For the first time, electricity has been exchanged between the Island of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia through Emera’s Maritime Link undersea cable project. This is a historic milestone for the transformative interconnection.

Map showing route of Maritime Link from Newfoundland to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

The first electrons across the Maritime Link system were exchanged between the provinces at 11:03 am Atlantic Standard Time on December 8, 2017. Commissioning teams from Emera NL and ABB worked together with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Nova Scotia Power to achieve the first successful trial of the Maritime Link.

“Our team has been working closely with system operators in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as contractors ABB and Nexans, for several years to integrate this new connection,” said Rick Janega, CEO of Emera Newfoundland and Labrador. “This is a historic accomplishment and the culmination of almost seven years of work from a dedicated team.”

Commissioning will continue throughout December as the Maritime Link prepares to be ready for customers in 2018. This integration of the link would not be possible without collaboration of system operators in all Atlantic Canadian provinces. Once in service, it improves the electrical interconnections between Atlantic Canadian provinces, providing more access and improved reliability.

The island of Newfoundland was connected to the North American energy grid for the first time.

“The exchange of energy across the Maritime Link marks the beginning of a pivotal time in our provincial electricity system and brings us a step closer to a more reliable, interconnected system for our customers who are counting on us every day,” said Jim Haynes, President of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro.

The Maritime Link Project is part of a broader strategy to address the growing demand for more renewable energy. It will enable the transmission of renewable and reliable electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia.

Based on the regional cooperation among the provinces and the regional significance of the Maritime Link, the Government of Canada backed the Project with a Federal Loan Guarantee. The prediction is that Nova Scotia electricity customers will save approximately $325 million over the life of the Project.

The project was sanctioned in 2013 after a regulatory review and environmental assessment. A comprehensive industrial benefits plan was required and labour agreements were negotiated  with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in both provinces and the Cape Breton Building Trades Council.

Construction of the Maritime Link began in 2014 and achieved major milestones this year with the successful installation of two 170 km subsea cables across the Cabot Strait, with about 50 km of overland transmission infrastructure in Nova Scotia and more than 300 km of overland transmission on the island of Newfoundland. The Project remains on budget and on schedule for first operation in early 2018.

Source: BusinessWire – Emera Press Release Friday December 8, 2017.