The organization representing all the power plants in New England released a study showing the proposed $1.1 billion transmission line from the region to Quebec has serious financial and environmental repercussions.
The New England Power Generators Association pointed to a study it commissioned from PA Consulting of Cambridge, Mass. showing the Northern Pass transmission project doesn't make sense for the region or Quebec, especially since the price of natural gas has lowered significantly electricity costs in New England.
Northern Pass is a 180-mile transmission line through New Hampshire that would deliver 1,200 megawatts of power from hydroelectric facilities in Quebec to southern New England. Northeast Utilities headquartered in Boston and Hartford is funding the project.
NEPGA hasn't formally come out against the project, but the low-cost hydro power would limit the ability of some NEPGA members to sell on the region's wholesale electricity market.
The PA Consulting study said the revenue that Hydro-Quebec would gain by selling the power to New England would barely pay for the cost of Northern Pass and equivalent facilities in Canada. As electricity prices drop because of the falling price of natural gas, Hydro-Quebec wouldn't make as much money in the New England wholesale market. The study also noted the hydropower would have limited impact on how much natural gas is sold for power facilities in the region.