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PUB wants more info on 5 Wing Goose Bay's plan to hook to Muskrat Falls

On October 23, 2014, during Exercise Vigilant Shield 15, Royal Canadian Air Force and United States Air Force aircraft sit outside their hangars at 5 Wing Goose Bay.
5 Wing Goose Bay is hoping to tie into Muskrat Falls to reduce its carbon footprint.

Move would cut carbon footprint on base

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, NL – CFB Goose Bay may soon get a whole lot greener.

The air force base has made a request to Newfoundland Hydro to switch its power generation plant to the Muskrat Falls project.

“In response to the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, 5 Wing Goose Bay is exploring other options for its electricity needs,” according to a statement from the Department of National Defense.

The statement said since the Muskrat Falls power station would be a hydroelectric resource it would reduce the base’s carbon footprint.

Changing the base over to Muskrat Falls power would substantially increase the demand for electricity from the base, up to 22MW from the current demand of 10MW.

DND said this increase is to accommodate the intent to utilise electric boilers, rather than fuel fire boilers, for central heating on the base to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It hopes to be completely switched over by 2020.

“The information provided does not adequately explain the near-term implications of the project and how the expected load will be served prior to completion of Phase I.” — PUB report

The Public Utilities Board expressed concerns with the forecasted increase in load in the board’s recent decision on Hydro’s capital budget. It came up in relation to the Muskrat Falls to Happy Valley-Goose Bay Interconnection project, which Hydro submitted for approval.

The PUB had concerns about the project, not the least of which is that the forecast load surpasses the system's delivery capability to the Happy Valley Terminal Station.

Under Hydro’s proposal the proposed transmission interconnection would be in service by December 2018 and the commissioning of the transformer in Happy Valley - Goose Bay would be completed by December 2019.

“The information provided does not adequately explain the near-term implications of the project and how the expected load will be served prior to completion of Phase I,” the PUB said.

The PUB said the evidence provided by Hydro does not demonstrate that the proposed approach is necessary and consistent with the least-cost provision of service. It wants further information from Hydro addressing the relevant short-term and long-term issues. These issues include costs associated with the Happy Valley Gas Turbine, the Churchill Falls 138 kV Terminal Station, the Muskrat Falls Terminal Station 3 and wood pole management of L1301.

“In addition, information should be provided with respect to how the proposed project addresses system requirements in 2018 and 2019 and thereafter, especially given the outstanding issues in relation to the forecast increase in load associated with the requirements of the Department of National Defence,” the PUB said.

The PUB also noted approval of this project may significantly impact customer rates on the Labrador Interconnected system, but also acknowledged evidence was provided in relation to the capacity and load forecasts.

The board deferred consideration of the project pending further information from Hydro.

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