Even though the April 25 deadline has come and gone, negotiations between Massachusetts, Hydro-Québec and its U.S. partner to finalize a 20-year supply contract have reached the “final stages.”
However “key elements” such as prices and conditions are still missing, argued the American electricity companies of the negotiating committee in its update last week.
In a letter to Massachusetts Department of Public Services Secretary Mark Marini, the committee attributed the delays to a series of weather conditions including a major snowstorm in early March, as well as the inability of the Northern Pass promoters to obtain essential authorization in New Hampshire.
Initially, Massachusetts selected the proposal from Hydro-Québec and its partner Eversource as part of a contract to deliver 9.45 terawatt hours (TWh) annually for 20 years from 2020.
However, this transmission line project was opposed by New Hampshire, prompting the U.S. government to turn to the New England Clean Energy Connect project, which will be carried out by Central Maine Power Corporation and the Quebec corporation.
The cost of this transmission line, which is scheduled for 2022, is estimated at US$950 million in the United States. The 233-kilometre line on American soil would go through southern New Hampshire to Massachusetts. So far, nothing has been determined in Quebec.
Hydro-Québec spokesperson Lynn St-Laurent said Monday that the provincial utility is confident that negotiations will bear results shortly, without giving a specific date.