In his latest AIMS commentary, The Muskrat Falls Hydro Project: Opportunities and Risks, Gordon Weil examines the project, proposed by Nalcor and Emera with the support of the provincial governments, to develop Muskrat Falls. Weil identifies the benefits, costs and risks of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project, to both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Weil suggests a series of measures that could be carried out in Newfoundland and Labrador that would reduce the chances of the project becoming a financial burden. In evaluating the project, he suggests that Newfoundland and Labrador conduct a regulatory-type review, even if it is not now required by law.
An in-depth review should include careful scrutiny of the cost and a more comprehensive analysis of the impact on provincial customers and the value of power sales outside of Newfoundland and Labrador. Such a review would go beyond the limited report requested previously from the province’s Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities (NLPUB).
For Nova Scotia, Weil concludes that the project would have an important but more limited effect and must undergo regulatory review. Not only would the project assist the province in dealing with air quality, but it would also give utilities access to needed power supply and improved interconnections with Atlantic Canada.