Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Maritime Link Project?

The Maritime Link Project involves the design, engineering, construction, operations and maintenance of a new 500 megawatt transmission system between Granite Canal, Newfoundland and Labrador and Woodbine, Nova Scotia. A 170 kilometre subsea portion of the transmission system will run beneath the Cabot Strait between the island of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. As well, a total of roughly 350 kilometres of the system will run over land, connecting the subsea cable to the individual power systems in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

Who owns the Maritime Link Project?

The Maritime Link will be owned and operated by NSP Maritime Link Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emera Newfoundland & Labrador Holdings Inc. and an affiliate of Nova Scotia Power.

What is NSP Maritime Link Inc.?

NSP Maritime Link Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emera Newfoundland & Labrador Holdings Inc. and an affiliate of Nova Scotia Power; it is responsible for the design, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of the Maritime Link Project for 35 years. It was established to become the company regulated under the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB). In the fall of 2013, the Maritime Link Project received final approval from the UARB.

Is this a safe way to transmit electricity?

Yes. Similar projects, some much larger in scale, have been developed in many parts of the world, providing experience and effective models for ENL to draw upon.  

When will the Maritime Link be operational?

Construction of the Maritime Link began in early 2014. The first power is planned for delivery in late 2017.

Will the Maritime Link Project create jobs?

Between 2014 and 2017, we expect that the project will require an average of about 300 people a year, with peaks reaching approximately 600. This number includes work in both provinces throughout the construction process, which is expected to span about four years.

How much will the Maritime Link cost?

In its update to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) on December 13, 2013, NSP Maritime Link Inc. listed its net cost estimate as $1.56 billion, which is within the range approved by the UARB.

How much electricity will NSP Maritime Link Inc. receive for its investment?

NSP Maritime Link Inc. will invest 20 percent of the total cost of developing Phase I of the Lower Churchill Project and the Maritime Link, in return for 20 percent of the energy from Muskrat Falls for 35 years.

Why is the Maritime Link needed?

The Maritime Link will transmit hydro-generated electricity from Muskrat Falls, which will help Nova Scotia meet stringent new federal emissions targets related to coal-fired electricity generation. These federal requirements mean that coal is no longer an option and that Nova Scotia must reduce coal emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

Additionally, the Nova Scotia government has set a target of having 40 percent of the province’s power come from renewable sources by 2020.

Through the Maritime Link, Nova Scotia will have access to clean, renewable and reliable energy from Newfoundland and Labrador, helping reduce Nova Scotia’s use of fossil fuels and exposure to unpredictable oil and coal prices.

What impact will the Maritime Link have on the environment?

The Maritime Link Project received federal and provincial approval and was released from the Environmental Assessment (EA) process, with conditions, on June 21, 2013. Overall, the EA demonstrated that the Maritime Link will have no significant effect on the environment and will help Atlantic Canada reduce emissions from coal and oilfire generation.

What does an Environmental Assessment entail?

Similar to other major projects in Canada, the Maritime Link has undergone an Environmental Assessment (EA). This is a formal regulatory review process that considers the environmental, social and economic effects of projects. The process, which is administered by regulation through the federal and provincial governments, ensures that projects proceed in an environmentally responsible manner.

Environmental Assessment is also a tool that helps avoid potential effects through project design and other pre-construction considerations. The EA report for the Maritime Link identifies mitigation measures that will be employed to ensure the Project is constructed in an environmentally appropriate manner.

The results of the EA show that the Maritime Link Project is not likely to result in significant environmental effects, with implementation of the proposed design features, mitigation measures, and monitoring and follow-up programs. This was a comprehensive, thorough and rigorous process. The EA report includes a thorough analysis of the potential environmental effects and relies on scientific studies and expertise to support the mitigation practices being recommended. The document includes detailed information on a wide variety of potential issues and concerns, along with recommendations on how to avoid or mitigate them. The report also includes Project description information, results of the studies conducted and past and future engagement activities.

The Environmental Assessment report can be viewed here

Is there going to be public consultation?

Yes. The Environmental Assessment for this project has involved a thoughtful and comprehensive consultation process for aboriginal groups, the public, landowners, fish harvesters and various other stakeholders. Consultation began in the spring of 2011, and ENL will continue consulting with interested parties throughout the construction and into the operation and maintenance phases of the Maritime Link Project.