Canadian study shows that Hydro-Quebec doesn’t have enough Hydro to Export ‘Clean’ Energy to Massachusetts
If HQ is struggling to meet its own needs, where will the power come from for NECEC?
Pull quote taken from page 9 of the report
Throughout the permitting process for CMP's NECEC Corridor, Hydro-Quebec, owned by the government of Quebec, remained unable and/or unwilling to rebut evidence that they don’t have enough extra hydro capacity to guarantee 100% ‘clean’ energy deliveries for its contract with Massachusetts, and NECEC hired an army of lobbyists to kill Senator Brownie Carson's bill that would have required a formal study. But an independent Canadian report published last year by the Montreal Economic Institute, Energy in Quebec: What Role for Natural Gas in the Context of Electrification, provides further support to allegations that Hydro-Quebec won't be able to live up to their ‘clean’ energy export promises.
Energy In Depth Canada covered the story at the time, pointing out that Hydro-Quebec will have a hard time meeting its own needs to transition to a low-carbon economy. "Hydro-Québec, Québec’s public renewable energy company, faces several challenges in meeting the province’s energy demand. ”
How Much Extra Hydro Do They Really Have?
According to the MEI report, "… Hydro-Québec already struggles to meet demand, [in peak winter months] primarily due to electrical heating" and it notes that:
HQ's "reliable" electricity production equals 44,050 MW (37,243 MW from hydro, 5,428 from Churchill Falls and 1,379 from other sources) while its peak needs are expected to reach 44,380 MW (demand plus 10% reliability reserve) by 2025.
In order to electrify the entire Quebec economy, minus transportation, HQ would have to increase production by 10,000 MW per decade until 2050.
HQ would need to increase production by 28 TWh to fully electrify personal vehicles and trucks.
Export contracts are an obstacle to electrifying the economy.
Sandi Howard of No CMP Corridor said, "Opponents of CMP's destructive and unpopular NECEC Corridor have always been leery of HQ's unproven and lofty climate claims. Now, we know that our suspicions were correct. Contrary to its raindrop ad, HQ does not have the capacity to carry out its contract to deliver power through Maine's beautiful undeveloped forest to Massachusetts. This is yet another reason Mainers should vote YES to reject the CMP Corridor this November."