"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Simple arithmetic (II)

Another curious mathematical wrinkle in the topology and arithmetic of the routing of the Lower Churchill outstarve infeed.

According to NALCO(R)’s own environmental filing, the routing of the outstarve infeed is rather sensitive to the mounting costs that might result from a longer or more circuitous choice of route. Once again cleverly defeating NALCO(R)’s insistence on copy-protecting its public documents, here’s the money quote, from page 9:

For the Labrador (Gull Island to Strait of Belle Isle) component, study area selection was undertaken to identify a pathway within Labrador that would minimize the overall length of the transmission line, and which would take advantage of the Trans Labrador Highway (TLH, Phase 3) to provide construction and maintenance access, particularly along the central part of the proposed line. The option of following entirely along or adjacent to the TLH (Phases 2 and 3) was also explored, but given the added distance involved (over 200 km) this was not considered to be an economically viable alternative.
So here’s the thing: in the case of the Gros Morne vs. alternative routings, the alternative routing is shorter, as previously established.

With some new, more refined geographical data to hand, the alternative routing (shown here in green) can now be said to be 132 km long, give or take a km, from the point where it leaves the main route to the point where it rejoins it. This is using the westernmost (closest to the coast) deviation point near Daniel’s Harbour, but also using the westernmost (and longer) alternative for re-joining the main route near Sandy Lake.

The Gros Morne route itself (shown in brown), takes 200 km (again give or take about a km) to connect the same two points. And the closer-to-Sandy-Lake option is the most favourable to the brown route; the other, eastern re-attachment point would make the Gros Morne route even longer by about another four kilometres.

So, depending on where the alternative route rejoins the brown main route, the Gros Morne option for getting from the west coast of Newfoundland to central Newfoundland is somewhere between 68 and 74 km longer than the alternative route that ODP says is shorter. And really, who are any of us to doubt Him?

At best, the Gros Morne route is fifty percent longer than the alternative. And it would mean giving up 75 km of linear advantage, after having so assiduously saved 200 km of distance in Labrador by deviating from the Trans-Labrador Highway and making as close to a beeline from Gull Island to the Strait of Belle Isle as the topography and the 1825 border will allow.



At 12:08 PM, August 22, 2009 , Blogger Edward Hollett said...

There is a line just to the east of the pretty greatwallofchinagraphs on your maps.

It didn't exist when the LC infeed line was first conceived and essentially NALCO is still working off ideas that - for all we know - were actually first thought of when the original NALCO was still around.

It's hard to escape the notion that the crew at NALCO just just working with really, really old assumptions and haven't rethought the whole exercise as they should in light of new wisdom.

If one skips across the Long range to the site of the generating station way up there in the hills and then either runs down THE EXISTING line or beefs that up as need be, one would save considerable time and money compared to stringing an entirely new line down by the park.

The whole EIS filing seems to be a bunch of words strung together to support a pre-ordained conclusion. As such it says things which are cotnracdicted by evidence, as in this instance, or contradicted by NALCO's own comments elsewhere, as in the demand issue, the alternative energy sources and the Holyrood replacement issue.

The whole thing should be sent back as a POS supported by lousy staffwork.


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