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One of the most significant energy projects in North America to 2020 is the development of the Muskrat Falls hydro project on the Lower Churchill in Labrador. The $7.4 billion project includes an 824 MW generating facility at Muskrat Falls, a transmission line from Labrador to the island of Newfoundland and a further transmission link from the island to Nova Scotia called the Maritime Link.

Not only is it an important energy project for Atlantic Canada and the northeastern United States, the agreements signed between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland & Labrador, as well as between Emera and Nalcor Energy, have ushered in a new era of regional co-operation and collaboration. 

The Maritimes Energy Association has been a vocal supporter of the Maritime Link project, recognizing the Maritime Link and Muskrat falls as an enabling project. Not only will it diversify the region's energy portfolio, but it will also make Nova Scotia part of an energy loop rather than at the end of the transmission line. The Maritime Link is expected to be commissioned in 2017.

Particulars of the project

Muskrat Falls Generating Facility
• generating facility
• Two HVac transmission lines connecting to Churchill Falls

Labrador-Island Transmission Link (~1,100 km)
• Labrador (900 MW) Converter Station (ac/dc)
• Overhead HVdc transmission line from Muskrat Falls to Strait of Belle Isle
• Submarine cables across the Strait of Belle Isle (30 km)
• Overhead HVdc transmission line from the Strait of Belle Isle to Soldiers Pond
• Soldiers Pond (900 MW) Converter Station (dc/ac)
• Electrode sites in Labrador and Newfoundland

Maritime Link from the Island of Newfoundland to Nova Scotia
• Overhead HVac transmission connecting to the Island transmission grid
• Bottom Brook (500 MW) Converter Station (ac/dc)
• Overhead HVdc transmission from Bottom Brook to Cape Ray
• Submarine cables across the Cabot Strait to Lingan, Nova Scotia (180 km)
• Cape Breton (500 MW) Converter Station (dc/ac) tying into the existing Nova Scotia transmission grid.

Muskrat Falls is considered the first part of the Lower Churchill hydro project. A second development at Gull Island could follow a few years after the development of Muskrat Falls. The combined capacity of both facilities will be 3,074 MW, providing almost 17 terawatt hours of electricity per year.

Full information on the project can be found at:
Emera Newfoundland & Labrador – www.EmeraNL.com
Nalcor Energy – www.NalcorEnergy.com

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