Nova Scotia families and businesses will benefit from 35 years of clean energy and more predictable, stable prices under an agreement announced yesterday, Nov. 18, by Premier Darrell Dexter.
The deal gives the province access to power from Muskrat Falls in Newfoundland and Labrador by way of a subsea cable to Cape Breton and ensures Nova Scotia gains economic benefits, including thousands of jobs from the construction of the massive project.
Premier Dexter said in a press release, "This is an historic day for Nova Scotia, and all of Atlantic Canada. Through this partnership, Nova Scotia is taking a major step forward as an international leader in renewable energy. Today's agreement will create thousands of new jobs, stabilize energy prices well into the future and lifts the idea of Atlantic co-operation off the page and turns it into fundamental action, building a more prosperous nation."
Premier Dexter was in Fredericton today, Nov. 19 to discuss the details of the historic Lower Churchill agreement with New Brunswick Premier David Alward.
"The Lower Churchill project will change the economic landscape of the entire region," said Premier Dexter. "I have always said that Atlantic Canada will be stronger if we work together and I am committed to making that happen. I believe that what is good for Nova Scotia is good for Atlantic Canada and this agreement will benefit all of us."
Under the terms of the deal negotiated with Nalcor Energy of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia Power parent company Emera Inc., will invest $1.2 billion in exchange for 20 per cent of the electricity generated by the $6.2 billion project.
Power from Muskrat Falls will account for between eight and 10 per cent of Nova Scotia's total power needs when it starts flowing in 2017.
Highlights of the agreement include:
-- Creation of a projected 6,790 person-years of employment from construction of the Maritime Link
-- An agreement, to be formally adopted by the two governments, providing Nova Scotians with full and fair access to economic benefits and employment on the Maritime Link
-- About 10 per cent of Nova Scotia's electricity needs supplied at a firm rate for 35 years
-- The ability to grow Nova Scotia's green energy sector by backing-up wind and other intermittent renewable energy with fixed, predictable electricity from hydro
-- Firm power provided during Nova Scotia's 16 peak-usage hours -- The ability to purchase another 10 to 15 per cent of Nova Scotia's electricity needs at competitive prices, from hydro power that would otherwise be consumed in other provinces and New England.
Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams said, "This is an extremely exciting and proud day for our province as we move forward with plans to develop the Lower Churchill project, the most attractive clean, green energy project in North America. The benefits of this project for our province will be enormous, including thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity. Our priorities have remained steadfast; that is to achieve maximum benefits for our people, and to secure stable markets with a good return for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. This agreement achieves these goals and also solidifies a mutually beneficial partnership with Emera Inc. and Nova Scotia."