River group wants status at Maritime Link hearing2/12/2013
A Labrador group wants to be part of an upcoming Nova Scotia hearing on the proposed Maritime Link project but Quebec interest remains a question mark.
Grand Riverkeeper Labrador applied Monday to be an intervenor in the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board proceeding on the proposed $1.5-billion project.
The non-profit group said its mission is to preserve and protect the water quality and ecology of Labradorís Churchill River.
ďThis is an inter-provincial project, with inter-provincial impacts,Ē Roberta Frampton Benefiel, the groupís vice-president, said in a letter to the board.
Meanwhile, itís unclear whether Hydro-Quebec would apply to be an intervenor by Mondayís deadline. A utility spokeswoman declined comment when contacted Monday.
Hydro-Quebec said last month that it was considering being part of the hearing, which is slated to begin May 27.
Twenty intervenors have signed up to appear before the provincial regulator, according to filings made public Monday. They include the customer representatives, utility officials and political parties that normally take part in electricity hearings.
Also signed up are the Canadian Wind Energy Association and the Sierra Club Atlantic chapter.
Another newcomer is the newly formed group, Lower Power Rates Alliance of Nova Scotia.
Emera, Nova Scotia Powerís parent company, is partnered with Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland and Labradorís Crown-owned utility, on the overall $7.7-billion Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project.
Emera will cover 20 per cent of the projectís cost and receive 20 per cent of the electricity for 35 years.
Emera wants Nova Scotia ratepayers to pay the cost of building a subsea cable to bring the hydro power to mainland markets.
In exchange, the province would get Emeraís share of the energy at a fixed rate for 35 years. Thatís enough electricity to meet eight to 10 per cent of the provinceís annual supply.
Thereís also an option to buy more at market prices.
The board has until the end of July to decide whether the link is the lowest-cost option for ratepayers.
(The Chronicle Herald)