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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RE: So we're going to pay money to Canada?
By just4U on 5/20/2009 2:12:29 AM , Rating: 3
We are also on a very short list of countries that "could" be considered a resource super power. While I do agree that Canada and the United States are tied at the hip.. I wouldn't go as far as saying we are the 51st State.

Someday .. probably many years from now we will all be under a continental government.. Perhaps the United States of North America. I think though that it will be largely dependant upon the unification of Europe and just how powerful China gets as it advances. (you know trading blocks and such)

That's my theory anyway .. and we seem to be taking baby steps back and forth in that direction.

RE: So we're going to pay money to Canada?
By mudgiestylie on 5/20/2009 2:57:10 AM , Rating: 2
Ya know, people are so caught up in a rustic nationalist mind set and think that this kind of thing must be bad. Personally I think the US, Canada, the EU and a handful of other westernized countries could pretty easily unify and have it work out quite well. Half of the EU speaks english as a second language, plus the brits who are still learning to speak it (they'll figure it out soon enough). So does Canada and the US. We all share common cultural history, similar standards of living, similar styles of government, similar levels of education, and already have a strong military alliance in NATO (even with standardized ammunition so that we can all shoot the same bullets). We all do a lot of business with one another, and our governments are generally amiable, short of the occasional row. Take all those countries that get along anyway, make a sort of confederation of them, and you have one monstrously powerful new country. Whats stopping it from happening is people clinging to local cultural identity, instead of recognizing that our similarities greatly outweigh our differences. As long as we keep the french out (jk).

By Uncle on 5/20/2009 3:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
After reading your piece, its obvious to you that unification is great as long as the US of A pulls all the strings as they have been doing.

By just4U on 5/20/2009 12:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
I don't find it to be bad or good really. I realize that as Nations go we are all very young in comparison to other countries. Over time things are going to change and it would be pretty arrogant of us to somehow think we are going to head on down thru the ages with our countries staying as they are now. History pretty much indicates otherwise.

The next logicial step seems to be continental and we have loosely regulated bodies for that already which is what I meant by baby steps forward. Self interest is what pushes those steps back to so it's a bit of a tug of war.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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