Hydro-Quebec can’t meet expected demand without more dams, wind power

Hydro-Quebec – once thought to have virtually unlimited amounts of carbon-free electric power available – now must build even more dams in order to meet provincial carbon goals and current and future commitments.

“We sell cheap, reliable and renewable energy,” Dave Rheaume, Hydro-Quebec risk manager, is quoted in the Financial Post. “However it’s precious and now everybody wants to come and have access to it — but we don’t have the ability to infinitely replicate these kinds of generation assets.”

In recent years, HQ has wooed large manufacturers to Quebec with promises of reliable, low-cost electricity. Meeting carbon goals, agreeing to large export contracts, and keeping and attracting big domestic manufacturers have combined to push the provincial power utility’s commitments beyond even its once seemingly infinite capacity.

If Quebec hydro-power becomes less available to Vermont in the coming decades, Vermont will be harder-pressed to meet its own carbon-emission reduction goals without building a robust instate renewable power generation, relying more on other sources of low carbon power such as nuclear, or relaxing its standards and continuing to consume natural gas fired electricity from New England. 

Oliver Stone’s “Nuclear Now” shows at Savoy in Montpelier tonight – Filmmaker Oliver Stone’s latest project, Nuclear Now, will be aired tonight at 7 PM at the Savoy Theater in Montpelier. Scientist Robert Hargraves will lead the discussion, and “I will certainly add my two cents,” scientist and pro-nuclear writer Meredith Angwin of Wilder reports. 

State spends $4 million on brownfields remediation – Governor Phil Scott and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development has announced five additional awards and another $3.97 million have been committed to remediate brownfields sites across the state:

  • Evernorth & Champlain Housing Trust (Colchester)
    • Award: $1,500,000
    • Purpose: Redevelopment of former St. Michael’s College dormitories. 
    • Anticipated outputs: 64 residential units, reused infrastructure, remediation of a 3.17 acres site.
  • 561-567 North Main Street LLC (Barre)
    • Award: $38,107.80
    • Purpose: Redevelopment of a vacant commercial/residential site.
    • Anticipated outputs: 5 jobs, 1 unit of housing.
  • Lamoille Build LLC (Cambridge)
    • Award: $441,234
    • Purpose: Redevelopment of the former Jeffersonville Granary and revitalization of the vacant commercial site as a vibrant hub for local food businesses and renewing the property’s agricultural legacy.
    • Anticipated outputs: 8 jobs, 1.79 acres remediated.
  • Lake & Maple LLC (St. Albans)
    • Award: $793,360.80
    • Purpose: Redevelopment of a contaminated parking lot for housing.
    • Anticipated outputs: 72 units of housing, 0.97 acres mitigated.
  • Town of St. Johnsbury
    • Award: $1,200,000
    • Purpose: Redevelopment of the 16,700 sq ft former armory building and reuse of infrastructure on a site that has been vacant since 2009.
    • Anticipated outputs: 2 full-time employees, 1.6 acres mitigated.

Since the Brownfields Revitalization Fund (BRF) – State Program opened in October 2021, nearly $11 million in cleanup funding has been awarded to 25 projects in eight counties (Caledonia, Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille, Orange, Washington, Windham, and Windsor). The projects combined are anticipated to clean up more than 42 contaminated acres and create 554 jobs and 425 units of housing.

42 appointed to state boards and commissions – Governor Scott appointed 42 people in April to State boards and commissions.

Animal Cruelty Investigation Advisory Board

  • Pamela Levin, Shelburne
  • Gwyn Zakov, Barre
  • Mary McFaun, Barre

Building Bright Futures Council

  • Alexis Duquette, South Putney
  • Ashley Miller, South Royalton
  • Becca Webb, Burlington
  • Carol Lang Godin, Montpelier
  • Christy Swenson, Wolcott
  • Dimitri Garder, North Bennington
  • Eddie Gale, Johnson
  • Flor Diaz Smith, Montpelier
  • Heather Wilcoxon, Hartford
  • Libby Daghlian, Winooski
  • Mike McRaith, Montpelier
  • Paul Dragon, Underhill
  • Shannon Harrington, Windsor
  • Xusana Davis, Morrisville

Governor’s Commission on the Future of Agriculture

  • Leon Corse, Whitingham

Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports           

  • Anna Grearson, Morrisville
  • Christian Craig, Weathersfield
  • Corey Cenate, South Burlington
  • Dorothy Helling, Adamant
  • Gary Eley , Burlington
  • Greg Wight, Brookfield
  • Laura Medalie, Montpelier
  • Pam Chisholm, Duxbury
  • Robert Peterson, Richmond

Governor’s Snowmobile Council             

  • Mike Mutascio, Lunenberg

Human Services Board 

  • Brenda Cruickshank, Northfield
  • Jan Westervelt, Cabot
  • Susan Harritt, Jericho

Justice of the Peace

  • Diane Niederhauser, Stratton

Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs

  • Deanna Edwards, Milton

Vermont Community Development Board          

  • Bruce MacLean, Peacham
  • Gregg Over, Cuttingsville

Vermont Economic Progress Council     

  • Abbie Sherman, Randolph
  • James Stewart, Pittsford
  • John Russell III, Rutland
  • Kim Gobeille, Shelburne
  • Thad Richardson, Lyndonville

Vermont Educational and Health Buildings Financing Agency    

  • Mario Hankerson, Barre

Vermont State Retirement Board            

  • Jay Wisner, Montpelier

Boards and commissions serve an important role in state government, giving Vermonters numerous opportunities to serve their state and communities. The Governor’s office is currently soliciting applications to fill vacancies and upcoming term expirations. All those interested in serving on a board or commission should visit the Governor’s website at to apply.

Categories: SHORTS

4 replies »

  1. They want electric vehicles and electricity in homes instead of fossil fuels, but now we read that Hydro Quebec who they were hoping would be a provider of unlimited power, is not able to fulfill the needs. Now where do we go for power? Vermont Yankee is history and would have been a good, cheap source of power. The remnants of spent nuclear rods would probably not be any worse than the PCB’s in contaminated soils and razed buildings that are being dumped somewhere.
    Oops I have to quit writing now as my power is running out.

  2. Keep in mind that one of the folks making the claim that HQ might not have enough power for future demand is a co-founder of ThorCon International, a company developing liquid fission (nuclear) power plants.

    And yes, we can run out of just about anything if we’re frivolous. But don’t throw HQ under the bus just yet. Its electricity is still the least expensive alternative that satisfies the panicked demands of the ‘green new deal’ people.

    Indeed, new nuclear fission technology is a reasonable alternative too. But let ‘the market’ decide. Avoid taxpayer funded subsidies to anyone. Buy what’s best and cheapest. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed on compact fusion technology. Sooner or later, fusion will be the answer.

  3. Associated Press October 2022: “The $2 billion purchase of Great River Hydro LLC and the dams that produce 589 megawatts of electricity will provide Hydro-Quebec with the largest hydropower operation in New England, officials said Wednesday. Hydro-Quebec has a long relationship with New England, providing hydropower to the region since the 1980s”

    Six months later, Hydro-Quebec is signalling to take more control over land, water ways, and energy infrastructure. They imply they can’t sustain feeding the grid with it’s current holdings. Translation: Justin Trudeau with his band of nihilists and 10% Joe Biden with his band of nihilists, agree to place critical infrastructure into the hands of a globalist conglomerate and let them monopolize it. Justin and Joe Inc. profiteering bigly in the name of climate change utilitizing collusion with energy corps (just as is done with energy corps in the Ukraine, ka-ching!)

  4. Keep in mind that 10 years or so ago the Vermont Legislature would not classify Hydro Quebec power as “renewable” simply because it’s dam construction required the displacement of Indigenous Peoples. That classification had nothing to do with science, but only with politics. Not much has changed. Our energy policies are still not based on science, but on politics.