The first electrons across the Maritime Link system were exchanged between the provinces at 11:03 a.m. AST on Dec 8, 2017. Commissioning Teams from Emera NL and ABB worked together with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Nova Scotia Power to achieve the first successful trial of the Maritime Link.
“Our team has been working closely with the system operators in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as contractors ABB and Nexans for several years to integrate this new interconnection,” said Rick Janega, CEO of Emera Newfoundland & Labrador. “This is a historic accomplishment and the culmination of almost seven years of work from a dedicated team of employees, workers and contractors that have spent countless hours bringing the project to life.”
Commissioning will continue throughout December as the Maritime Link prepares to be ready for customers in early 2018. This integration of the link would not be possible without the collaboration of system operators in all Atlantic Canadian provinces. Once in service, it improves the electrical interconnections between Atlantic Canadian provinces, providing more access and improved reliability and connecting the Island of Newfoundland to the North American energy grid for the first time.
“The exchange of energy across the Maritime Link marks the beginning of a pivotal time in our provincial electricity system and brings us a step closer to a more reliable, interconnected system for our customers who are counting on us every day,” said Jim Haynes, President of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.
The Maritime Link Project is part of a broader strategy to address the growing demand for more renewable energy. It will enable the transmission of clean, renewable and reliable electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia.
“This is a great day for Nova Scotia,” said Karen Hutt, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power. “When it goes into operation in January, the Maritime Link will benefit Nova Scotia Power customers by creating a more stable and secure system, helping reduce carbon emissions, and enabling NSP to purchase power from new sources. With the Maritime Link available, it will deliver clean hydroelectricity that will help us achieve 40% renewable generation for our customers by 2020.”
Based on the regional cooperation among the provinces and the regional significance of the Maritime Link, the Government of Canada backed the Project with a Federal Loan Guarantee. This will save Nova Scotia electricity customers approximately $325 million over the life of the Project.
The Project was sanctioned in 2013 after a rigorous regulatory review and environmental assessment. A comprehensive industrial benefits plan was required and labour agreements were negotiated with the IBEW in both provinces and the Cape Breton Building Trades Council.
Throughout the project, Emera has performed on its commitment to engage the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaq and Qalipu Mi’kmaq in Newfoundland. As part of this commitment, socio-economic agreements were signed with both groups in 2015.
Construction of the Maritime Link began in 2014 and achieved major milestones this year with the successful installation of two submarine cables and overland transmission infrastructure. The Project remains on budget and on schedule for first operation in early 2018.
Forward Looking Information
This news release contains forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws. By its nature, forward-looking information requires Emera to make assumptions and is subject to inherent risks and uncertainties.
About The Maritime Link Project
The Maritime Link is a 500 MW high voltage direct current (HVdc) transmission interconnection. The Project includes two 170 km subsea cables across the Cabot Strait, with almost 50 km of overland transmission in Nova Scotia and more than 300 km of overland transmission on the island of Newfoundland.
About Emera Inc.
Emera Inc. is a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia with approximately $28 billion in assets and 2016 revenues of more than $4 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution, gas transmission and distribution, and utility energy services with a strategic focus on transformation from high carbon to low carbon energy sources. Emera has investments throughout North America, and in four Caribbean countries. Emera continues to target achieving a minimum of 75% of its adjusted net income from rate-regulated businesses. Emera’s common and preferred shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade respectively under the symbol EMA, EMA.PR.A, EMA.PR.B, EMA.PR.C, EMA.PR.E, and EMA.PR.F. Depositary receipts representing common shares of Emera are listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange under the symbol EMABDR. Additional Information can be accessed at www.emera.com or at www.sedar.com.
Jeff Myrick, Senior Communication Manager