No clean energy shell game

Hydropower infrastructure can’t be built in a day

IN HIS COMMONWEALTH MAGAZINE op-ed entitled “Quebec hydropower is ‘shell game,’” John Flynn misses the point about Hydro-Québec’s growth and export strategy. We are not taking clean energy from one region and sending it to another; we’re increasing our deliveries to all of our markets. Furthermore, we are continuing to build our generating fleet of clean, reliable hydropower, both to serve our domestic load and to supply our export markets.

Hydropower infrastructure can’t be built in a day; it takes 10-15 years to develop from start to finish. Energy leaders in Québec have had the foresight to develop our water resources. Since 2003, we’ve brought over 4,500 megawatts of new hydropower on line in anticipation of increased clean energy needs throughout the northeast. That is our vision for the region: a clean, renewable energy future.

Hydro-Québec currently exports power to Ontario, New York, New England, and the Maritimes. In the fall of 2016, we signed a new agreement with Ontario for increased sales. This summer, we responded to the Massachusetts Clean Energy RFP with a total of six options, including all-hydro solutions and hydro-wind blends. Bringing that energy into Massachusetts will require new transmission capacity, which is what we proposed in the Massachusetts RFP.

And keep an eye open on September 1, the deadline for the New York Power Authority Large-scale Renewable Energy RFP, because Hydro-Québec will be offering its energy under that process as well.

We generate 99 percent of our energy using water, a clean, renewable resource that allows us to provide a reliable source of energy with strong environmental attributes.

Meet the Author

Steve Demers

Vice president for business development, Hydro-Quebec
In a region that is quickly moving through the energy transition, access to this source of renewable energy will be instrumental in building a low-carbon future.

Steve Demers is the vice president for business development at Hydro-Québec.