Friday, April 10, 2015

Green Electricity in Eastern Canada: A Letter to the Premiers of Quebec and Ontario

Here is an open letter to the premiers of both Quebec and Ontario urging them to work together to reduce greenhouse gases and save $14 billion by forging a green electricity deal.
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Dear Premiers Couillard and Wynne:

On November 21, 2014 in Toronto you agreed to investigate “long-term opportunities to expand electricity trade” between Quebec and Ontario.

At the April 14, 2015 Climate Summit in Quebec City we hope that you will sign a win-win, long-term electricity supply agreement that will help both Ontario and Quebec move towards a green electricity future, while providing economic benefits of $14 billion for each province over the next 20 years.

As you know, Quebec is the fourth largest producer of water power in the world and has the lowest electricity rates in North America. In addition, according to the Quebec Energy Commission, Quebec has a large and growing surplus of water power which it is exporting to the United States at an average price of 3 cents per kWh.

At the same time, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is proposing to re-build the Darlington Nuclear Station's aging reactors. According to OPG, this project will pro­duce electricity at a cost of at least 8.9 cents per kWh. Clearly, it doesn't make sense for Ontario to re-build its aging reactors to produce electricity at a cost of 8.9 cents or higher per kWh, when Quebec is exporting power to the U.S. for 3 cents per kWh.

In 2010, Hydro Quebec signed a 26-year electricity export contract with Vermont for 5.8 cents per kWh. A long-term Quebec-Ontario electricity supply contract could provide the following benefits:

Increase Hydro Quebec's export profits by $700 million per year or $14 billion over 20 years.

Reduce Ontario's electricity bills by $700 million per year or $14 billion over 20 years and permit it to can­cel the Darlington Re-Build Project, thereby avoiding the need for substantial provincial financing of this high-risk project. It could also help to create a more flexible and efficient electricity system in Ontario, and avoid the risk of accidents that could deeply affect both Ontario and Quebec.

Allow Ontario to store significant quantities of wind power using Quebec's huge reservoir storage capacity.

Allow for greater use of zero emission power to meet our provinces' distinct peak demand periods (winter in Quebec and summer in Ontario).

Water power imports from Quebec and the cancellation of Ontario's nuclear re-build projects could also avoid the need for a large increase in Ontario's gas-fired generation during the next 15 years while Ontario's aging nuclear reactors are being re-built.

The savings made in Quebec and Ontario could also be reinvested in energy efficiency, helping Eastern Canada move toward a greener energy future.

Yours sincerely,

Angela Bischoff and Jack Gibbons, Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Christian Simard, General Manager at Nature Quebec
Real Reid, former lead researcher at Hydro-Quebec on wind and renewable energy

Please click here to send the letter to Premiers Wynne and Couillard asking them to sign a long-term electricity cooperation agreement to save both provinces $14 billion while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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