Monday, April 13, 2009

Transmission Talk in Quebec

With local coverage of NALCO in a temporary lull, it's worth taking a look at what's being said in the Quebec media.

According to an opinion piece by Gilles Boivin in Le Soleil, the lack of trust between NL and Quebec is inhibiting negotiation of a broader agreement for developing and transmitting power from the proposed Lower Churchill project:

Unless I'm missing an ironic or saractic tone, Boivin seems to take the so-called Anglo-Saxon route seriously. He appears to believe that the technological challenges can be overcome and that NL has enough petrodollars to move forward.

Here's the google translation:
"Time or never
Gilles Boivin Le Soleil
We already knew that Quebec and Newfoundland did not speak the same language. Since the announcement of an agreement for the transport of electricity in Newfoundland on the Quebecois, it is reasonable to ask if they speak the same things.

At first glance, there would be any place to celebrate the beginning of collaboration between two provinces with hydro litigation will rebound to rebound in recent decades. But reading is different in the two protagonists songeur leaves. The premier of Newfoundland, Danny Williams, saw its first breakthrough into the U.S. market. The Quebec Minister of Natural Resources, Claude Béchard sees rather a recognition of the need for agreement with Quebec for the transport of electricity to this lucrative market.

The least we can say is that trust is a tragically absent from negotiations between the two provinces. It includes an agreement to work jointly harness the rivers of Lower Churchill has been short-lived, some years ago. Watching things and each of its end of the telescope, we lose sight of the goal.

At the point where now Newfoundland (and Ottawa!) Dream of a highway east-west power in Canada with transit to the United States. Québec is hard as iron to be within its territory, the sole owner and project manager for the highway ... . pay. No way to let Ottawa "put your nose in the construction of transmission lines" among us, slice, with reason, Premier Jean Charest.

And for good reason! Behind this apparently theoretical debate, if not constitutional, is looming in effect the sale of green power on the lucrative markets as Ontario and American. Faced with billions of dollars at stake, early agreement announced earlier this week does not compute. Just 40 to $ 80 million for Newfoundland and twenty million dollars for Hydro-Quebec. But it could still lay the groundwork for a broader agreement between the two provinces.

An exciting prospect for Ontario, which relies on the energy of a future development of mega terreneuvien Lower Churchill to get rid of its coal. And Newfoundland also has need of a market for this ambitious project. At the point where she is studying the feasibility of a submarine link to bypass the province and its precious megawatts sell directly to the U.S. market.

But petrodollars helping the island province will probably be the means to do so. Especially since technically it has already been done in Europe, between Sweden and the Netherlands. Moreover, one of the companies associated with the Lower Churchill, the Norwegian Statnett, has expertise in this area.

This comes on the table for Quebec when it comes to run the La Romaine project, a hydroelectric plant with a capacity of 1550 megawatts. These are more than 2800 MW project that the Lower Churchill put on the market almost simultaneously. And Newfoundland has already indicated it does not remove the nose on a "support" a few billion federal dollars.

To the chagrin of Quebec alone has developed and continues to do so, its hydropower. Before ending up before the fact, Quebec and Hydro-Quebec would certainly benefit to undertake serious negotiations with neighboring Newfoundland. Unless it is already too late and that he refuses ... Face it, the speaker of Quebec is no longer small and powerless poor province that has signed in the late 60s, a way that has benefited 19 times less than Hydro-Québec."

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