Emera has filed documents with the Utility and Review Board that it says satisfies the board's condition to have Nova Scotia ratepayers cover the cost of building the Maritime Link.

The transmission system involves laying subsea cables to deliver hydroelectricity from Muskrat Falls in Labrador to Cape Breton.

In July, the UARB gave the $1.5 billion project approval on the condition that Emera give a written guarantee to provide a larger supply of electricity at market price — in order to make it the lowest cost alternative.

Emera is now asking the regulator to approve a document called an Energy Access Agreement.

The agreement stops short of guaranteeing that Newfoundland and Labrador will supply Nova Scotia with roughly the same amount of renewable electricity to offset what Nova Scotia has contracted to buy from Muskrat Falls at a premium price.

Under the agreement, Nova Scotia will be first in line for any surplus renewable energy from Newfoundland, but if the province wants to keep its surplus power, Emera has agreed to make up the shortfall.

In that case, Emera said either it or Nova Scotia Power will negotiate with wind farms to supply ratepayers with renewable energy below Muskrat Falls price. 

Nalcor Energy, Newfoundland and Labrador's Crown utility, said the filing ensures a competitive price for Muskrat Falls power.

The commercial agreement will be scrutinized by lawyers for the regulator as well as the consumer advocate before any decision is made on whether Emera has met the bar to have ratepayers pay to build the Maritime Link. 

Emera and Nalcor Energy are aiming to have power flowing from Muskrat Falls in 2017.

With files from The Canadian Press