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Corrected: Quebec expects to send more renewable energy to US under 2030 energy policy

Birmingham, Alabama — Quebec has developed an ambitious energy policy to make itself the North American leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy production, which will lead to increased exports to the US, the provincial government said in its 2030 energy policy.

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The plan is to increase the overall output of renewable energy 25%, pushing the total amount to 60.9% by 2030 from its current 46.6%. The plan, issued last week, is meant to significantly alter Quebec's energy profile.

The government will invest $4 billion to increase energy efficiency 15% and eliminate the use of coal for industrial processes by 2030. The plan is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 18 million tons and transform Quebec to a low-carbon economy. The province will rely on natural gas as a bridge to reach its 2030 goals.

While the focus of the energy policy is to change the energy profile of Canada's second-largest province by 2030, part of its strategy is to promote the development of clean energy resources that can be exported to the US.

Article Continues below...

"With the most developed wind energy supply chain in Canada and the northeastern United States, Quebec's wind industry is in a good position to meet our continent's energy challenges," said Jean-Francois Nolet, vice president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association.

The Quebec government intends to increase the number of interconnections with US utilities, the energy policy said.

Hydro-Quebec intends to double its revenue over the next 15 years in part through growth potential in the US. The Quebec-based utility intends to boost its electricity exports, including hydroelectric exports, to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets of its neighboring US markets, the policy said.

The utility is looking at opportunities to provide power to New York to meet the state's mandate to have 50% of its power from clean energy sources by 2030, said Gary Sutherland, a Hydro-Quebec spokesman.

Hydro-Quebec has already teamed with Eversource Energy and National Grid to deliver a guaranteed 6.3 TWh of hydropower to New England to meet its renewable requirements. The team has proposed the 1,090-MW Northern Pass transmission line from Quebec to New Hampshire to interconnect with the New England Grid. There are several high-voltage transmission lines proposed in the US to transport wind energy and hydropower from Quebec to the US.

Hydro-Quebec has also teamed with Invenergy to offer a wind and hydropower combination to help New England meet its greenhouse reduction goals. Hydro generation will back up the wind power to be transported to New England along the Vermont Green Line, a 400-MW transmission project proposed by Anbaric and National Grid that will run from upstate New York to Vermont.

The Maine Green Line, also proposed by Anbaric, would be capable of moving more than 1,000 MW of renewable resources from Main and Eastern Canada to the New England grid.

TDI New England expects to begin construction in 2017 of a 1,000-MW transmission line to deliver renewable power from Canada into Vermont and the markets operated by the New England Independent System Operator.

(This version of the story corrects the 3rd paragraph to eliminate coal for industrial processes and corrects the 7th paragraph to show the utility is based in Ontario.)

--Mary Powers,
--Edited by Jason Lindquist,