- Journal Article
Canadian hydropower resources offer a potentially attractive option for meeting decarbonization targets in the US Northeast region, where there are ambitious climate goals and nearby hydro resources in Quebec. Existing transmission capacity is, however, a limiting factor in expanding hydropower imports to the region.
To examine the value of expanding transmission capacity from Quebec to the Northeast, we employ an integrated top-down bottom-up modeling framework (USREP-EleMod). This research was part of an Energy Modeling Forum effort, EMF34, with a goal of better characterizing linkages in energy markets across North America. The scenarios we examine exogenously expand transmission capacity by 10, 30, and 50% above existing capacity into the US Northeast (New York/New England), finding the value to the economy of these expansions ranging from $.38-$.49 per kWh imported into New York, and $.30-$.33 per kWh imported into New England by 2050.
The scenarios include economy-wide emissions goals these states have set for themselves. The carbon limits we impose raise fuel prices more than electricity prices, and as a result, we find greater electrification in the US Northeast region from 2030 onward--a result that one would not see using just an electricity sector model, This demonstrates a main hypothesis of EMF34, that models that looked at more integration across energy markets would give deeper insight than more narrowly focused models.
Canadian hydropower imports benefit the US Northeast region in transition to a low-carbon economy
Transmission capacity expansion is evaluated based on a top-down bottom-up model
The value to the economy of the expansion is significantly larger than the cost of the electricity itself