Montréal, March 21, 2016
Let’s set the facts straight: Québec hydropower is clean and competitive
NEPGA’s March 17, 2016 press release clearly shows that when it comes to Québec hydropower, the association that isn't seeing the facts. Once again, Hydro-Québec finds itself obliged to rectify false information about its electricity and activities in the New England market.
NEPGA cherry picks figures from Hydro-Québec’s public documents
NEPGA claims that Hydro-Québec’s 2015 Annual Report states that “electricity exported to markets like Massachusetts provided a $2.36 billion (Canadian) dividend to the Québec government”. This statement is entirely false. A quick read of our Annual Report tells the real story: the company’s 2015 revenues came from the sale of over 200 TWh, of which only 29.9 TWh were sold on markets outside Québec – and only half of that into New England.
NEPGA misleading consumers about the benefits of long-term contracts with Hydro-Québec
NEPGA continues to refer to a flawed report written by the Analysis Group in 2015 that misinterprets the major benefits that long-term contracts represent for Massachusetts consumers. Hydro-Québec has already pointed out the weaknesses of that report: Québec Hydropower: Stable Prices, Reliability and Low Carbon Energy.
Hydro-Québec provides reliable deliveries into New England
Hydro-Québec completely disagrees with NEPGA’s interpretation of the impact of its exports on the reliability of energy supply in New England. The truth here is that Hydro-Québec supplies significant quantities of energy to New England on a regular basis, including during winter periods when energy supplies are most needed.
As Hydro-Québec explained in its first response to NEPGA this week, the other truth is that ISO New England was forced to develop its Winter Reliability Program – an out-of-market program – because of the reliability concerns created by gas generators’ unwillingness to secure firm gas transportation. That is the major reliability issue in New England.
If Massachusetts wants to lock in the numerous benefits of Hydro-Québec’s clean electricity, the state needs to act on legislation that will establish long-term energy supplier and buyer commitments. Massachusetts bill SB 1965 offers such an opportunity: a competitive solicitation for clean energy on a level playing field.