Canadian rivers solution to high U.S. energy prices

Experts have said that the power produced by hydroelectric generators in Canada are the answer to their high energy prices.

The large amount of raw electricity twisting around in Quebec’s rivers and reservoirs could be the answer to the northeastern United States who currently pay the highest prices in power, according to The New York Times.

For over four decades, hydroelectric power has played a huge role in the U.S. Northeast’s electricity plan. There are currently proposals on the table to bring even more Canadian power to the area.

In 2014, approximately 1.6 percent of the electricity bought by the U.S. was from Canada. Of that percent, New England and New York received over half. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Canadian electricity imports make up 12 to 16 percent of retail electricity in those states.

The biggest Canadian company in New England, Hydro-Quebec, exported over 25% of the Canadian power which is almost twice as much as the next biggest exporter.

Hydro-Quebec generates 36.500 megawatts of electricity which can power over 36 million homes with their 61 hydropower plants. The New England grid can currently create 31,000 megawatts.

There are currently five large-scale proposals are on the table that would pump the available megawatts in Quebec into the Northeast providing them options that could reduce the current energy prices. One concern is that the plans would ruin the natural beauty of the places it involves. The other concern is that by providing an abundance of electricity to the area would stymie efforts to cut consumption as well as develop renewable energy sources in their area.

  1. $1.4 billion Northern Pass proposal would carry 1,200 megawatts across overhead lines of 187 miles in New Hampshire.
  2. $1.2 billion New England Clean Power Link would run 1,000 megawatts under Lake Champlain into Vermont.
  3. The Champlain Hudson Power Express proposal would run 330 miles under Lake Champlain and New York’s River to New York City at $2 billion.
  4. $1 billion-plus proposal called the Maine Green Line is proposing to run a 300-mile cable underground and under the water to Boston.
  5. The Northeast Energy Link which would build a 230-mile underground run from Maine to Massachusetts which is estimated to cost well over $2 billion.


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