Building better capacity between NS and NB is a part of the Maritime Link plan that is often overlooked. It ensures Nova Scotia is not “an energy island”. Instead of being at the end of an extension cord, Nova Scotia would be in an energy loop.
Currently, our province can bring in a couple hundred megawatts from New Brunswick, as long as Moncton does not require that energy during their hours of peak energy usage. But inefficiencies in the transmission system mean that although the distance to Newfoundland is longer, there is no significant “line loss” in hydro supplied by Muskrat Falls.
The high voltage direct current from a Newfoundland cable to Cape Breton would mean Nova Scotia Power would not need to buy 10% more energy then it needs to keep your lights on. Line loss from New Brunswick requires Nova Scotians to buy that extra energy lost during transmission.
Energy from Muskrat Falls will account for about 10% of Nova Scotia’s electricity needs, supplied at a firm rate for 35 years, and provided during Nova Scotia’s 16 peak-usage hours.
The agreement with Newfoundland also gives Nova Scotia Power the ability to purchase another 10-15% of our province’s electricity needs at competitive prices (if the price is right).
The better the transmission grid, the more options Nova Scotia has, and the better the price for ratepayers.