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Ontario, Quebec Propose Massive Hydro Power Project in Labrador

Ontario Energy Minister Dwight Duncan last Wednesday said that the Ontario government has submitted a joint proposal with Hydro-Quebec and SNC-Lavalin to support Newfoundland and Labrador in the development of a major hydroelectric generation project at the Lower Churchill River in Labrador. The proposed project would yield 2,824 MW of sustainable electricity.

The proposal submitted by Ontario and Hydro-Quebec comes in response to a request for expressions of interest and proposals issued by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador in January.

Under the joint proposal, Ontario and Quebec work with Newfoundland and Labrador to develop the 2,000 MW Gull Island site and an additional 824 MW plant at Muskrat Falls, both on the Lower Churchill River. Ontario would receive one-third of the total output of the project.

"Our proposal would allow Ontario to benefit from an additional 670 MW of sustainable power from the Gull Island site, and an additional 275 MW from Muskrat Falls, which is enough electricity to power over 550,000 homes," Duncan said. "We believe that our proposal includes options and benefits that the people of Newfoundland and Labrador will find attractive, including billions of dollars in construction activity as well as significant direct resource benefits."

As part of the agreement, Hydro-Quebec would also advance construction of a 1,250 MW interconnection with Ontario, to be in service by 2009. In addition, Hydro-Quebec has indicated a willingness to provide Ontario with 670 MW of power by 2011, which is representative of Ontario's share of Gull Island's expected power flows.

"If successful, this proposal would be a major step in enhancing our inter-ties with Quebec, which would strengthen inter-provincial relationships and trade, stimulate economic development, lessen our reliance on fossil generation, reduce greenhouse gases, and enhance Canada's energy security," Duncan said.

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