Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 01/30/2014 4:12 PM | Comments: 0
Manitoba Hydro’s dam-building plan goes under the microscope starting March 3.
That the day the long-awaited Needs For and Alternatives To (NFAT) hearing begins at the Public Utilities Board.
The hearing is scheduled to end May 3.
The Crown power utility says it needs to build the Keeyask and Conawapa generating stations in the next decade not only to meet the province's energy needs, but to meet demands south of the border and to the east and west.
Hydro's plan calls for the start of construction of the 695-megawatt Keeyask generating station in June 2014, with the first turbine to start spinning by 2019. That’s to be followed by construction of the 1,485-megawatt Conawapa generating station, with a 2026 in-service date.
The forecasted price tag for Keeyask is $6.2 billion and Conawapa is estimated to cost $10.2 billion. There will be an additional cost of running a transmission line to the Minnesota border.
The NFAT hearing will examine if this plan is too pricey for the province, especially in light of how the North American energy market has shifted with the advent of cheap shale gas extraction by fracking.
Hydro says its NFAT submission offers the most detailed review of future options for meeting Manitoba's electricity demand. It includes 15 different plans over 27 scenarios involving more than 400 cases. The full NFAT submission is available on Hydro's website.
Hydro says alternatives to its dam-building plan include increased energy conservation by Manitobans, burning cheap natural gas to produce power, adding more wind farms and even importing power at peak times. The timing of Conawapa could also be pushed back depending on what happens in the energy markets.
The Progressive Conservatives say the plan is too costly for Manitobans -- it in part relies on a series of annual rate hikes to pay for it -- and others say the government's terms of reference for the NFAT review are too narrow. There is also concern the public won't have adequate input in the NFAT hearing.
The PUB is to issue its report to the Manitoba government by June 20.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Committee will be interviewing candidates to replace suspended city CAO Deepak Joshi
Two charged after fatal 'road rage' incident
Chiefs tone down angry stance
Water sales widespread, while some restaurants close until all-clear sign
Byfluglien and Trouba on maintenance days after loss to Penguins
Council approves Convention Centre's $3.75 million settlement with Stuart Olson
Mike McEwen chosen as top seed for men's curling championship in Brandon
PUB nixes Hydro rate increase
India forgets Gandhi’s message
Ashton the one to beat
Man arrested after marijuana grow-op found at Pritchard Avenue home
MPI encouraging drivers to slow down
Busy day ahead for city hall
Salting trucks to hit slippery city streets
Centres want hike equal to child benefit
Podium-placing not part of ride of Hughes' life
Holy sheet! Versatile pan can be used for much more than just baking
Hard to choose from bunch of banana bread recipes
Raonic ousted at Aussie Open
Extremists rampage in northeast Nigeria, no troops fighting
Urban reserves offer a renaissance
More leaving on a jet plane
Ryan finds his niche at Super Bowl XLIX
Anyone-but-Ashton camp has its work cut out for it
Wrongful conviction lawsuit decision reserved
Freezing temperatures, drizzle, make for slippery conditions today
Swedish swimming pool opens gender neutral changing room
Anti-terror bill walks a fine line: minister
Jordan offers swap to Islamic State group to save pilot
Group: Israel violated rules of war in strikes on Gaza homes
Venus Williams exits Aussie Open with heartfelt advice