N.Y. Electricity Delivery: BAPE Highlights Considerations to Dwell On
Hydro-Quebec electricity pylons
The BAPE has made public its report on the Quebec portion of the electricity delivery project by Hydro-Quebec in New York State, highlighting the necessary follow-up on the yield of agricultural land, the measures to be taken to reduce soil compaction and the importance of active participation by civil society in the energy transition.
The Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l' x27;environnement (BAPE) received last November from the Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, the mandate to hold a targeted consultation on the Hertel-New York interconnection line — a privileged avenue when the stakes raised relate to a limited number of concerns, which do not call into question the relevance of the project.
The Hydro-Québec interconnection line project must cross the territories of the regional county municipalities (RCMs) of Roussillon, Haut-Richelieu and Jardins-de-Napierville.
At the end of its mandate of approximately three months, the commission of inquiry concludes that certain considerations deserve attention.
According to the report, the agronomic monitoring program that would allow the evaluation of the yield of agricultural land following the construction of the planned power line should be for a period of seven years, as recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture. Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec (MAPAQ). Such a duration is required to verify the return to normal of the yield of the land, it is claimed.
In addition, the Ministry of the Environment should consider, in its possible recommendation on the authorization of the project, all the conditions determined by the MAPAQ to reduce soil compaction both on the surface and on the surface. ;in depth.
The BAPE also addresses the production capacities of Hydro-Québec and the related issue of the energy transition. We know that the debate on the energy future of Quebec has been well launched since the election campaign and that it took a new turn with the announcement of the premature departure in January of the president of Quebec. Hydro-Québec, Sophie Brochu, followed by those of other leaders of the Crown corporation.
Premier François Legault has often spoken of the need to build new dams to provide the electricity needed to decarbonize Quebec's economy. i.e. achieve zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, a goal to be achieved by 2050 in accordance with international commitments.
The BAPE asserts that for Hydro-Quebec, not only is it possible to meet supply needs in Quebec while carrying out the Hertel-New York interconnection line project, but the Crown corporation also has the #x27;intention to increase business opportunities.
The BAPE indicates in the conclusions of its report that Hydro-Québec's leeway with regard to its production capacity is decreasing while by 2026-2027 new supplies will be needed.
Consequently, the commission of inquiry is of the opinion that, faced with the climate emergency and the imminence of the need to increase Quebec's energy supply, the energy transition should be based on planning that balances its supply needs with its electricity export plans, the document reads.
Such a transition involves societal changes that involve more than just government responsibility , underlines the BAPE, which suggests that planning would benefit from promoting active and inclusive participation of civil society.
The report was sent on March 1 to the Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, who had 15 days to make it public, which was done on Thursday.
In the letter to Minister Charette accompanying the report, it is indicated that the commission of inquiry submits to the attention of the decision-making bodies concerned various elements which require commitments or actions, before the possible issuance of government permission.
Hydro-Québec anticipated construction of the Quebec portion to begin this spring.
Last year, it obtained approval from the New York Public Utilities Commission for the contract between the Quebec state company and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). This major project for Hydro-Québec will deliver 10.4 terawatt hours of electricity per year to New York City via a 545-kilometre buried end-to-end transmission line, the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE).
The line in Quebec would also be completely buried, with 56.1 kilometers of underground line and 1.6 kilometers of underwater line.
Commissioning is planned for 2025.