Nfld. & Labrador

First power flows from Muskrat Falls, in major project milestone

On Tuesday evening, electricity from the hydroelectric dam synced into Labrador's grid for the first time.

Electricity synced to Labrador grid Tuesday evening

An aerial photo of the powerhouse on the Muskrat Falls project site, from February. The dam's first generating unit has successfully sent power into the Labrador electricity grid. (Submitted by Nalcor)

In a major milestone for the megaproject dogged by delays, electricity from the first generating unit of Muskrat Falls flowed into the Labrador grid Tuesday evening for the first time.

"Reaching this milestone has not been without its challenges and setbacks," Nalcor said in a press release Wednesday afternoon, crediting its contractors, unions, workers and Indigenous partners the Innu Nation in helping them achieve what it called a "significant" event.

While the first power has successfully synced up to the grid, Nalcor said that unit will not go into service before several weeks of testing this fall.

"Through this testing period, the unit will be put on and off the electricity grid until we are ready to turn the unit over to operations," Nalcor said.

During the commissioning period, Muskrat Falls's power will be added to Labrador's electricity grid, it said.

The second generating unit is expected to begin operating later this fall, with the third and fourth units set to come online in 2021.

In the release, Nalcor said it would provide more updates on the hydroelectric dam this week. In June, CEO Stan Marshall said "the end is in sight" for the project, expecting work on Muskrat Falls to be completed by mid-2021.

Marshall said the final cost of the project could be more than $13 billion, although that figure is tentative.

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