Consumer advocate endorsing Muskrat hydro plan

Newfoundland and Labrador's consumer advocate is endorsing the government's current $6.2-billion plan to develop a hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls.

Tom Johnson says Muskrat Falls-island link is the least-cost option

Newfoundland and Labrador's consumer advocate is endorsing the government's current $6.2-billion plan to develop a hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls.

"I have concluded based on the evidence in the [Public Utilities Board] review that the Muskrat Falls-Labrador island link represents the least-cost option of the two alternatives examined," said Tom Johnson on Friday.

Johnson, who said his role is to represent electricity customers, also agrees with the Manitoba Hydro International review of the project. It identified Muskrat as the least cost option over the isolated-island option.

"While Muskrat has its construction cost risks, there are opportunities to control these through prudent planning and execution ... the isolated island option involves increasing dependence on oil-fired generation, the costs of which are projected to be high," he said.