As we face pressure to find new ways to power our province's energy future, we're also at a time when we are ready, with full technical and economic confidence, to proceed with developing the world-class hydro resources on the lower Churchill River.
Throughout our history as a province, governments have invested time and energy building an understanding of this hydroelectric resource and how best to develop it and achieve full benefits for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The time is right to develop Muskrat Falls.
The people of our province will be the owners of a valuable power-producing asset, rather than paying foreign companies for expensive oil. We know from jurisdictions around the world that by controlling our energy future, we'll control our economic future.
Muskrat Falls will mean:
- Long-term stable electricity rates for generations of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians
- Lowest-cost power for homes and businesses
- An end to dependence on oil and unstable electricity prices
- Energy for future mining and industrial development in the province
- A link to North America's electricity grid for exports
- Clean, renewable power 98% sustainable energy
"The current Lower Churchill Project design, schedules and cost estimates are considered consistent with good utility practice. The design, construction planning, cost estimate and schedule are comprehensive and sufficiently detailed to support a Decision Gate 3 project sanction...
MHI Review, October 2012, page 56
Do we need a new source of power?
We are facing an increasing demand for electricity in Newfoundland and Labrador. Our economy is growing and so is our need for power for homes and businesses. In 2015, the island's need for power will begin to exceed its supply.
We also need to replace the generating plant in Holyrood, which is a costly and outdated oil-burning facility. Continued reliance on this facility means most of the province's electricity consumers will continue to be tied to the unpredictable price of oil.
Why Muskrat Falls?
Muskrat Falls will generate clean, renewable power, and is the lowest-cost option to meet the province's growing energy needs. It also represents a smart investment for long-term benefit. Initially, the island will need 40% of the energy from Muskrat Falls, which will displace the Holyrood oil-burning plant. This need will grow over time to use all available power from Muskrat Falls. A smart investment in stable, clean hydropower now will mean benefits for generations to come.
Why not wait a few years?
When a decision is made to develop a new hydro resource, it generally takes about five years to develop that resource and begin producing power. With Newfoundland and Labrador energy forecasts showing a shortfall of power by 2015, we must act now to have a new supply of power ready when it's required.
The aging Holyrood plant will soon need to be replaced, and we have potential needs for industrial development in Labrador.
Putting off the decision to develop Muskrat Falls could impact the energy future of Newfoundland and Labrador, and result in continued dependence on oil and unstable, electricity rates.