ABB to Build First Power Link From Newfoundland to U.S. Markets

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July 9, 2014

When it’s generating station is complete, Muskrat Falls will have a capacity of 824 megawatts and annual energy production of 4.9 terawatt hours. Photo (c) Nalcor Energy

By Ehren Goossens

July 9 (Bloomberg) — ABB Ltd., the world’s largest maker of transformers, won a $400 million contract to build the first electricity link between Newfoundland and the North American power grid.

The Maritime Link Project, a 500-megawatt high-voltage line, will bring renewable power mainly from hydroelectric dams in Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia, Zurich-based ABB said today in a statement. Emera Inc., a Canadian power company, commissioned the project.

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The undersea line will allow Nova Scotia to import power from the 824-megawatt Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador, which is being developed by Nalcor Energy Corp., a utility owned by the Newfoundland provincial government. Nova Scotia is already connected to the Canadian and U.S. power grids.

“This is an important new chapter in the power transmission industry for Canada and North America,” Anders Hultberg, senior vice president of power systems for ABB in Canada, said in the statement.

Nalcor in December raised C$5 billion ($4.7 billion) for Muskrat Falls, the largest provincial-backed bond sale in Canadian history. The transmission line and its two converter stations and two substations are scheduled to be in operation in 2017. Muskrat Falls is expected to open late in 2017.

Emera, which gets 59 percent of its power from coal, is procuring renewable energy to meet Nova Scotia’s mandate for 40 percent green power by 2030, up from 17 percent now.

The project includes 170 kilometers (106 miles) of subsea transmission cables under the Cabot Strait, and overhead lines in Newfoundland, Labrador and Nova Scotia.

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg.

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