Zone board seeks electrical upgrade for Codroy Valley

Codroy Valley -- - Everyone wants a lower power bill. For most people the only way to get one is to reduce consumption. But for industrial business, there is another solution called three-phase power.

The Marine And Mountain Zone Corporation MMZC is hoping to extend the existing three-phase power in the Codroy Valley all the way to Codroy.

"We see the need for this, because it is in an area where we have a big employer in the fishery side," said Lynn MacArthur, executive director of the MMZC.

Three-phase power in the Codroy Valley would involve upgrading a section of power lines in the valley to a more reliable system tailored for industrial use. The installation of this system will enable expansion of existing business and attract new investment into the area.

Three-phase power is a more economical way of using power. It uses less conductor material to transmit power but more machinery can be run on it. It is the most efficient way that electricity can be produced, transmitted and consumed.

"We are looking for people who are interested in it," said Mrs. MacArthur.

There is funding through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency ACOA, the Department of Innovations, Trade and Rural Development INTRD and Newfoundland Power to gauge support for this concept.

"If they have enough people interested," said Mrs. MacArthur.

Discussions with ACOA, INTRD and Newfoundland Power to gauge support for this concept were promising and at a board planning session in June 2011, the MMZC agreed to include this as an initiative in the 2011-2012 Intergraded Business Plan. The decision was based on a number of parameters including the opportunity to promote economic growth in a rural area, as well as improve employment opportunities in the region.

It will cost about half a million dollars to run from the Grand Codroy River Bridge up to Codroy.

Part of the cost will be covered by various funding organizations if there is enough interest in the project. Business owner John Osmond, who is owner an operator of Codroy Seafood, is very interested in the Three Phase Power project according to Mrs. MacArthur.

Codroy Seafoods is the largest employer in the area and it does not have access to three-phase power. Mr. Osmond's processing facility is approximately thirteen kilometers from the three-phase power source.

He currently has 50 to 70 employees who reside from Rose Blanche to North Branch. Three-phase power would enable Codroy Seafoods to expand into new product lines, creating major long-term economic and social benefits to the region.

Mr. Osmond could not be reached for comment.

The Marine and Mountain Zone Corporation anticipates that small businesses located along the delivery route will access the improved service. Initial inquires with neighbouring businesses are extremely positive. One of their goals is to create new employment.

"If John can get this off the ground, then there should be more economic spin offs in the form of new jobs," said Shelly MacDougall economic development officer for the MMZC.

The proposed transmission route passes through communities in which a number of tourism, retail, and other commercial enterprises operate.

Once implemented, Newfoundland Power, the local utility company and the owner of the delivery line, would assume responsibility for the maintenance of the lines.


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