Nova Scotia

Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity flowing into Nova Scotia again

Deliveries of Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity to Nova Scotia are back on, ending a nearly month-long stoppage caused by a software problem in the transmission system in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Software problem was behind a nearly month-long stoppage

The Muskrat Falls dam seen from overhead while under construction. The dam holds a large body of water in the top left of the photo, while water shoots out into a river at the bottom right. There's construction equipment on a dirt lot at the bottom left.
Muskrat Falls is supposed to supply about 10 per cent of Nova Scotia's electricity. (CBC)

Deliveries of Muskrat Falls hydroelectricity to Nova Scotia are back on, ending a nearly month-long stoppage caused by a software problem in the transmission system in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Labrador Island Link (LIL) went back into service on March 24 and electricity flow resumed that day.

"The full Nova Scotia Block of clean energy has been flowing and we have been receiving additional energy above what we're contracted to receive," said Nova Scotia Power spokesperson Jacqueline Foster.

The 1,100-kilometre transmission system carries electricity from the big hydro dam in Labrador into Newfoundland. There it connects with Emera's transmission system and is sent across the Cabot Strait into Nova Scotia over the Maritime Link.

Late last month a fire sensor tripped on the Labrador Island Link.

The software did not respond correctly and the link was shut down while supplier GE Canada figured out what went wrong.

It was the latest in a series of software failures for LIL.

Muskrat Falls is supposed to supply about 10 per cent of Nova Scotia's electricity. Emera has contracted for 35 years of electricity from Muskrat Falls. It is an important part of meeting a provincial government commitment to have 80 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by the end of the decade.

Deliveries of the Nova Scotia Block only started to ramp up to full flows in recent months — almost four years behind schedule.

Any shortfalls from this interruption will be made up later.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paul Withers

Reporter

Paul Withers is an award-winning journalist whose career started in the 1970s as a cartoonist. He has been covering Nova Scotia politics for more than 20 years.

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