Notice of Commencement of an Environmental Assessment

Maritime Link Transmission Project

Cabot Strait; Cape Ray Cove (NL)
Point Aconi; Woodbine (NS)

February 2, 2012 -- Natural Resources Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada are required to ensure that a screening is conducted pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act commencing on January 19, 2012 in relation to the project: Maritime Link Transmission Project. Environment Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada and Transport Canada are participating as they may also be required to conduct an environmental assessment of the project.

The Maritime Link Transmission Project, as proposed by Emera Newfoundland and Labrador Maritime Link Inc. (the proponent), involves the construction and operation of a new electrical power transmission system, including a proposed 500-megawatt (MW), +/- 200 to 250-kilovolt high voltage direct current (HVDC) and high voltage alternating current (HVAC) transmission line between the Island of Newfoundland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. The scope of the project includes a new overhead HVAC transmission line from the existing substation at Granite Canal, to Burgeo Highway along approximately 30 kilometres of new right-of-way (RoW) and proceeding 68 kilometres along existing transmission corridor to a proposed converter station at Bottom Brook. From Bottom Brook the new line would proceed along an existing transmission corridor of approximately 135 kilometres to Cape Ray, Newfoundland. The HVDC transmission line would then cross the Cabot Strait via two subsea cables spanning approximately 180 kilometres from Cape Ray, Newfoundland to Point Aconi (or Lingan), Nova Scotia. From Point Aconi (or Lingan) the new line would proceed along an existing transmission corridor for approximately 46 kilometres to the existing Woodbine substation in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. A shore grounding system is proposed in the general vicinity of Woodbine, Nova Scotia and Bottom Brook, Newfoundland. The converter station at Woodbine is considered to be the end of the Project where the HVDC will be converted to 345-kilovolt alternating current and integrated into the existing Nova Scotia electricity grid. The main elements of the project include: transmission corridors (HVDC transmission, HVAC transmission, grounding system transmission lines); subsea cables; shore grounding facilities; two converter stations and adjoining substations; two transition compounds (for converting underground subsea cables to overhead transmission conductors); and other potential infrastructure, as required.

An environmental assessment is required in relation to the project because Natural Resources Canada may provide financial assistance by providing or purchasing a loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill projects.

This project is also subject to the environmental assessment requirements of the Government of Nova Scotia and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will act as the Federal Environmental Assessment Coordinator for this environmental assessment.

As per the Cabinet Directive on Improving the Performance of the Regulatory System for Major Resource Projects, this environmental assessment has been identified as a major natural resource project. For additional information refer to the Major Projects Management Office's Tracker that monitors the progress of proposed major resource projects through the federal regulatory review system.

For further information on this environmental assessment, please contact:
Joanne Weiss Reid
Project Manager
Maritime Link Transmission Project - Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
1801 Hollis St., Suite 200
Halifax  NS  B3J 3N4
Telephone: 902-426-0564
Fax: 902-426-6550

and refer to Registry reference number 12-01-65713

Document Reference Number: 1

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