    6. NL loses again in court tomorrow. cue the outrage, the gnashing of teeth, the rending of garments, the lowering of flags.. rev up the ambulance chasing lawyers for a another quixotic run at the courts.. "remember the Alamo", except we never win anything as we sink deeper in debt ... we never learn

      Delete
  8. Disappointed in Planet NL analysis. While some things worth considering, I think Heracles and Ex - military are more rational.
    In reading this just part way through, I thought this a cue for Bruno to jump in all excited. He did just that, with his usual twisted logic and irrational exuberance.
    So, who is PlaneNL? What is the expertise? Generally their pieces are very good.
    One should be careful to predict events and energy prices 23 years out, in either direction. Is PlanetNL watching the Inquiry , and see the risks of 57 years out? Even 5-10 years can be risky.
    Winston Adams

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  9. Capt Kean was very good at writing project procedure documents, in fact he wrote most of them, some contrary to Nalcor policies !!!!

    Too bad the main project estimator, Paul Lemay, said today he NEVER READ the Project Control Document - even the section of estimates !!!!

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  10. From the Inquiry today. Sturge constantly gives a shrug and a gesture of no big deal. We're talking of billions of dollars wasted and just a TOO BAD attitude.
    The godfather, Tommie, trying to show that Nalco did everything by the book, said to Sturge :There was an open book of alternatives evaluated , was't there? (some open book, no CDM , no rational assessment of wind, 78 MW of 800 Mw of small island hydro considered, no combination of all 3 of these considered. Open BooK? Yes says the godfather). . Sturge had a vague response. Tommie asked if any truth what has been talked, if MFs was a done deal since 2003? This by the godfather obvious to counter those that say it was brother's Danny's vision and obsession. Sturge replied : MFs if it made sense.
    That's a mouthful. How did it ever make sense? He the Chief Financial Officer of Nalcor, but says he was not accountable for risks, though from the organizational chart risks comes under him. Interesting that forecasting comes under him, and inputs into Strategist! Maybe he and Stratton came up with the false forecast together? Garbage in , garbage out.
    President Truman used to keep a sign on his desk that read: "The buck stops here". With Sturge and everyone, they pass the buck. Who will accept responsibility for the boondoggle? Paul Wilson of MHI almost told us who was mostly at fault. But Leblanc cut off Budden's question who Wilson was angry at.
    Winston Adams

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  11. Kate says who or what is JK's changes (to the project estimate)

    ahhh - could it be Capt Kean ? maybe he was actually an Admiral - maybe he knew more that the Nalcor CFO ? maybe he was the artist of the 6.2b estimate that has turned out to be so so so wrong ?

    Lemay says "Jason gets the last shot at the number HE WANTS TO SEE"

    wow

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    1. The significance of the estimated Indirect costs for a project such as Muskrat remote site, is becoming understandable; What amount did Gilbert carry in his pre-sanction budget estimate? How was this line item adjusted, going forward. Lemay seems to have true project estimating expertise. Get er done Kate.

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  12. What is the project manager expected to do, when his own cost engineer, (Quantity Surveyor, Chief Estimator), dares to come up with progressive, (% plan completion, tendering and contract award) numbers, that invalidate the pm's sanction values?

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  13. Behind the Commissioner's head, with the extinct Beothic looking on, the large sign reads: "Commission of Inquiry Respecting Muskrat Falls Inquiry".
    Was the word "Respecting" intended for PR purposes? One would think the word INVESTIGATING would be more appropriate. or the word CONCERNING, as a neutral term.

    One would show bias if the word DISRESPECTING was used, although more appropriate than RESPECTING

    If one uses INVESTIGATING, one could add a couple of words to show what is being investigated. Some suggestions: the folly, the stupidity, the blunder, the boondoggle, the fiasco, the debt, the gravy, the world class, the visionary ...Muskrat Falls Project.
    UG reader keep this in mind, why the word RESPECTING?

    If you wish to show RESPECT mR lEbLANC, TEAR DOWN THAT COAT OF ARMS. RESPECT THE BEOTHIC. RESPECT FIRST NATIONS.

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    1. The last word on the sign should read PROJECT not inquiry.
      PF

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  14. I think the PlanetNL piece is ground breaking. I am an engineer and unfortunately far too busy today to analyse the assumptions so I can't critique it now. My point here is that until today, I believed that the upper Churchill generated billions of dollars in revenue and was some kind of fantastic asset that we just had to be patient to get back.

    Now I am willing to question its value, physical condition, refurbishment required and the market for its future output.

    I believe that with technological advances like CO2 heat pumps, power electronics (they drive LED lamps), low power electronics, grid battery storage like Tesla did in Australia, cheap solar voltaic films, more stringent national energy codes and a reduction in population growth -- that remote power generation will fade away. Replacing it will be distributed generation (solar, wind, hydro, natural gas) that is close to consumers (lower line losses) and demand will be smoothed by variable pricing and buffering. An example might be smart homes that cut water heating during peaks, charge the car at night and offer the car battery to the grid during shortages in return for a discount later.

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    1. So anon, Heracles suggests CFs is today worth 20 billion , and Nfld's 2/3 is worth about 13.3 billion , enough to pay off the debt of MFs. I think his evaluation is not far off.
      So would you sell now, or hold for the long run, given PlanetNLs piece?
      Winston Adams

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    2. Anon, what is the time line for these advances that will make CFs of little value?
      1. CO2 HPs, how many now in Nfld? How many in 10 years time? Units now going in not CO2 and have 15-20 year life.
      2. Low power electronics and appliances have synergy with HPs, this can help flatten the peak load
      3. Battery storage like Tesla in Australia, cost about 50 million for about 1 hr of helping with a small part of peak load. ONE HOUR!
      4. We already have cheap solar panels, but on average only 20 % efficient. And when subject to fog , ice and snow, are not so good. And our winter daylight hours are fewer. In BC the cost per kwh is 23 cents.
      5. Good enforced codes are good to have.
      6 Natural gas, what of GHG?
      7 We could have made progress on the good items but for MFs. Is there a better example of worse cost energy? Being 700 miles away is part, but a small part of the boondoggle.
      What is your definition of long distance transmission a stopper? Bruno would not answer that question.
      Winston Adams

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    3. Hi Anon 20:54,

      UC is indeed a great asset. The thing is, it is so great and big that Newfoundland can not handle it by itself...

      It produces way too much power for Newfoundland and Labrador's needs. As such, this power must be exported west. Should you try to go further than Quebec, then the distance and required connections make it too costly for the actual energy market. As such, the only option is to sell it to Quebec.

      Because Quebec also has such great assets of its own, we do not --need-- that power. If you offer it to us at a better price than what our own great asset can do, we will listen to your proposal. The consequence of this is the same reality that existed in 1969 : by selling to a producer instead of a consumer, you can only sell at a price measured to production cost. Your own sale will not and can not be adjusted according to consumer's end prices.

      Still, half a billion of profit a year is not bad at all, even more in a province like Newfoundland where the government's annual budget is about 7 billions.

      So Yes, UC is a great asset. It can still generate a lot of revenue and Newfoundland can cash half a billion a year thanks to it after 2041. But that will require collaboration with Qc and HQ. Accept that collaboration and UC will not be a stranded asset.

      But if you refuse to collaborate with HQ, the result post 2041 will simply be that the actual unsold surplus power at HQ will turn in Newfoundland's unsold surplus. In that scenario indeed, UC will not be of value because its product will not be sell to any one.

      Nice to talk with you,

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    4. Heracles 31 does indeed seem to agree with PlanetNL and my self. UC may only be worth 500 million or less annually to us after 2041, and not the panacea that some seam to think. And that would require very fine coordination and coloration with QC and HQ, otherwise it could become a stranded useless asset. As I mentioned the only other possibility is if enough heavy industry moved into Labrador to make it fincincially viaiable, and I won't hold my breath for that to happen says Joe blow.

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    5. NL budget should be $7 billion or lower but is currently $8 billion and unsustainable, 13 years of wasteful overspending and NL now pays $1 billion in debt servicing costs. $500 million from UC post 2041 is 6.25% of our current budget and would be a boon but that is still 23 years away, NL has a spending problem and currently running full speed on the debt treadmill. No Provincial Party has outlined how to achieve balanced budgets or reducing the debt and are virtually identical in being populists. What happens after Joyce and Kirby Opposition Parties? No long term thinking or planning let's just focus on the headline grabbing minute details.

      Transmission technology could also improve alongside battery technology by 2041 and after, towers that won't require physical lines to transmit energy or something like Energon Cubes from Transformers. Transporting batteries the size of freight cars on trains to distribution centers that are more cost efficient then our current transmission systems wouldn't make geography as important to UC as it is now. 200 of the biggest container ships can carry 14000-21413 TEU units.

      With the SCOC 8-1 ruling with costs awarded to HQ it is time NLrs are awoken from their UC fantasy and face reality that we are not major energy players. In an attempt to get one over Quebec NL proceeded with the worst project in Canadian history in Boondoggle Falls, history won't be kind to its proponents - threaten all of the frivolous lawsuits you want Danny you are now the biggest newfie joke, Joey is vindicated and Sprung was a blip in comparison.

      Delete
  15. I watched the news tonight and heard Sturge rambling on about being struck about how little certain people knew about something, maybe, but perhaps like however and how he was struck .....

    Was this man just trying to say something meaningless to avoid getting himself or others in trouble while pretending to answer questions? Or is he just vacuous? Unfortunately, it consumed the entire TV news clip. I am quite sure there were far more important passages to broadcast on evening television.

    ReplyDelete
  16. PlanetNL says new technology like energy storage may be a big threat to remote generation sites like CFs.
    Burno goes crazy saying : I told you so. All this technology available now.
    As to battery storage:
    It now cost about 200.00 per kwh to store the energy. Retail energy is about 10 cents per kwh. So this is about 2000 times more expensive to store it.
    For utility scale, generations costs at wholesale levels is now about 3 cents, whether from gas of wind. With storage at 200.00, this means storage is 6666 times more expensive as to generation.
    Who wants to invest heavily in storage with those figures? When will storage be a threat to CFs ? Storage is expected to drop from 200.00 to 160.00 by 2025.
    I'll bet on CFs being a valuable asset for a long time.
    Also the price for electricity bottomed out in 2016 and has increased some since then. There is good reason to thing that EIA may be way off in electicity prices being essentially flat up to 2050.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess you would've railed against horseless carriages over a century ago so well.

      Not surprisingly this is a controversial topic but depending on what the Court says today, we just might need to assess Churchill Falls with as much attention as we do Muskrat for fear of boondoggling ourselves again.

      Delete
    2. I doubt I would have opposed the combustion engine a century ago, as it was about 1983 that I got concerned about that as to the risk to climate change. But the effect for climate warming from CO2 goes back before a century ago, and is now at an extreme high risk.
      An an engineer , I have long considered the application of electrical energy as one of the greatest benefits to mankind, so did not consider the horse and horseless carriage as the only producer of house power.
      I drive aPrius, and look forward to an all electric vehicle, so I do not discourage advances in technology, that you infer. I also use LEDs and a minisplit, so sort of up with the times. A CO2 minisplit would be better than what I now use.
      Yes, we should fear boondoggling ourselves again, so the value of CFs required in depth analysis and consideration. That PlanetNL raises the issue is a good thing.
      Winston

      Delete
    3. should read " so did not consider the horse and horseless carriage as the only producer of horse power.(electric motors are rated in horsepower, do not get tired, and does not need hay or oats)
      WA

      Delete
    4. I wish you would not gaslight me with ridiculous numbers Winston.

      Take a battery storage 101 course,
      http://www.eei.org/issuesandpolicy/Pages/EnergyStorage.aspx

      Delete
    5. Bruno, I have a job to source your reference, so much to type in. Can you give a shorted Google reference for the same? Better, tell me what the cost of storage is, if my figures are wrong.
      PlanetNL gave a reference link from Ontario which I used, 200.00 per kwh. If it is wrong don't blame me. If you read the PlanetNL reference, maybe you would reconsider that battery storage has a ways to go as to economic. For a car , batteries add 6-$10,000 per car. But I welcome the advances in technology, even solar. Wind now about 6 % of USA power, and solar about 1 %. So we are still into drill baby drill and fossil fuel.
      Gaslight? That adds to GHG emissions. I would never do that.
      Liberty says to be prudent. There is little prudence in much solar or battery storage for Nfld for economic alternatives presently. Wind for here has significant value that was ignored, But I do share your hope that we move faster into full renewables that are cost effective, so we align there, but we cannot ignore economics, that is where Nalcor frigged up, and so that power exceeds 60 cents per kwh.
      So, do you think you OVER promote battery storage and solar for Nfld? The devil is in the details.
      Winston

      Delete
    6. WA, the posting was about predicting the 2041 state of things. It's not the cost of storage today but in the future that matters. No one here has suggested NL needs storage now except you. You're twisting facts like Heracles31 now to suit your own agenda. I don't understand your vengeance for Bruno and the obvious gaslighting but such is the incivil nature of comment forums.

      An engineer.

      Delete
    7. About predicting for 2041 , yes. Nalcor predicted for 57 years and went with a boondoggle.
      You predict remote generation will fade away, like Bruno. Bruno says storage and solar are good for Nfld now, and has repeatedly said this, with disregard for costs.
      What facts am I twisting?
      What is my agenda?
      I have no vengeance for Bruno, other than to try to steer him back to reality when he goes silly with his ideas.
      Examples: He has no appreciation that wind has limits as to stability on the grid. He suggests solar is fine for the North Pole but ignores 6 months of darkness. He suggests solar is great for Nfld but ignore fog, snow and sleet. He suggests battery storage is great for Nfld and for everywhere. He ignores interactive effect as to conservation, and argued only photon production.
      If you are an engineer and agree with Bruno's repeated statements along that line, I ask where what type of engineer are you, other than an anonymous one.
      Anyone can err, including me, but state the facts, or close to facts. Bruno don't deal with facts, but with wishes. Long term predictions are not facts.
      PlanetNL is correct to say factors may diminish CFs in the future, but there is a case to say factors may increase its value also. As to Heracles, I agree with just some of his statements. I agree with some of Bruno's, and likely with some of yours.
      As to gaslighting,the term defines Bruno. I never heard the term until Cathy Bennett used it, and I wondered what's that? I poke fun at Bruno's outrageous statements, but he and you seem too serious. Bruno has said much worse about me,and about many others, but I do not hold it against him. But I disagree when he preaches nonsense.
      Others can think I say nonsense. Nalcor has carried on with nonsense for a decade, and see what that has done.
      Winston

      Delete
    8. Instead of going through the laborious process of "typing in" the website address provided by Bruno, why not just copy/paste it into your browser's webpage address field?

      Delete
    9. I confess, I am largely a computer dummy, but willing to learn. Never wanted to get into it, having to learn typing, but I get by, and a little better as I go . My young grand kids are really good at it.
      I 'll get someone to show me how, thanks.

      Delete
  17. And this morning at the CIMFP we have on the stand this SHAWN SKINNER individual... notable for the vacuous, insipid responses scattered throughout his testimony, conspicuously indicative of a vapid simpleton... "I don't know", "didn't consult", "wasn't aware", "I just assumed", "not to my knowledge", "I cannot say for sure"... yet another sad example of an NL politician totally out of his depth, compromised by his colossal ineptitude... lamentably derelict in his duty to his portfolio and the people of the province.

    With such deplorable quality of political leadership afflicting this province is it any wonder at all as to the current horrendous state of provincial affairs? Teetering on the edge of fiscal disaster, facing the dire realities of insolvency, looming energy-poverty amongst the public and rampant out-migration?

    This province desperately needs commission of government to remove these arseholes and their goddamed cronies from any positions of responsibility for making public and fiscal policy... it is simply beyond the capability of these bloody fools to competently govern this province.

    They're just like a bunch of naive little children in need of adult supervision.

    ReplyDelete
  18. FYI : The decision is available. I am surprise to see that Rowe is dissident, but still, the case is dismissed...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/17338/index.do

      Delete
    2. So a contract is a contract after all.

      It is unfortunate that the NL government insists on continuing to spend million$ of taxpayers' dollars on futile legal challenges, rather than accepting that simple reality and moving on.

      At least the UC project didn't cost NLers a cent, except for the the millions$ in legal fees their government has pissed away challenging the contract.

      The Williams/Dunderdale/Nalcor MRF debacle, on the other hand, will result in untold fiscal misery for generations of NLers.

      Delete
    3. An abandoned Churchill Falls would presumably be primarily a Neefoundland problem based on equity and location. Wouldn't that liability be a mind bending dose of misery to endure.

      Delete
    4. From the decision:

      "The parties intentionally allocated the risk of electricity price fluctuations to Hydro‑Québec, and the changes in the market did not have the effect of increasing the cost of performing Churchill Falls’ prestations or diminishing the value of the prestations it received from Hydro‑Québec. On the contrary, Churchill Falls has continued to receive exactly what it was owed under the contract, as well as the related benefits."

      =============================================================

      Otherwise, it would be like you (HQ) take all the risks, including if electricity market prices crashes --> you must still take or pay all that power at the agreed prices.
      But hey, if instead prices go up, we (CFLCo) expects this fixed price contract to be reopened and get inflation added up to the prices. Ya, right.

      Who would be stupid enough to sign such a one way contract...

      Delete
  19. Based on the Court decision, HQ remains effectively in sole control of CFLco future. If HQ chooses to plan for 2041 without CFLco, not much NL can do about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anon 11:35,

      That has always be the case: Should HQ chooses to plan for post-2041 without CFLCo, it is and always had be free to do so.

      Ask yourself now: considering how CFLCo tried to escape its contractual obligation all the time, during the entire contract, is it easy to understand how HQ would rather not do business with such a partner ?

      And when Newfoundlanders first reaction after MF is to say that the contract with Emera should be re-negotiated, does that present Newfoundland as a trust worthy partner to do business with ?

      Delete
    2. If HQ was a partner to CF(L)co the deal would be re-negotiated a long time ago........... they are no PARTNER

      Delete
    3. "If HQ chooses to plan for 2041 without CFLCo, not much NL can do about it"
      Well, obviously that works both ways, isn't it? Why post 2041 HQ would be obligated to CF, but not other way around...

      Delete
  20. Perhaps it is time for a break up of the confederation.......sorry to say but provinces like Alberta and NL always getting the shaft from QC and the Ottawa wimps who fear QC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous 11:52: If you read the French language press from Quebec you would realize that Quebec has plenty of legitimate grievances of its own, directed against both Ottawa and various provinces.

      Delete
    2. It is also time to stop giving the French speaking person preference for federal jobs, another injustice to the folks in 12/13ths of the country !!!

      Delete
    3. Anon 14:45,

      Considering so many French speaking people learned English, why don't you do the same and learn French yourself ? Indeed, to speak two different languages or more is a real plus for anyone.

      You would rather penalize those who make that effort to justify your own lazyness ?

      Keep leveling at the base; way easier than leveling by the top...

      Delete
    4. oh Anon 11:52.. you are such an asshat.. how is NL getting shaft from QC? yes let's break-up confederation so that we get back on our pre-1949 path to being the Haiti of the North Atlantic.. yes let's have all those merchant princes/princesses rule from Circular Road.. serfdom was good enough for Czarist Russia, it should be good enough for the Baymen/women, after according to Greg Malone and the rest of theSt. John's Catholic aristocracy, it was allowing those same outharbour people an equal vote that got us in this mess of being part of the First World.. yes we screwed up with UC and have even more royally screwed up with MF, so as is our societal tradition let's blame Canada, or QC, or the French language, or aliens from outer space, or the Beothuks. gash we have some many people/things/planets we can blame

      Delete
  21. What is current status of ongoing negotiations involving Fortis, Emera, NB power, HQ, to find a way to unload the stranded Muskrat from government accountability and save face for the politicians who are facing re-election? The Supreme Court "Decision" was a foregone conclusion. Move it along

    ReplyDelete
  22. Next step is for NL to expropriate the HQ interest in CFLCO to fully nationalize it. This will remove the two HQ insiders from the CF board. The very situation that led to this current "automatic" 25 year renewal - signed under duress by Brinco (CFLCO) What a SHAM !!!!! The original contract has already expired folks !!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Anon 12:06,

      What you talk about here is what the Reversion Act was in the 1980s. This case made it to the Supreme Court and the Court nullified the act, finding that it was outside of NL juridiction because the Power Contract is to be enforced in Qc and not NL.

      So that option already failed in the SCC...

      Delete
    2. Furthermore, who would sign a contract with a province if that province can expropriate it later on - w/o proper compensations and w/o recourses.

      Delete
    3. Let's get some facts straight here
      1. This contract was signed between 2 companies - no provinces
      2. expropriation would of course include fair compensation
      3. The portion of CFLCO that is currently owned by NL Hydro was already nationalized by NL from Brinco

      ........just the facts

      Delete
    4. Hi Anon 12:47.

      The difference between crown corporation and government is very small.

      It is true that on Newfoundland's side, the deal was signed by a "pure" company. But since it has been bought back by the government, the importance of the fact is minimal.

      As for the compensation, what would be the benefit for Newfoundland to expropriate while giving back HQ full compensation ? The contract is expected to generate about 20 billions more for HQ. If you do compensate HQ properly, then you will just end up with unsold surplus power right now instead of reaching that point in 2041.

      If HQ's rights are to survive the expropriation, why doing it ? The Water Reversion act tried to expropriate without compensation to HQ for that very reason. It failed because to the government of Newfoundland can not nullified rights that exist outside of Newfoundland. Here, the rights from the Power Contract are in Quebec.

      Delete
    5. This entire discussion on what NL will/could do with Churchill Falls after 2041 has a genuinely surreal quality to it: Could anyone prove to me, using actual numbers (NL debt, NL present and expected deficits, NL expected population decrease), that it is even possible for NL as a province to remain financially viable/fiscally solvent between now and 2041?

      Delete
    6. Heracles31

      You have some good insight but not all the facts.

      I speak only of expropriating the HQ owned portion of CFLCO, NOT the power sale contract with HQ which must go on to 2041.

      This would remove the two HQ board members from the CF board - a total conflict of interest.

      The value would be calculated on the day of expropriation and would not include future business value.......... i.e. post 2041

      Delete
    7. The value would be calculated on the day of expropriation and would "not include future business value.......... i.e. post 2041"

      Can you explain me why an expropriation court would not include the value of CF past 2041??? That's where the bulk of the value is.

      I'm starting now to understand why the Abitibi expropriation got so messy...

      Delete
    8. Hi Anon 14:10,

      Ok, this is indeed different than the water reversion act.

      So considering the asset is estimated to 20 billions and HQ has 34.2% of it, that means buying back these shares for about 6.84 billions.

      First, do you have that money ?
      Second, what is the benefit ?

      From now up to 2041, the Power Contract still run and HQ will pay 2 mills plus the GWAC. Once the contract expires, HQ will then not have ANY remaining interest in UC, so it will be even more likely that they will move to something else.

      Considering collaboration and not fighting is what will help Newfoundland the most, why do you want to start that "collaboration" by casting out HQ ?

      Delete
    9. Some other extracts from the decision: (from the G&M)

      "The evidence does not show that Hydro‑Québec is acting in bad faith or refusing to accommodate [the generating station’s] situation,” Justice Clément Gascon wrote for the majority. “It is refusing only to give the other party the benefits it itself derives from the Contract, which is not a breach of the requirement that it conduct itself reasonably and in accordance with fair play.”

      Justice Clément Gascon also said that Hydro‑Québec made substantial investments and assumed significant risks, and has the right to full enjoyment of the benefits of the contract – receiving electricity at stable prices over the long term. And CFLCo “received what it expected to receive under the Power Contract, namely the ability to use debt financing for the Plant, and a return on its investment that it considered reasonable at the time of the signing of the Contract.”

      Delete
    10. Now, from the HQ lawyers:

      They said that Hydro-Québec could have developed its own projects with Quebec, but chose instead to enter into the deal. This gave the consortium a guaranteed market that allowed it to obtain financing for the project.

      “In instituting these proceedings CFLCo seeks to deprive HQ, well before the expiry of the term of the Contract, of the very benefits that HQ would enjoy if it had chosen to go ahead with its own projects within Quebec,”

      “Moreover, without such benefits, HQ would NEVER HAVE AGREED TO SET ASIDE ITS OWN PROJECTS IN FAVOR OF the Churchill Falls project.”

      -------------------------------------

      Wow, that sounds familiar, isn't it?

      HQ could have built Jame's Bay earlier instead, and it would have ended up a similar bargain to CF - by totally escaping the steep construction inflation years of late 70s/early 80's. (And then cascade forward all the other Hydro projects waiting in the pipeline).

      That would have created a bunch of additional construction jobs in Québec, saved a lot of useless court fees / BS Québec bashings, and HQ would not lose all that cheap capacity past 2041.

      And now, you guys pretend NL is being treated unfairly; WOW!

      You can't have it both ways, really.

      Delete
    11. Talking expropriation and excluding HQ from the scene is jibberish. HQ owns the "wheeling rights" with their lines across their territory. Bottom line is we MUST enter into co-operation with HQ and QC. I don't understand why there are people in my province so vehemently against QC. Whether we like it or not, NL expended NO money for CF. Agreed, our hands were tied because of our small population and territorially stranded position but we did sign the contract and we do need to co-operate with HQ/QC. CF is useless to us unless we are able to transport over HQ lines. The LIL and ML are unable to handle the massive amount of power from CF.

      Delete
  23. This is laughable to complain about that decision. And that Nfld would want all Nflder board members.....are you guys proposing that, have you listened to Nalcor's Board members testimony? What did those board members do to avoid the 12.7 billion mess, and then give Ed Martin the gatekeeper his big payout, and then they all resigned. And where was their expertise?
    As Robert Holmes said, move along. This was expected. Napoleon, whose civil law of fairness, he met his Waterloo, and now we operate under British/ Canadian law.
    Did not Nflders fight and die for the British Empire and their laws. So respect the decision. Quit complaining.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  24. Back to the Inquiry; Does anyone have insight as to discussion points in the "in camera session" yesterday? Were queries getting too close to plot incriminating VIPs? Let's keep the shadow inquiry going. Next week expected to be a doozer.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Good to see my fellow whiners from Nfld cease complaining on this blog of the decision today. Seems to heed Robert and Winston. Meanwhile there is only 3 or 4 complainers here, so not much to cause our Quebec friends to say hundreds or thousands here are anti Quebec.
    Today on CBC TV there was Joey from 1967 turning the sod for CFs from 1967. "This now frees us from the clutches of Quebec"....he went on and on, ...."this is our land, our river, our falls, it will be mainly for our use,chiefly, mainly, mostly for our benefit" on, and on , and on, yet having been out smarted by Quebec, but not screwed by Quebec.
    Now what was most striking, was that it was Innu territory, an Innu River, and Innu falls......and they got screwed by both Nfld and Quebec, but mostly Nfld. And the New Dawn agreement a poor compensation over 40 years later.
    Shame on Nflders . We cast blame on Quebec for a bad deal. Where is the deal we gave to the Innu? We cleared them from their traditional hunting and fishing grounds,resettled them is squalor in Davis Inlet, and the rest is history leading to the children gas sniffing and suicide, and third world living conditions, along most of the Labrador coast, even today.
    So, you fellow Nflders, before you throw the stone at your neighbour QUebec, think what generosity you gave to our First Nation brothers and sisters.
    The Beothic looks down on Commissioner Leblanc, and all these corrupt Nalcor and government officials and cronies that we put in place to govern us. We reap what we sow.
    For CFs. For the Grand River. Move on. Smoke the peace pipe. Maybe fill it with legal weed.
    PF

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    Replies
    1. Indeed PF, people here are much better inform than the average. Also, I am impressed by what I see in the comment sections of some major news sites. The first quickest reactions this morning were the typical anti-Qc messages. Despite some new anti-Qc comments are posted, more and more are moderated or rectified by others as the hours pass.

      So Yes, real progress here and I am very happy about it. That is the very first step leading to so much better for everyone here.

      May the situation keeps improving, the collaboration increases and the friendship develops more and more every day!

      Delete
  26. Could call my response here to today’s postings: Je me souviens aussi; Lest we forget; The Britoner; or Not yet (Call me maybe). Is alignment with Quebec a better prospect for NL than with other Atlantic provinces? John Willcocks was granted planter status in Frogmarsh, Brigus, NL, in 1799. In early 1800’s, during Napoleanic wars, a French brig pulled up alongside John’s small craft fishing for cod and demanded his catch. “Not while a Britoner breathes”, he said as he held up his ax. The brig’s crew and captain standed down and spared these fellow seamen. James, son of John, was there, too, and called the young Britoner, being like his father. Their fishing room was in Batteau, Labrador, into the 1890’s. They were sealing captains, fishermen and planters. Thomas, of James, was master mariner. James, of Thomas, ventured to Heart’s Content and became a telegraphist, as did my grandfather, Gordon. Among descendants of The Britoner was Archie Wilcox, born in Montreal in 1900. Archie played hockey for the Montreal Maroons and later was a referee in the NHL. Archie called me in 1989 on a tip from Lefty Reid, HHoF, who sent me his stats. My father mentioned Archie to me and I started pursuing genealogy in the 80s. I had chance conversations with Red Story, Gump Worsley and Harry Howell who knew Archie. He was an alderman on Verdun council and ran a trucking company business.
    I was with NLH system planning in early 70s. Seconded to Teshmont through 74-75 while Gull Island was a project. Project folded after 73-75 efforts after financing and markets failed. Spent time with Gov NL ministers representing hydro interests on Interprovincial Advisory Council on Energy and Northeast International Committee on Energy (5 eastern provinces and 5 eastern states). Also the eastern provinces interconnection study around 1975. In meetings with HQ counterparts, I saw little to no respect for us. After seeing this a few times, especially after hosting the special assistant to HQ president, I requested that I be removed from that representative role. That happened and I moved laterally into Engineering and Construction into terminal stations and generation projects. Finally, there was opportunity for accomplishment instead of just talk, politics, etc.
    While with Alcan in Kitimat, BC, in the 90s, I was honored to be the only anglophone invitee to a “cold eyes” design review in Montreal for the new Alma smelter. SNC-Lavalin was the EPCM contractor. All correspondence was in French only and I was accommodated graciously when required with English conversations. I could read French from my high school grounding and 2 years of university French courses. I am not fluent in speaking French. Throughout the 90s, I made many trips to Lac Saint Jean-Saquenay region and have many fond memories of being in a lively culture and pleasant souls.
    In the last decade, I have spent much time in Alberta, BC and also Oregon. It is a fact that French people were pioneers and explorers and helped develop territories to the north, west and also on the Pacific coast. It was not just Quebec as we know it.
    As so we come to the la question du jour regarding the SCOC findings re the Upper Churchill court challenges once again. There should be no surprise about that. Let’s get back, or move on as some say, to the CIMFP, stick to the TOR, and strive for some Inquiry findings that will benefit NL going forward. Some day, the hatchet on the French-English differences a la Labrador has to be buried. FLW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, FLW. We may even be kinfolks through the Brigus, Wilcox/Spracklin/Hoddnett/Holmes lineage. In time, hatchets, swords and canon balls rust away. As a boy in Old Perlican, (1940's), we dug up old rusted canon balls in the potato garden. Planters did hold fast to invaders, and here we are, fighting over property and "assets". We must all learn to put old grievances aside for the betterment of our children. Would it not be an enlightened result of this Inquiry, if us colonials offered the Land Protectors of Labrador in upcoming election the honorary leadership role to govern the Island, for a change. I am impressed with the people of the Grand River watershed, who stood firm on principle. Let us live peaceably in the land out forefathers held for us.

      Delete
  27. In testimony yesterday with pensioner Skinner, the term "the project would drive the economy". I assume a gas pipeline from the offshore wouldn't "drive the economy" so well as a select few, highly skilled folks would do that kind of work. So here we are, a make work scheme on steroids.

    ReplyDelete
  28. How much attention have you paid watching the Inquiry? To the finer points, I mean. Like : who was the first to ware a poppy? Or the second, and third to do so? Don't cheat and view the video, just your recollection, please.
    PF

    ReplyDelete
  29. Just finished reading Peckford's various pieces on Muskrat Falls, including frockeling and swimming with Rene Leveque in Vermont. Peckford is proud to say he scuttled deals on the Lower Churchill due to no meaningful movement on the Upper Churchill. He talking about Nfld losing a billion dollars a year on the UC while the Atlantic Accord turning in 20 billion to Nfld in royalities. Peckford has said that the Atlantic Accord is a greater achievement that Joeys Confederation if memory serves.
    Peckford says that the 5 most vocal critics of MFs is Des Sullivan, Dave Vardy, Ron Penny and Cabot Martin, and Ed Hollett, and that the first 4 of these worked for him.
    Peckford seems to have some kind of complex. It reminds me of when the Queen of Soul died a few months ago, Rita Franklin. I, being in Texas then and seeing the headline that T"he Queen had died", I thought it was Elizabeth.
    Anyway , Donald Trump stated that she once worked for him. Some black well known figure said "No, President Trump, she never worked for you, she performed for you"
    So too, for the 4 critics. They served under Peckford, I suggest. They worked for the people of the province, as did Peckford himself, they were all pubic servants. The 4 critics continue their service, without pay, this past 6 years, because the have the welfare of the province at heart. I see 3 of them take turns daily at the Inquiry. Where is Brain? Still bashing Quebec, from BC.
    Brian equates the Atlantic Accord deal to the hydro power. One difference was dealing with another province instead of the federal government, and likely other differences.
    Right now, CFs is worth about 20 billion, 2/3 owned by Nfld. Oil is not renewable and now a detriment to our environment. CFs may be a valuable asset for centuries, but there are uncertainities of course.
    Robert Holmes ,a Nflder, also way out in BC, has made very useful and enlightened comments on this blog. Peckford, is it beneath his status to comment on this blog, hosted by one of his workers? UG blog, now with 2.5 million hits.
    Winston Adams

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    Replies
    1. Hi Winston,

      I posted a few comments on his blog and he replied to me on the first series. From what he wrote, the guy is clearly not rational and fully emotional.

      For him to understand that Danny Williams did exactly as he did himself would require rational thinking. He can not.

      To understand that UC was not any abuse also requires rational thinking, so he can not.

      To understand the concept of a Win - Win is harder to achieve with emotional thinking but it is possible. Despite this, I doubt he can.

      Because he was the first, the most active and the most aggressive of all of Newfoundland anti-Qc leaders, I consider he is a major culprit in the actual MF catastrophe. He was the model DW and so many others followed, leading to where Newfoundland is now.

      I still have hope that UG will one day acknowledge Qc as not being the devilish entity so many, including himself, said is. It has been long enough since his last shot against Qc and I trust he learned from the comments on the blog. I am confident by now he will not do it again. To stop aggravating the problem was the first major step. Now let start working on the solution and collaboration.

      But Peckford, he is a lost cause...

      Delete
    2. Yes, but there is a saint for lost causes. Not sure how well it works.
      WA

      Delete
    3. It's not "Rita" Franklin, it's "Aretha" Franklin.

      Many individuals could be thought of as having "worked" for the Pickle Peddler Peckford, including Phil Sprung.

      However, it was NL taxpayers who paid Sprung's wages, and in fact the Pickle Peddler's wages too, unfortunately.

      Delete
    4. Heracles, Winston-

      I refer you both back to my November 1 19:25 remark: If Peckford had not been so stridently anti-Quebec he would probably not have been elected. I actually found evidence confirming this belief of mine: Roger Grimes, the NL premier who came closest to signing a deal with Hydro-Quebec (back in 2002), also failed ever to be elected Premier of NL. The contrast with Peckford, who in 1982 was re-elected on a strident anti-Ottawa and anti-Quebec stance -so strident, indeed, that the opposition leader, Len Stirling, campaigned on a theme of "Make work, not war"- is rather telling.

      As I have pointed out more than once here at Uncle Gnarley's, you cannot expect politicians, in a democracy, to be in any way better than their voters.

      Delete
    5. Legions of cynical, dodgy, and inept NL politicians through the ages have always taken advantage of NLers' ingrained xenophobia and low self-esteem by scapegoating any convenient outsider, including Quebec, as a means of deflecting from these same politicians' failures of leadership and the consequent fiascoes of public policy they've presided over.

      And, unfortunately, NLers... being the reliably naive dupes that they are, and always looking to blame anyone but themselves for their wretched plight... are only too happy to oblige by go along with the insidious charade.

      Once NLers finally come to accept that stark reality and are no longer willing to accept the status quo from their elected leaders, they'll have taken a quantum leap towards competent and responsible self-governance.

      Delete
    6. I think Malcolm Rowe is a perfect example of how NL'ers remain children.. rather than do what he was supposed to do, which is to interpret the Law of the land, good ole bye Malcolm took the coward's way out and slipped in his feeble dissent so that when he's 'ome over Xmas all the bon vivants on Winter Ave will raise a cheer to him and clap him on the back "you done it bye, you stood up to dem quebecers, you're some man".. except he isn't, promoted to the highest court in the whole land, he couldn't rise above the townie muck of pitying self-interest.. instead of acting as an impartial magistrate, he joins the torch and pitchfork mob.. is it the air we breath that makes us so infantile, never to understand the bigger picture? why do we always fall flat on our faces, not just here on the Isle of Fables, but also on the national stage?

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    7. Yes indeed, very good points... very succinct observations as to the possible motivations of Justice Rowe's embarrassing dissent... as a rational, responsible NLer well-aware of the binding nature of any contract entered into in good faith, I actually cringed when I learned of it.

      One could go as far as to say that it calls into question his ability as a chief justice to interpret contract law in an impartial, objective manner.

      But then again, it must be pointed out that Malcolm Rowe's views were likely skewed to some degree by the same xenophobic, scapegoating bile spouted incessantly from the cynical, corrupted NL politicians of his era as well.

      But that's really no excuse, is it.

      Most unfortunate... most unfortunate indeed.

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  30. Some comments on threats to CFs value:
    1.Almost flat rates for power costs in the USA up to 2050 is a result of low natural gas prices, and increases in competitive wind and solar.
    2. Natural gas prices bottomed out in 2016 and has had a small increase since.
    3 Hydro is shown to continue to be lower cost, but not necessarily new hydro.
    4 Here is the elephant in the room: EIA has no allowance for dealing with global warming and the Paris agreement.
    It assumes a "as usual basis". GHG emissions chnges a little from reduced coal and oil burning , but gas burning ramps up big time.
    The Paris agreement require most fossil fuel to stay in the ground. The latest report says we have just 12 years left , that is 2030 to get serious reductions.
    We are now at +1 C rise. A +2C rise takes us on a path to runaway hothouse planet. Even +1.5C is high risk. Already we are at the early 2 or 3 of a dozen positive feedback trigger points. Once these are triggered our planet no longer reacts on a linear fashion, so it is then likely that reduction of fossil fuel burning then makes no difference, and our civilization is doomed, so the expert scientists say. I agree with that prediction.
    So, with business as usual on GHG then Churchill Falls has reduced value. With aggressive GHG reduction, natural gas use must also reduce. This causes more use and value for hydro, wind, solar and even storage.
    At present, storage in the USA is actually reducing. Planned storage via battery is to handle about 4 hours of power.
    Winston Adams

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    Replies
    1. What this suggests is that our offshore oil plans to double production is counterproductive to Churchill Falls future value.
      WA

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    2. So, Joey was a hydro promoter, the deal such as it was. Peckford a oil and gas promoter.
      One helps lead to a sustainable renewable energy future, the other not.
      I much prefer Joey's vision over Peckford's. As to the long term best economics for our province, that is a complex issue, but the best is sustainable renewable, by far.
      WA

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  31. Bruno and "an engineer" accuse me of "gaslighting" Bruno's commments, especially about battery storage. Bruno suggested I take a economics 101 course in battery storage. He also referred me to the Edison Institute website.
    Edison, most should know, was a great American inventor especially electicity related items, from the light bulb to power systems , the gramaphone and much more.
    This Web site confirms that power storage today in very little. Moreover what does exist is 92 % pumped hydro storage, so very little battery storage.
    This Institute represents power companies, most all private utilities, supplying power to 220 million people in the USA.
    If Bruno has a great idea to advance the environment protection via better renewable energy, he could apply for an Edison Award. Regardless of the merits, even if Bruno is better than Elon Musk, he will find his idea rejected. First he must apply to be a member of the Institute!
    Nevertheless, some studies commissioned by the Institute show the almost impossibe challenge to roll back GHG. Yet it shows much is possible with proper carbon policy. Almost double the investment needed to be spent on transmission and distribution that on new generation.
    The Institute does little to advance EE or storage. They are like Take Charge multiplied by 1000, they do very little that is meaningful, and are self serving their membership.
    Conservation and EE can reduce new generation plants production up to 48%
    That data suggest, generally, also that for our Holyrood problem the combination of EE and Conservation and Wind and small hydro would have been the least cost option.
    Perhaps PlantNL will do further pieces on our energy future decisions in this error of climate change, and of Churchill Falls asset value, whether a stranded asset or of high value?
    Winston Adams

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  32. To Bruno: an olive branch: A capital cost, I think, of 200.00 per kwh for battery storage compared to 3 cents for generation cost is not a good comparison.
    Similar minisplits capital cost installed is about 20 times that of a baseboard heater, on a kw capacity. Yet due to the MSHP very high efficiency , 3 times or more that of the baseboard, for a typical house in Nfld, the MSHP pays for itself in about 5.5 years and save 15,000.00 over the next 15 years. so very cost effective, at 10 cent power rates.
    With HPs for Nlfd , they operate constantly for about 6 months and intermittent for about for about 4 months, so that makes a big difference and lots of savings.
    For battery storage for peak load reduction, the hours are few here ( we get cold snaps about 3 times in winter , each for 2-3 days, causing spikes in thermal generation) and capital cost high. USA storage may be more practical to offset air conditioning for peak day time hours, most every day. Even the battery modules need cooling, you see the AC units and fans mounted on the roofs of the battery modules.
    So, I think the economics will keep it as a low priority for some time yet, compared to wind and solar uptake.
    WA

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  33. Someone should sent Mr.Trump a note about trade fairness within Canada and Canadian values using the CF deal as an example and perhaps add large payments to terrorists as a further example of the fairness of our courts.

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