Missed opportunities: The Ontario Clean Air Alliance has been advocating for years that Ontario could save $1.1 to $1.4 billion a year and provide a more stable hydro system by simply buying Quebec’s emissions-free surplus hydro energy. But successive Ontario governments have opted for nuclear energy at the expense of renewable energy development. If you want to assess how successful Ontario’s energy policy is, just look at your hydro bill. It’s expected to rise substantially in the future.
Quebec Premier François Legault speaks at the first ministers meeting in Montreal on Dec. 7, 2018. Photo by Josie Desmarais
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Green New Deal is music to the ears of Quebec Premier François Legault.
Under de Blasio’s plan to tackle climate change, unveiled Monday, all city operations would run on 100 per cent “zero-emission Canadian hydropower” within five years. Negotiations would begin “right away” with the aim of signing a deal by the end of 2020.
The mayor’s plan to source clean power from Canada is exactly the sort of thing that Quebec’s right-leaning Coalition Avenir Québec government has been hoping for. Legault’s strategy is to become the “battery of the American northeast” by replacing U.S. fossil fuel power generation with zero-emission energy generated by Hydro-Québec.
The provincial utility has been undergoing a “significant build-out” since the early 2000s, according to a representative, adding massive amounts of surplus capacity totalling over 5000 megawatts, including the Romaine complex on the north shore of the St. Lawrence with four hydro dams averaging an annual output of 8.0 terawatt hours (TWh). MORE