The Northern Pass is a Quebec–New Hampshire power line transmission project to distribute clean and cheap hydro-power from Canada to New England. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are about to finalize the guidelines for bidding on the massive contract estimated to be worth a total of $1.4 billion for the US side of the line alone. They will open the contract for bids next week.

Today, governors from New England states and prime ministers from eastern provinces are in St-John, Newfoundland for their annual  conference. Hydro-Quebec, the front-runner for the electricity generation contract, decided it was good timing for updating its bid. The company announced 1 GW of capacity for the project.

Hydro-Quebec is a government-owned public electric utility in Quebec. It is the world’s largest hydroelectric producer with over 60 hydro-power stations. By nature, hydro-electricity is flexible throughout the day and can relatively easily accommodate peak demand. Hence why Hydro-Quebec thinks it can find 1 GW of excess power to sell to New England.

The line will be 75 km long (46 miles) on the Canadian side and 390 km (242 miles) on the American side. Due to local pressure about the potential visual impact on the natural beauty of the region, the line is expected to be buried underground on the American side of the border, which can cost as much as 10 times more than a regular aerial power transmission line.

The contract should be assigned in the spring 2016 and the project could be completed as soon as 2019.

Source: LaPresse (French)

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