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Canadian and Nova Scotia governments sign MoA in support of Lower Churchill hydro-electricity – August 2011


August 30, 2011
By Alyssa Dalton

August 30, 2011 – The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia have signed a Memorandum of Agreement which provincial energy minister Charlie Parker explains will help ensure clean energy, lower, more stable power rates and good jobs for residents for “decades to come”.

According to the governments, the agreement is a commitment from the federal government to provide a loan guarantee in support of the Lower Churchill hydro-electricity project. It also establishes the process to finalize the guarantee by November 30.

“This is a massive project that will change both the economic and energy landscapes of Nova Scotia,” said Parker. “I’m pleased that our governments were able to take this important step forward, demonstrating continued commitment to jobs, economic growth and a more sustainable future for the region”.

“The real beneficiaries of the federal assistance will be the ratepayers,” he continued. “The loan guarantee reduces the cost of the project. Any savings will flow back to electricity customers in the two provinces, helping to keep their rates down”.

The Lower Churchill project is part of the jobsHere plan to grow Nova Scotia’s economy, and is expected to generate $3.5 billion in jobs and economic spinoffs, including more than 18,000 person years of employment — almost 6,800 person years of work in Nova Scotia alone, said the province.

The province predicts the project will provide Nova Scotia with clean energy at a lower, more stable rate for 35 years when power starts flowing in 2017.

“It will also go a long way toward helping the province achieve its clean air and renewable energy targets set out in the Renewable Electricity Plan. The province has committed that 25 per cent of its electricity will come from renewable sources by 2015, and 40 per cent by 2020. The project will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tonnes a year,” it continued.

The federal government has issued a Request for Proposals to hire financial advisors to undertake due diligence work in advance of the loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill project. The request is posted online and closes on September 2.