- The proponent for this project is Nalcor Energy, a Newfoundland and Labrador based energy corporation.
- The project involves the construction of two dam sites (Muskrat Falls and Gull Island) on Labrador's Churchill River, along with accompanying terrestrial and marine transmission links (Nalcor 2009, Vol. 1A).
- The two dams will be built in separate phases. The Muskrat Falls phase was sanctioned by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in December 2012, and is currently under construction (Nalcor 2014a). Construction of the second phase, Gull Island, is slated to begin in 2015 (Nalcor 2014b). The two phases can be visualized in Figures 1 and 2 below.
- Along with the two dam projects, there will be accompanying transmission lines bringing power to Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the United States (Nalcor 2014b). These transmission lines were not included in the scope of this assessment. The planned and potential transmission lines can also be visualized in Figures 1-4 below.
- The Muskrat Falls generating station contains two dams joined by a powerhouse, and is expected to produce 824MW of electricity, from a 101km2 reservoir (Nalcor 2009, Vol. 1A). The Gull Island generating station is expected to produce 2,250MW, from a 213km2 reservoir (Nalcor 2009, Vol. 1A).
- Approximately 40% of the generated energy will be used in Newfoundland and Labrador, 20% in Nova Scotia, with the remaining 40% going to other Atlantic Canadian and New England markets (Nalcor 2014a).
- There are many stakeholders involved with this project, notably: Nalcor Energy, the Federal government, Provincial government, and various Indigenous groups (Nalcor 2009, Vol. 1A).
- The construction of Muskrat Falls alone is expected to provide $1.9 billion to Newfoundland and Labrador labour and business, and an average of 1,500 direct jobs per year of construction (Nalcor 2014a).