MORE ENERGY FROM HYDRO-QUEBEC IS BEST FOR VERMONT AND NEW ENGLAND

Five years ago, Gov. Shumlin declared Vermont’s energy goal to be "90% renewable energy by 2050". The General Assembly has never enacted this declaration, but it did establish a Renewable Portfolio Standard, RPS, requiring 55% of retail electricity sales to be from renewable sources by 2017; 75% by 2032, per Act 56.

Renewable Portfolio Standards: Renewable portfolio standards require utilities to have a percentage of their electricity supply from renewable sources. Two states, Hawaii and Vermont, require much higher percentages of renewable energy than any other state in the nation. As usual, Vermont, a poorer state, is setting excessively high RE goals that are too expensive to achieve.

 

Unlike Vermont, Hawaii is much closer to the equator, has steady trade winds and much sunshine, and has the highest electric rates in the United States. The Hawaii goal is reasonable, but the Vermont goal is economically unwise. See URLs and Table 3.

 

Table 3; RPS Goals  

State

Goal

Year

Goal

Year

Goal

Year

Goal

Year

 

%

 

%

 

%

 

%

 

CT

 27.0 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

RI

 14.5 

2019

 38.5

2035

 

 

 

 

ME

 40.0 

2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

NH

 24.8

2025

 

 

 

 

 

 

MA*

 15.0 

2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

VT

 55.0 

2017

75 

2032

 

 

 

 

HI

30.0 

2020

40

2030

70

2040

100

2045

 

* MA percent to increase by 1%/y after 2020; the ME and VT goals are higher because of hydro being counted as renewable.

RE Electricity Supply to Vermont Utilities: The RE supply to Vermont utilities was about 50% of total retail electricity sales in 2016, mainly Hydro-Quebec (HQ). But strangely, the 2016 Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, projects increasing wind energy and decreasing HQ energy consumption over the next six years, even though (heavily subsidized) wind electricity costs about 10 c/kWh hour, much more than (unsubsidized) hydro electricity at about 7 cents/kWh.

 

Vermont utilities could satisfy the 75% RPS mandate within a few years (well before 2032) by buying more electricity from Hydro-Quebec. It would require no subsidies and would have near-zero capital costs, because private corporations would design, build, own and operate the high voltage transmission lines from Quebec to Vermont. Vermont utilities could satisfy a future 100% RPS mandate by buying more electricity from HQ. 

 

The supply of wind electricity to Vermont utilities likely would not increase while Scott is Governor, unless it is bought from out-of-state wind turbine plant owners. Solar electricity likely would continue to expand as suitable sites are found and any local opposition is dealt with.

 

HQ has about 5000 megawatt of underutilized hydro plant capacity, which could produce over four times the present electricity supply to Vermont utilities. HQ is planning and building about 5000 MW of additional hydro plant capacity over the next ten years.

 

An approved 1000 MW high voltage direct current transmission, HVDC, line will run from Quebec, under Lake Champlain, to a DC-AC converter station at Ludlow, VT; most of that electricity would go to southern New England. As part of the agreement with Vermont, TDI-New England has reserved 200 MW of the line’s capacity for Vermont, replacing most of what Vermont lost when Vermont Yankee was shut down in 2014.

 

But Vermont utilities are not using the 200 MW, because of the CEP penchant for higher cost wind and solar energy, described as “small-scale, distributed generation, combined with islanding". In fact, Vermont utilities have steadily reduced HQ electricity supplies as contracts expired to “make room” for Vermont generated renewable electricity.

 

GMP prefers, for business reasons, to own and lease to ratepayers Japanese-made heat pumps and Tesla wall-hung batteries, because they would add to the GMP asset base, on which GMP earns about 9%/y, whereas purchasing more energy from HQ would add nothing to its asset base.  

 

HQ energy has the following advantages: 

 

1) Requires no subsidies, and costs less than two-thirds the cost of wind and solar 

2) Is dispatchable 24/7/365, unlike variable and weather-dependent wind and solar

3) Would not destabilize the grid, as would wind and solar when their contribution rises to around 5 - 10 percent of the grid supply

4) Would not ruin ridgelines and meadows with 500-foot towers and acres of solar panels

5) Would not cause adverse health effects and diminish nearby property values 

6) Would undermine the flimsy case for the VPIRG carbon tax that Gov. Scott, who actually listened to voters over the past six months, has pledged to veto.

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Comment by Long Islander on March 1, 2017 at 11:31am


Vermont Green Line will move forward despite RFP loss

http://www.suncommunitynews.com/articles/the-sun/vermont-green-line...

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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