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Minister Parsons Announces Appointment

Press Release

July 21, 2022

The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, today announced that Jennifer Williams has been appointed as Team Lead for the Churchill River Energy Analysis Team following the resignation of Brendan Paddick.

The Team has been given the mandate of undertaking a detailed analysis of the hydro-electric opportunities that exist on the Churchill River. This includes detailed forecasting of electricity prices, potential capital costs, energy trends, and other relevant factors that could affect the potential value that could be achieved from the Churchill River.

The work of the analysis team will help strengthen Newfoundland and Labrador’s negotiating position in advance of 2041, and support the work of the Expert Panel on 2041.

The Team will be supported by officials from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador with experience in finance, legal, electricity and intergovernmental relations; Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro officials with knowledge about the opportunities on the Churchill River; and other government officials or NL Hydro resources as requested by the Team Lead.

The Terms of Reference for the Churchill River Energy Analysis Team can be found in the backgrounder below.

Quote
“Continuing with the work of the rate mitigation team, the analysis team will interact with the Expert Panel on 2041 and work towards the mutual goal of preparing Newfoundland and Labrador for 2041 and beyond. I am pleased that Jennifer Williams has agreed to take on this important role and have every confidence in her leadership. I also thank Brendan Paddick for bringing his experience and insight to this committee, as well as the impressive contributions he made to the people of our province through his leadership on the rate mitigation team, securing a $5.2 billion deal to keep power rates affordable.”
Honourable Andrew Parsons
Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology

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Media contact
Kelly-Anne Roberts
Industry, Energy and Technology
709-729-5248, 327-7005
[email protected]

BACKGROUNDER

Terms of Reference
Churchill River Energy Analysis Team

CONTEXT

  1. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has a strong interest in determining the full economic potential of the Churchill River, which includes the existing plant at the Upper Churchill (5,428 MW), Gull Island (2,215 MW) and potential upgrades at the power house at Upper Churchill (approximately 1,300 MW) in conjunction with any opportunities that may exist in relation to Muskrat Falls (824 MW).
  2. By determining the full economic potential of the Churchill River, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will be best positioned to maximize future opportunities for the Province and the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. This includes preparing information that will allow the Province to be in a strong position with respect to the Upper Churchill as 2041 approaches.

MANDATE

  1. To undertake a detailed analysis of the hydro-electric opportunities that exist on the Churchill River. This includes detailed forecasting of electricity prices, potential capital costs, energy trends, and other relevant factors that could affect the potential value that could be achieved from the Churchill River.
  2. To undertake analysis of bulk electricity export opportunities, value added bulk export, expanding domestic use, and new industrial development as it relates to the Churchill River and electricity output therefrom.
  3. To provide completed analysis that ensures maximum long-term benefits from the Churchill River assets.

OBJECTIVES

  1. To strengthen Newfoundland and Labrador’s negotiating position in advance of 2041.
  2. To identify meaningful opportunities that leads to the development of the Churchill River in the interests of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  3. To provide clear analysis on electricity market trends, including the cost and access to transmission.
  4. To value potential future developments and electricity sales.
  5. To identify opportunities that will maximize the Province’s position as a green energy producer that supports a carbon neutral world in advance of 2050.
  6. To provide support to the Team Lead, who will work with the Churchill River Management Expert Panel.

STRUCTURE

An Energy Analysis Team will be created to undertake the required analysis. The Team Lead will be supported by a team of: (i) seconded officials from within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, with experience in finance, legal advice, electricity, and intergovernmental relations, (ii) seconded resources from Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro knowledgeable about the opportunities on the Churchill River and (iii) such other government officials or NL Hydro resources as the Team Lead reasonably requests as necessary to fulfil the Mandate and Objectives. The team will also include external legal, financial, and forecasting experts to be determined by the Team Lead.

GOVERNMENT REPORTING

Progress on the analysis will be reported to a committee that includes the Clerk of the Executive Council, the Deputy Minister of Finance, the Deputy Minister of Industry, Energy and Technology, and the Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

BUDGET

The Team Lead will serve without receiving compensation, except for out-of-pocket expenses. It is anticipated that very limited travel may be required. In those cases, funding will be provided. Preference is given to virtual meetings wherever possible. Officials seconded to the Negotiating Team from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and NL Hydro will receive remuneration as per their existing employment terms from their current employer. Resources will be made available to the Energy Analysis Team to ensure that external financial, legal, forecasting, or engineering advice can be provided in a timely manner to support the valuation analysis.

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