Eversource, Hydro-Quebec File PPA for Northern Pass
Hydro-Quebec and Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) filed a 20-year power purchase agreement with New Hampshire regulators on Tuesday that promises to deliver at least 100 MW of energy during peak hours over the Northern Pass transmission line (DE 16-693).
PSNH parent Eversource Energy hopes to build the line to deliver Canadian hydropower into the ISO-NE market to reduce power price volatility and promote fuel diversity.
The company has cited the PPA as one of the benefits of the Northern Pass, along with economic development and clean energy. The Tuesday filing begins the formal review process before the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, which must determine whether the PPA is in the public interest.
The 192-mile project from the Canadian border to Deerfield would have a capacity of 1,090 MW. Officials said New Hampshire consumes about 9% of the electricity used in ISO-NE, so a proportionate share of its capacity is targeted to the state’s customers.
“This agreement is great news for New Hampshire electricity customers who have been struggling to pay some of the highest rates in the country,” Bill Quinlan, president of Eversource New Hampshire Operations, said in a statement.
Eversource says the PPA will save customers $1 billion over the first 10 years.
“The $1 billion in savings includes the $800 million in savings over a 10-year period as a result of market price suppression brought about by Northern Pass being in the regional market,” spokesman Martin Murray told RTO Insider. “In addition to that savings, the 20-year PPA will provide additional cost savings, and New Hampshire ownership of all the environmental [renewable energy credits] associated with the 100 MW of hydropower.”
Eversource said the PPA will provide its New Hampshire utility with 400,000 MWh of energy per year, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Prices are redacted from the contract for competitive reasons, although the document says prices are “based on the MA Hub NYMEX forwards adjusted for delivery to the delivery point.”
Eversource said that New Hampshire retains “most favored nation” rights under the agreement. If Hydro-Quebec negotiates a PPA with another party over the first 10 years for at least 100 MW at more favorable terms, PSNH could demand similar prices.
Three New England states — Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island — have solicited clean energy proposals from regional suppliers for long-term contracts. Northern Pass is one of more than 30 respondents that are undergoing review, which is expected to be completed in about a month.