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Historic transmission link between Labrador and Newfoundland to be energized

ST. JOHN’S, N.L.— An historic milestone is expected today on the East Coast: A power link connecting the Muskrat Falls hydro megaproject to Newfoundland and Labrador’s capital will be formally “energized” for the first time.

The Soldiers Pond transmission site, located 40 minutes outside of St. John’s, is connected to Labrador by a 1,100-km transmission power line.

The construction site of the hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador is seen in July, 2015.
The construction site of the hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland and Labrador is seen in July, 2015.  (Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The energy will come at a great cost, however — a public inquiry has been appointed to study how Muskrat Falls’ estimated $6.2 billion price tag has more than doubled to $12.7 billion.

The Muskrat Falls hydro generation facility in Labrador is 90 per cent complete.

Stan Marshall, CEO of Muskrat Falls owner Nalcor Energy, will speak to the media during a tour of the now-completed transmission site that will supply full power to the island’s residents by 2020.

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Once Soldiers Pond becomes active, electricity rates are expected to double for the island’s consumers by 2022, a burden Premier Dwight Ball has said he is working to mitigate.