Montréal, October 26, 2016
New England states still covet Québec hydropower
Hydro-Québec and its American partner, Eversource Energy, learned this week that their bid in response to the Clean Energy request for proposals (RFP) issued by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island did not win. The winning projects involve solar or wind power and no transmission line construction project was selected.
The RFP was issued in January 2015, when the Northern Pass Transmission (NPT) project was already well under way. It is one of several initiatives in New England, which is trying to meet its ambitious greenhouse gas–reduction targets by purchasing more clean energy.
The announcement that Massachusetts will soon be issuing an RFP for a significant amount of hydropower opens up a new opportunity for the project. That RFP follows on from last summer’s bill paving the way for distribution companies to call for proposals covering 9.45 TWh of hydropower. The NPT project will help stabilize prices and the electricity supply, while at the same time contributing to the achievement of the region’s clean energy objectives.
Hydro-Québec and Eversource Energy are confident that the Northern Pass project is a great opportunity to deliver a significant volume of clean energy—which is very much in demand—to New England and are maintaining their partnership to develop the project. The transmission line is scheduled to be commissioned in time to help Massachusetts achieve its carbon-reduction goals. The permitting process is continuing on both sides of the border.
Furthermore, on October 21, Hydro-Québec signed its largest power supply agreement of the past 15 years. Under it, Hydro-Québec will sell 14 TWh of clean energy to Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator at a stable price that is good for both parties. This will enable Ontario to avoid using power produced by natural gas–fired generating stations and thus reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.