BAKER ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS said a massive purchase of hydro-electricity from the Canadian province of Quebec will be priced at a levelized flat rate of 5.9 cents a kilowatt hour for 20 years, resulting in a 2 to 4 percent reduction in Massachusetts customer bills over that period and total direct and indirect savings of as much as $4 billion.
In a letter to the Department of Public Utilities accompanying separate contracts negotiated by the state’s three utilities, two officials in the Baker administration said the price breakdown was 4.8 cents per kilowatt hour for the energy and 1.1 cents per kilowatt hour for the transmission line needed to carry the power from the border of Quebec through Maine to the regional power grid. The prices were expressed in 2017 dollars.
The letter from Robert Hoaglund II and Ben Dobbs, legal counsels at the Department of Energy Resources, also disclosed some of the behind-the-scenes infighting behind the contract award. The letter said Massachusetts received 53 distinct proposals to provide clean energy to Massachusetts and two emerged as superior to the rest. Both of the preferred projects delivered hydro-electricity from Hydro-Quebec. One project, developed by Eversource Energy, brought the power into New England via a transmission line through New Hampshire. The other, developed by Central Maine Power, brought the power into the region through Maine.
“All other evaluated individual projects and portfolios of combined projects that met the legislative requirement of approximately 9,450,000 megawatt hours of clean energy generation were considerably more expensive and provided less benefit to Massachusetts customers,” the two officials said in the letter.
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