More hydroelectricity in Vermont's future

Vermont's two largest utilities and HQ Energy Services (U.S.), a subsidiary of Hydro-Qu bec, signed today a 26-year contract that will provide renewable low-emission energy.

The contract, announced at a news conference attended by Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas and Qu bec Premier Jean Charest, was hailed by utilities and officials from both governments.

"Our strong relationship with our friends in Qu bec is vital to the economic well-being of Vermont. This agreement will help ensure a clean competitively priced energy future for Vermonters," Douglas said. "It will provide stable renewable power at a competitive price for 26 years, starting in 2012, and will help Vermont's power supply remain arguably the nation's cleanest. Green Mountain Power (GMP) and Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) have negotiated an agreement that will benefit customers well beyond their service territories, for which I am most grateful."

"Following the Vermont legislature's recognition of the renewable nature of hydroelectricity, regardless of the capacity of the power plants that produce it, this agreement marks an important milestone in Qu bec and Vermont's on-going leadership in the fight against climate change," said Charest. "For years to come, Qu bec will maintain an important customer relationship for one of its most valuable exports: hydroelectricity. This win-win agreement will create revenues for Qu bec, contributing to the affluence of its population and to the reduction of public debt. And thanks to our decades-long energy partnership, Vermonters will continue to benefit from a reliable, renewable low-emitting energy source."

Under the agreement, which will now go to the Vermont Public Service Board for review, Vermont will purchase up to 225 megawatts of energy, predominantly hydroelectricity, from HQ Energy Services (U.S.) (HQUS) starting in November 2012 and ending in 2038. HQUS markets electricity from Hydro-Qu bec's generating fleet, whose output is 98% hydroelectric. The agreement includes a price-smoothing mechanism that will shield customers from volatile market prices. The price will start at approximately six cents per kilowatt hour. The final price for deliveries starting in 2012 will be set in December 2010. In addition, HQUS and the Vermont utilities will share any future revenues related to environmental attributes.

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