Hydro-Québec wants to export electricity to Connecticut

Hydro-Québec is once again trying its luck in the United States to export its surplus electricity. After signing a major deal with Massachusetts, the state-owned firm participated Friday in the state of Connecticut’s call for proposals in hopes of securing another long-term supply contract.

Connecticut has issued a call for proposals for a supply of approximately 3 terawatt hours (TWh) of clean energy annually for 10 years. Hydro-Québec is proposing to route its hydroelectricity through its current network and to Vermont Green Line, a new transmission line proposed on US soil by a subsidiary of National Grid.

“There is no new construction planned in Quebec,” said Hydro-Quebec spokeswoman Lynn St-Laurent.

Connecticut will select the winning proposal at the end of 2018 or early 2019 for a delivery of electricity that can begin between July 2020 and December 2026. The Vermont Green Line is expected to enter service in December 2023.

“Always on the lookout”

If Connecticut retains its proposal, the state-owned company would hand over another long-term supply contract, after the contract in Massachusetts.

An agreement was reached last June between the power utilities of this US state, Hydro-Québec and its partner Central Maine Power, the developer of the New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line. If this supply agreement of 9.45 TWh over 20 years materializes, it will be the largest export contract in the history of Hydro-Québec.

The Connecticut call for proposals is more modest, but it meets Hydro-Québec’s objectives, says Ms. St-Laurent.

“It’s part of our strategic plan to increase our exports. […] We’re always on the lookout, we’re watching every opportunity, “she says, adding that the crown corporation has no set targets for how much energy it wants export.

In its 2016-2020 strategic plan, Hydro-Québec estimates that new opportunities to export electricity could enable it to increase its net income by $ 300 million in 2030.

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