Science & Tech

Longest sub-sea electricity cable in North America now links Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia

The Maritime Link project will connect the power grids in the two provinces
  • May 18, 2017
  • 444 words
  • 2 minutes
maritime link Expand Image

The Maritime Link project, a billion-dollar piece of a larger plan to foster the growth of renewable energy, has moved one step closer to sharing Newfoundland and Labrador’s renewable electricity with Nova Scotia and beyond. On May 14 the first of two high-voltage power transmission cables that will connect the two provinces was successfully anchored at Point Anconi, N.S.  

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the network, which will link Newfoundland to the North American transmission system for the first time and bring electricity generated by Labrador’s Muskrat Falls hydroelectric facility to Nova Scotia.

$1.7 billion  The estimated cost of the project

500 megawatts  The combined amount of power the two cables will carry

170 km  The length of each of the cables, each of which will cross the Cabot Strait

5,500 tonnes  The weight of each cable. Combined, the two weigh more than the Eiffel Tower.

10 cm  The approximate diameter of each cable (about the same as a two-litre bottle of pop)

14  The number of layers that make up each cable

1 km/h  The approximate rate at which the cable was laid on the seabed

20 days  The length of time it took from beginning the installation of the cable at Cape Wray, N.L., to anchoring it at Point Anconi, N.S.   

3 km and 600 m  The length and width, respectively, of ocean bottom that was closed to fishermen for the entire 2017 lobster season because of the laying of cable and associated construction.

50 km  The approximate length of the project’s overland transmission lines in Nova Scotia

300 km  The approximate length of the project’s overland transmission lines on the island of Newfoundland

2 weeks  The approximate amount of time it will take to transfer the second cable from the barge on which it was transported to the specialized cable-laying ship, Skagerrak

September 2017  The date by which the entire link should be complete

January 2018  The date by which the link is expected to go into full service.

2020  The year by which the Muskrat Falls project, which has been plagued by delays and cost overruns, is expected to be operating at full power

$398 million to $533 million  The estimated amount that delaying construction of the Maritime Link until the Muskrat Falls project is ready would add in additional costs

$120 million  The approximate worth of electricity the cables will carry into and out of Newfoundland in 2018 and 2019, according to NSP Maritime Link.   

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