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Print 35 comment(s) - last by Nervenkrieg.. on May 20 at 2:52 PM

If you close coal plants and don't build nuclear, what are your options?

The Canadian province of Quebec recently started construction on a major new hydroelectric project that will cost an estimated $6.5 billion dollars (CAD). The Romaine Hydroelectric Complex will have 1550 MW of capacity and produce 8 terawatt-hours of electricity per year. Consisting of four power plants when completed, it will be able to supply electricity for 450,000 households.

Much of that power could end up in New York state and New England. Hydro-Quebec, the province's public utility, generates over 95% of its electricity from hydropower. It currently exports 21.3 terawatt-hours of electricity per year to Ontario, New York state, and New England, generating over $1.9 billion CAD in revenue for 2008.

Several factors are leading to increased hydroelectricity imports. The Obama administration’s policies on renewable energy, greenhouse gas emissions trading, and the shift away from coal power plants means that hydroelectricity becomes more attractive to municipalities. On the other hand, growing power consumption along the eastern seaboard means that new and replacement power generation must be brought online quickly.

The Luther Forest Technology Campus in New York state's Capital Region is expected to require large amounts of power. GlobalFoundries is planning to build its Fab 2 CPU plant there, and GE Transportation will build a new battery plant in the region to support its hybrid-electric vehicle efforts.

Hydroelectricity is a source of constantly available baseload power during the day and night. Baseload power is currently only available from nuclear, coal, natural gas, and hydroelectric sources. Solar and wind power require large amounts of reactionary power from coal and/or natural gas plants to ensure stability in the electrical grid and power supply chain.

Hydroelectric dams usually raise environmental concerns due to flooding needed to create reservoirs for the dams. Over $200 million has already been spent or budgeted on environmental studies, attenuation measures, and environmental monitoring, which is planned to continue until 2040.

Power from the project will be initially available by 2014 and all construction will be completed by 2020.



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By omnicronx on 5/19/2009 3:01:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If Canadians can do it, why not the states?
Quebec is the only province with a significant amount of population to be pretty much self sufficient. Ontario is not even close to 'the vast majority', it is currently only around 50%.

Quebec cannot really be compared to pretty much anywhere else either. They have huge amounts of accessible water masses, small lakes and rivers which are suitable for hydro installations.

Even with Ontario's numerous Nuclear plants and hydro dams (Niagra is a pretty big hydro producer), we still make use of coal burning and other fossil fuel based power plants (and as the article mentions, we buy from other provinces). Considering this took years of planning even to reach this state (at this point even with two new reactors being built, ontario is only aiming for 50% nuclear power by 2025), it is no wonder the states cannot catch up. It will take years for big states like New York to become self sufficient.


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