Nfld. & Labrador

Shakeup at Nalcor, as VP for Muskrat Falls transmission departs

There's been a shakeup in the top management ranks of Nalcor.

Premier declines to get into details of 'human resources issue' at Crown corporation

John MacIsaac, Nalcor's executive vice-president of power supply, was responsible for all transmission elements of the Muskrat Falls project until his departure from the company. (Katie Breen/CBC)

There's been a shakeup in the top management ranks at Nalcor Energy.

John MacIsaac — the top official in charge of getting Muskrat Falls power from Labrador to Newfoundland — has departed the Crown corporation.

MacIsaac had been with Nalcor for eight years. He was appointed president of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro in late 2015.

In mid-2016, Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall reorganized the management ranks of the Crown energy corporation, and MacIsaac was shifted into a new role.

The generation and transmission aspects of Muskrat Falls were split into separate components.

MacIsaac got the job of executive vice-president of power supply, to focus on the completion and commissioning of the Labrador transmission assets, the Strait of Belle Isle marine cable crossing, and the Labrador-Island Transmission Link.

He also was given responsibility for the integration of Muskrat Falls into the current electricity system.

In a press release issued Friday, Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall thanked MacIsaac for his service and wished him "all the best in his future endeavours."

That press release did not quote MacIsaac himself, and Nalcor officials told CBC News that Marshall is not doing interviews.

Some 3,200 transmission towers like this one were erected as part of the $3.4 billion Labrador-Island Link from Muskrat Falls to Soldiers Pond. The top executive in charge of transmission work has departed that job, Nalcor Energy announced Friday. (Nalcor Energy)

"The changes being made today will allow us to continue to focus on the successful completion of the Muskrat Falls Project; to prepare the provincial electricity system for integration of Muskrat Falls power; and to have clear focus on our regulated business (Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro) while continuing our commitment to providing safe, reliable electricity to our customers," Marshall said in a prepared statement.

Premier defers to Nalcor on 'human resources' decision

Premier Dwight Ball deferred to Nalcor when asked about the shakeup Friday afternoon, calling it a "human resources issue" at the Crown energy corporation and declining to get into the circumstances of MacIsaac's departure.

"These are the details that I would leave to management; the human resources team at Nalcor to actually expand on that," Ball told reporters after a cabinet retreat in Corner Brook.

"This is not something we are involved in at all, myself or the minister. These are the decisions that are made at Nalcor." 

MacIsaac will be replaced by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro president Jim Haynes.

This is not something we are involved in at all, myself or the minister. These are the decisions that are made at Nalcor.- Premier Dwight Ball

​Haynes came out of retirement to take on that job at Hydro in 2016.

The Nalcor press release announcing the leadership changes noted that integration of the Muskrat Falls system into the electricity grid is "complex, technical work," and lauded Haynes's "wealth of technical knowledge." Haynes began working at Hydro in 1977.

Jennifer Williams now takes over as president of Hydro. 

Williams becomes the provincial utility company's first-ever female president. She had been serving as vice-president of production with Hydro since 2016.

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Rob Antle

CBC News

Rob Antle is producer for CBC's investigative unit in Newfoundland and Labrador.