New Hampshire utility has latest entrant to trade electricity with Canada

May 10, 2023, 3:17 PM | Updated: 4:06 pm

The newest proposal for a major electrical transmission line from Canada that would be able to carry power to New England from Canada, would also be able to send to Quebec renewable energy produced by future power generators off the New England coast or other sources.

The proposed 211-mile, $2 billion Twin State Clean Energy Link would enter the United States in Canaan, Vermont. It would be buried along state highways in Vermont and New Hampshire until it linked to an existing transmission corridor in Monroe that would carry the power to a new substation in Londonderry. From there the power could be distributed throughout New England.

“You can think about the Twin States line almost like battery storage — the line would not need to be ‘always on’ and delivering energy from Quebec to New England,” said a statement from the electric utility National Grid, one of the developers of the proposed New Hampshire project. “Instead, it would be used when there is a need to bring additional clean energy to the region to balance variable resources, such as offshore wind.”

Unlike much of the power currently brought to the United States from Canada that is generated by hydro generation facilities in Quebec, it would also have the ability to deliver power generated by wind and solar facilities in Canada.

In a statement, Hydro-Quebec said cross-border infrastructure optimizes the use of renewable energy, hydro, wind and solar, in Quebec and the Northeastern United States.

“Even though HQ is not involved with the Twin States project, this project’s business model is a demonstration of how the energy transition is taking shape in our broader region,” the statement said.

For years the Northeastern United States has tried to find ways to take advantage of hydropower produced in Canada and Canadian officials have been eager to sell power in the U.S.

As part of that Hydro-Quebec has agreed to a 25-year contract to sell power for use in New York City via the stalled New England Clean Energy Connect through Maine.

But now Quebec has its own clean energy needs and doesn’t have power to spare for another major line to the U.S. and the focus is changing to shared power.

If approved, the earliest the New Hampshire project could begin construction would be 2026.

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New Hampshire utility has latest entrant to trade electricity with Canada