Labrador-Island Link and Transmission Assets
The Labrador-Island Link (LIL) will carry electricity from the generating facility at Muskrat Falls to the island of Newfoundland. It will be a High Voltage direct current (HVdc) transmission system with a 60 m wide right-of-way and will be 1,100 km long, running from central Labrador, crossing the Strait of Belle Isle, and extending to Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula.
Once constructed, it will be one of the most robust transmission systems in the province, engineered to withstand the harsh environmental and weather conditions experienced in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The transmission project is currently under construction and includes building and operating:
- A converter station at Muskrat Falls (Labrador) to change alternating current (ac) power into direct current (dc) power.
- 400 km of overhead HVdc transmission line from the Muskrat Falls converter station to the Strait of Belle Isle at Forteau Point.
- 35 km underwater cable crossing across the Strait of Belle Isle, from Forteau Point, Labrador to Shoal Cove, Newfoundland.
- 700 km of overhead HVdc transmission line from Shoal Cove to Soldiers Pond, Newfoundland.
- A converter station at Soldiers Pond to convert the dc power back into ac power for distribution on the island’s electricity grid.
- Electrodes, or grounding systems, at L’Anse au Diable (on the Labrador side of the Strait of Belle Isle) and at Dowden’s Point (in Conception Bay, Newfoundland).
Detailed descriptions of each of these components are available in the Labrador-Island Link Environmental Impact Statement, Plain Language Summary.
Strait of Belle Isle Marine Cable Crossing
To connect the transmission line from Labrador to Newfoundland, a 35km marine cable crossing is being constructed across the Strait of Belle Isle, from Forteau Point, Labrador to Shoal Cove, on the island of Newfoundland.
The marine cable crossing will include the installation and operation of three marine power cables along the seabed across the Strait of Belle Isle. Using horizontal directional drilling (HDD) technology, two drill rigs will bore three holes from the shoreline and out under the seabed on both sides of the Straits. Cables will be installed through the drilled holes, and placed along the sea floor by a cable installation vessel. The cables will then be covered by rock berms to protect against marine traffic and fishing activity.
Labrador Transmission Assets
In addition to the Labrador-Island Link, further transmission lines are required in Labrador to transmit power between Muskrat Falls and the existing 5,428 MW hydroelectric facility in Churchill Falls. Two, 250 km 315kV High Voltage alternating current transmission lines are being constructed between the hydroelectric generating facilities in both locations.
Unlike most transmission lines in the province, the Labrador-Island Link will be a High Voltage direct current (HVdc) line, which is more effective for carrying large amounts of power over long distances as well as underwater. It will be converted to High Voltage alternating current (HVac) at the converter station in Soldiers Pond before being added to the provincial grid as power for homes and businesses.