A Brief History of Muskrat Falls


The hydropower potential of Muskrat Falls was recognized in the early 1900s when the Grand River Pulp and Lumber Company proposed to build a dam along with a paper mill.

Neither was ever constructed. In the early 1970s an engineering and geotechnical survey was carried out to determine the hydro potential of the site.

The site will be developed as part of the Lower Churchill Project, despite concerns of methylmercury poisoning by researchers and local Inuit.

The station at Muskrat Falls will have a capacity of over 824 MW and provide 4.9 TWh of electricity per year.

A $6.2 billion deal between Newfoundland and Labrador's Nalcor Energy and Halifax-based Emera to develop the project was announced in November 2010.

The project is more than $6 billion over budget and two years late as of 2019.

Projected cost overruns exceeding 70% from C$7.4B to C$12.7B, poor planning, lack of engineering experience, and related assumptions that were invalid, misleading or later turned out to be incorrect have led to Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall declaring the project a boondoggle.

Premier Dwight Ball called for a public inquiry into the project that started in September 2018.


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