Power Pays

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  • A contract signed between Emera (Emera Energy services) and NALCOR in April 2009 provided Emera with 130Mw from a 300Mw energy block NALCOR had contracted with Hydro Quebec. The importance of this arrangement, if still in effect, has been forgotten or overlooked.
    If at the time this block of energy were transmitted to Nova Scotia our renewable-energy requirements for possibly 10 years would have been met. As a shareholder of Emera I recognise that selling this energy in the US was a profitable business decision for Emera, but I question whether it was a decision that adequately considered the position of NSPower’s obligations and responsibility to Nova Scotians.
    Not only would this amount of energy have had a stabilising effect on our energy rates, but it would have precluded the expenditure of possibly a $B required for the many wind turbine installations, the Fundy tidal experiments, biomass, etc, etc.
    Interestingly, Muskrat Falls will only provide 40Mw more capacity than this previous Emera contract and at a cost of $B1.8.
    Finally, I believe that before any decision is made for Muskrat Falls energy to Nova Scotia via the proposed route, that it is absolutely essential for a study of the alternative land route via Quebec/New Brunswick be undertaken. This study should include TWO energy sources: Hydro-Quebec and Muskrat Falls. Not to carry out this study prior to any decision on the Muskrat Falls proposal would, in my view, be a dereliction of responsibility.

    Bill Phillips | May 24, 2012 | Reply

  • I listened to you speak about this on Maritime Morning, and I thought you made exceleent points. The one thing that makes me angry about NSP executive compensation is that their loyalties lie with the shareholders and not the consumer. While that is understandable and expected with a company that someone has built for profit, I don’t think it applies to NSP. NSP is a monopoly which was given to the private sector to operate. They did nothing to build it. It isn’t theirs. It is ours. We built and paid for it, and we should expect it to be run in a way that we the people receive maximum value for our investment. I have no problem with shareholders receiving a modest return on their investment in NSP, but until there is competition, it should not be run as though it actually has to compete for our business. Running NSP under it’s current lack of competition isn’t rocket science.

    Don | May 24, 2012 | Reply

  • Excellent essay. There are so many factors at play when it comes to the electric lines that service our homes. Thank you for outlining and highlighting important components, which are core to finding solutions for the problem.

    M.A. | May 22, 2012 | Reply

  • The only true solution to this issue is to make NSP irrelevant by generating our own power. Roof top panels and small scale wind mills. The rest of the world is doing it. not sure what is taking NS so long to catch on. Maybe it is the analog power meters we still use?

    Ben | May 22, 2012 | Reply

  • Government should have little to do with power providing, other than being mindfull of having issued the monopoly. The power company provdes the rate structure which has in its make up provsion for ongoing investment. Without the market scale, Nova Scotia’s rural component is a challenge, the cosequece of which, should be a ‘meshing’ of effort with neighbours

    gordon stanfield | May 22, 2012 | Reply