Hydro-Québec wins Canadian approval for power line to New Hampshire

Hydro-Québec said June 14 that it is pleased with the decision rendered June 10 by the Régie de l’énergie regarding the Québec–New Hampshire interconnection project.

In this decision, the Régie authorizes Hydro-Québec to build a 320-kV line between the Des Cantons substation and the border with New Hampshire, install equipment at the substation and carry out related work. In its decision, the Régie indicates that “in its opinion, the analysis of the evidence shows that the project is necessary to supply firm point-to-point transmission service required further to a request from the Generator and that, once completed, it will ensure the safe and reliable use of the transmission system.”

The public consultation process will continue in the local community, in conjunction with organizations and stakeholders, in order to obtain all the authorizations required to carry out the project, Hydro-Québec noted. The Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) launched the public information and consultation phase for the project on May 24, 2016.

On the U.S. side, the Northern Pass project would extend the line from the Canadian border to the Franklin substation in southern New Hampshire. This project would increase the energy interchange capacity between Québec and New England. Work is scheduled to begin during the fall of 2017 with commissioning slated for 2019, Hydro-Quebec noted in its June 14 statement.

In a related matter, the Hydro Renewable Energy Inc. (HRE) unit of Hydro-Quebec on June 3 applied with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for acceptance of its market-based rate tariff. HRE was formed for the purpose of marketing renewable energy from Canada in the ISO New England region and other northeast markets. HRE is a wholly-owned direct subsidiary of H.Q. Energy Holdings Inc., and an indirect subsidiary of Hydro-Québec (HQ). HQ is engaged in the generation of electric power predominantly from hydroelectric sources and the transmission, distribution and sale of such electric power to wholesale and retail customers within Québec and wholesale customers in neighboring markets.

HQ is directly interconnected with the transmission-owning provincial utilities in the provinces of Ontario and New Brunswick and also has direct interconnections with the ISO-NE and the New York Independent System Operator markets in the United States.

HRE does not own or control any electric generation, transmission or distribution assets either in Canada or the United States other than its rights to transmission capacity over the 1,090-MW Northern Pass Transmission Line (NPT Line) currently under development in New Hampshire by Northern Pass Transmission LLC (NPT), an indirect subsidiary of Eversource Energy (formerly known as Northeast Utilities).

The NPT Line is a bi-directional, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) line that will connect at the United States–Canadian border to an HVDC line and associated facilities being developed by Hydro-Québec TransÉnergie , a division of HQ. HRE has entered into a Transmission Service Agreement (TSA) whereby it will obtain firm transmission service over the NPT Line for the delivery of hydroelectric energy from Canada into the ISO-NE wholesale market. The TSA also will provide HRE with the ability to transmit and sell power from the United States into Québec. The NPT Line is expected to enter service in 2019.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.