Study will evaluate two Manitoba Hydro project proposals

Manitoba Map

The Manitoba government has announced the terms of reference that will be used to evaluate Manitoba Hydro's proposal to build two new hydropower projects in the province's northern region, has learned.

Called a "needs for and alternatives to" (NFAT) review, the evaluation will be undertaken by the Public Utilities Board (PUB) with regard to Manitoba Hydro's proposed 695-MW Keeyask and 1,485-MW Conawapa hydropower plants -- both of which would be located on the Nelson River.

"Manitoba Hydro has developed a comprehensive plan for new hydroelectric development to meet a growing provincial demand for power and to take advantage of long-term export opportunities," said Manitoba cabinet minister David Chomiak. "Manitobans need to know that Hydro's plan is in their best interest, and that's what we are asking the PUB to verify."

The NFAT will be used by the PUB to determine whether or not the new hydroelectric projects and their associated transmission facilities are justified when compared to other options, according to the Manitoba government.

The report will be conducted by a five-member panel with the results to be submitted by June 20, 2014. reported in January 2012 that Manitoba Hydro had signed a 15-year, 250-MW power purchase agreement with Minnesota Public Utilities Commission for energy produced at Keeyask. Meanwhile, power from Conawapa would help satisfy a similar agreement with Wisconsin Public Service.

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