Not all sides have been able to comment so far, but Newfoundland and Labrador’s premier sounds confident the hurdle has been overcome for a power arrangement between her province and Nova Scotia. Precise details are yet to be announced, but we’ll hope there is good reason for her optimism.
Kathy Dunderdale announced Monday a solution has been reached pertaining to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board’s reservation over the subsea hydro cable to Nova Scotia that would be part of the Muskrat Falls project.
At issue was whether Nova Scotia would be able to purchase surplus energy above and beyond the stipulated supply at the best rate.
At stake in getting the parties to agree is the $1.5 billion cable that would be Emera subsidiary Nova Scotia Power’s contribution to the overall project.
And much depends on that part of the overall development.
A lot has already been made of this, but as Nova Scotia aims for a higher target of renewable energy in coming years, tapping in to Muskrat Falls is part of the bigger picture. Although it would represent only roughly 10 per cent of this province’s needs, it is still a substantial part.
This has also been, predictably, a political issue. But the main criticism from opposition political parties has been that the deal as inked was substandard for Nova Scotia – thus the sticking point raised by the URB.
In all likelihood – and especially with an election campaign underway – the political bickering will continue over this issue. We’ll also have to see if others agree with Dunderdale that the points in question are truly resolved.
This is crucial to Nova Scotia and a future of reliable, cleaner energy at a stable cost. But on that score one would expect, to our advantage, is that such a deal is important to Newfoundland and Labrador as well. The link represents that province’s contact with the power grid elsewhere on the mainland and the potential for expanding their markets.