Nova Scotians are a step closer to benefiting from the good jobs, stable electricity prices and clean energy that will come with the Lower Churchill hydroelectricity project and the Maritime Link. Energy Minister Charlie Parker joined Jerome Kennedy, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Natural Resources, Chris Huskilson, president and CEO of Emera Inc., and Ed Martin, president and CEO of Nalcor Energy, in Sydney today, July 31, to sign the necessary legal agreements for the project to move forward. A similar signing ceremony was held in St. John’s earlier this morning. “By developing Lower Churchill and connecting it to wider markets, we are creating good jobs, growing the Atlantic economy and ensuring a cleaner energy future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren,” said Mr. Parker. “This development is an important component in ensuring Nova Scotia meets federal coal reduction regulations, as well as our province’s greenhouse gas emission targets. “Perhaps most importantly though, it will help stabilize electricity rates for Nova Scotians and their families. This is indeed a game-changing opportunity for the Atlantic region, and part of the approach that makes Canada an energy superpower.” Mr. Kennedy said that the signing of the agreements today represents a major step forward in this historic development. “This is another important milestone as we move closer towards a decision on sanctioning of the project. Muskrat Falls will deliver least-cost renewable power and stabilize rates, support economic development, and provide power to mining companies in Labrador. It will also provide long-term revenue through the export of electricity and reduce dependence on fossil fuels, along with economic and employment benefits for the province, the region, and the rest of the country. “The Maritime Link will allow us to access the Maritime and New England markets and thereby gaining a fair and competitive price for our clean, renewable power. It will also facilitate the development of our province’s energy warehouse. Today’s agreements guarantee the successful responsible development of our province’s hydroelectric resources in a manner that provides maximum benefit to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.” Nalcor and Emera have formalized 13 agreements spanning 50 years related to the development of Muskrat Falls, the Labrador-Island Transmission Link, and the Maritime Link, which will connect hydroelectricity between the two provinces through Granite Canal, NL, and Woodbine, Cape Breton. The purpose of the agreements is to formalize the transactions agreed to by the parties. Six of the agreements reflect the commitment by Emera to develop the Maritime Link connecting Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia, and to provide transmission rights in Nova Scotia. Four agreements relate to transmission rights for Nalcor in the Maritimes and New England as a result of Emera’s investment in the Labrador-Island Link, which will span from Muskrat Falls, across the Strait of Belle Isle, to Soldiers Pond on the Avalon Peninsula. Three related agreements were also completed. “The agreements signed today reflect the strong partnership between Nalcor and Emera, and the commitment by both companies to ensure a quality result for everyone involved,” said Ed Martin, president and CEO of Nalcor Energy. “We took the time necessary to get it right, and I’m proud to say that today we have 13 comprehensive, sound agreements that will stand the test of time.” “Emera is fully engaged in helping transform Atlantic Canada into an energy powerhouse with an electricity system that is more robust, flexible and better connected,” said Chris Huskilson, president and CEO, Emera Inc. “Today’s announcement sets the stage for the development of a new source and route for clean, renewable and reliable energy that will help stabilize energy costs, improve the environment and provide economic benefits for the entire region.” The deal will provide Nova Scotia with access to clean hydro-electricity from the Lower Churchill Project at Muskrat Falls through a subsea cable to Nova Scotia. Emera will invest about $1.2 billion in the project, which is 20 per cent of the estimated cost of the project, in exchange for 20 per cent of the electricity for 35 years. The link to Newfoundland and Labrador places Nova Scotia within an energy loop rather than at the end of the line as it is presently, which will improve transmission in the region, as well as reliability and access to additional electricity at market prices.