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Canada says OK to Labrador–Island Transmission Link



November 27, 2013 – Joe Oliver, Canada’s minister of natural resources, says the government has determined the environmental effects of the Labrador–Island Transmission Link project are justified in view of the “significant economic benefits and reductions in greenhouse gases for the region”. With this decision, the project proponent can continue with the regulatory approval process.

“This project will not only create jobs and economic growth for people in Newfoundland & Labrador, it will also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing a stable source of clean energy for Atlantic Canada,” said Oliver. “Our government will continue to work with our partners, including Aboriginal groups, to balance economic development with environmental protection.”

The 1135-km Labrador–Island Transmission Link will deliver electricity produced at the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric generating facility to the island of Newfoundland. The federal environmental assessment of the project was conducted by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The government says it weighed all of the identified benefits, effects, risks and uncertainties, and found the project is justified on both economic and environmental grounds. The government adds it will ensure “extensive measures are taken to mitigate the potential environmental impacts of this project”.

“This decision marks a critical milestone in the development of the Lower Churchill River hydroelectric projects,” said Derrick Dalley, minister of natural resources with the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador. “This incredible endeavour will result in countless benefits to our province, the most important being the provision of reliable, least-cost power to meet the growing demand for electricity.”

The project will require federal authorizations under the Fisheries Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Federal Real Properties and Federal Immovables Act to proceed.

Newfoundland & Labrador estimates the Lower Churchill Loan Guarantee projects are anticipated to yield “extensive direct and indirect economic benefits” to Atlantic Canada and involve $7.7 billion in investment. The projects are expected to generate over 3100 jobs at peak employment during construction.

Canada says it will continue to work with Emera, Nalcor Energy and the provinces of Newfoundland & Labrador and Nova Scotia as they move forward with developing the Lower Churchill River Projects.

Image courtesy Nalcor Energy.