Christophe Courchesne

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The Final Word on Winter in New England’s Energy Markets, Part II: Why This Winter Was Different
by Christophe Courchesne

As late as last fall, many observers and traders watching the New England energy markets were predicting a repeat of last year’s very expensive winter, or worse. By January, CLF was able to post an update showing that those predictions weren’t materializing. In fact, the expected energy crisis was fizzling, with much lower wholesale power…

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As Cold Sets In, the New England Winter Energy “Crisis” Fizzles
by Christophe Courchesne

As of this writing (mid-January), we’re reaching the end of our first major cold snap here in New England, so let’s take stock of how New England’s electric system and market are faring. In short, we are doing much better than expected, to the great surprise of the many “experts” who have said we are…

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Even This Winter, PSNH Coal Plants Aren’t Cheap
by Christophe Courchesne

With electric rates headed up for the winter, more than a few people are admiring the perennially high but stable rates of PSNH, New Hampshire’s largest utility and the owner of the state’s two coal-fired power plants. But what’s behind PSNH’s rate’s new luster—the first time in the state’s decade-plus experience with a restructured electric…

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Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part III
by Christophe Courchesne

With the stresses that winter places on New England’s electric grid right around the corner, it’s a good time to revisit a crucial issue with increasing our reliance on hydropower imports from Canada—their reliability. The cause for concern? Last January, a very cold month, Hydro-Québec chose to curtail its exports to New England 24 times,…

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Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part II
by Christophe Courchesne

CLF has been asking questions about the carbon footprint of large-scale Canadian hydropower since before the Northern Pass project’s inception. I recently raised our concerns in my list of three ugly numbers behind the regional push for more hydropower imports, pointing out that, in the first decade after flooding, greenhouse gas pollution from new hydropower…

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Lessons from 4 Years of Northern Pass Failures
by Christophe Courchesne

This month marks the four-year anniversary of the announcement of the Northern Pass transmission project in New Hampshire. It has been a long, tortured road that won’t get any easier for project developers Northeast Utilities, Public Service Company of New Hampshire, and Hydro-Québec. The project inspired a vigorous opposition, still active today, in the communities…

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Why Is Hydro-Québec So Intent on Overselling Its Hydropower?, Part I
by Christophe Courchesne

For years, Hydro-Québec—the provincially-owned Canadian utility and financial sponsor of the Northern Pass transmission project—has oversold the benefits and downplayed the costs of its large-scale hydropower. This campaign to confuse is profoundly frustrating: new imports from the north will likely be a part of our region’s energy future, and we need honesty, clarity, and integrity…

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Setting the Table for Clean Energy Progress in the Granite State
by Christophe Courchesne

Without much fanfare, New Hampshire lawmakers took important steps in 2014 toward clean energy progress. This spring, the legislature completed what is arguably the most successful session for energy issues in many years with a series of significant bills each addressing different parts of the clean energy puzzle: a pathway to ending the state’s inexcusable…