Northeast Utilities

Blog
Making Renewable Energy “Dispatchable”
by Jerry Elmer

One of the biggest criticisms of renewable energy is that it is not “dispatchable.” “Dispatchable” electricity generators are the most useful ones to operators of the electricity grid, because grid operators can turn them on and off as needed, and more accurately control their output of electricity to keep the overall grid safe and reliable.…

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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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Three Ugly Numbers Behind the Governors’ Push for Canadian Hydropower
by Christophe Courchesne

  As the New England Governors and the Eastern Canadian Premiers gather in Bretton Woods for their annual conference next week, it’s likely there will be much discussion of building new transmission lines to enable additional imports of Canadian hydropower into New England. Indeed, financing such transmission lines is the centerpiece of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s…

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CLF and Allies to Department of Energy: Take off the Blinders in Northern Pass Review
by Christophe Courchesne

Back in May, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a report listing the alternatives to the Northern Pass transmission project that the agency may study during its environmental review. As I explained at the time, the report was a hard-won victory for transparency in the federal permitting process for Northern Pass. Unfortunately, the report failed to…

Blog
Reading Between the Lines of Northern Pass Polls
by Christophe Courchesne

In recent months, we’ve heard a lot from the developer of the Northern Pass transmission project, Massachusetts and Connecticut-based Northeast Utilities, about swelling support and rising poll numbers. It’s all part of NU’s effort to craft a public relations “narrative”—through weekly posts on its Project Journal blog, in executive presentations to investment analysts, and in…