Powering Strong Communities

MMWEC, CMEEC derive benefits from power flow rights agreements with Hydro-Quebec

The Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) and the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (CMEEC) have partnered in order to maximize the benefits of five-year power flow rights agreements with Hydro-Quebec, a Canadian public utility, MMWEC reported on Nov. 6.

The power is flowing on existing transmission lines, to which MMWEC and CMEEC have contractual rights to transmit power from Canada.  It began flowing on Nov. 1, 2020. 

Under the deal, in exchange for monthly payments from Hydro-Quebec, the MMWEC and CMEEC contractual transmission rights are transferred to Hydro-Quebec, and Hydro-Quebec will flow hydropower from northern Quebec to a delivery terminal just outside of Boston.

The agreement with Hydro-Quebec is the result of a joint solicitation by MMWEC and CMEEC for both transmission and carbon-free power.

On October 30, 2020, MMWEC signed a power agreement with Hydro-Quebec in which MMWEC reserves a portion of its contractual transmission rights to purchase carbon-free power for its participating municipal utilities. The cost of the power will be reduced by the revenue received for the transfer of the contractual transmission rights.

The five-year power purchase transaction will allow participating MMWEC member municipal utilities to flow clean power down the transmission line. It is a firm power transaction, guaranteeing that MMWEC participating utilities receive this clean power, MMWEC noted.

Nineteen MMWEC member utilities are purchasing 15 megawatts through this transaction, which represents 131,400 megawatt hours annually.

“MMWEC member municipal utilities, many of which have adopted their own policies regarding reductions to carbon emissions, continue to be at the forefront of efforts to help the Commonwealth meet its carbon reduction goals contained in the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said MMWEC Chief Executive Officer Ronald De Curzio in a statement. “This innovative approach, with MMWEC working with our joint action agency counterpart in Connecticut, utilized the combined economies of scale to make this unique deal a reality. It demonstrates the Massachusetts municipal utilities’ commitment to addressing climate change.”

“CMEEC is pleased with the results of the collaboration with MMWEC, which maximizes the value of our respective flow rights,” said David Meisinger, CMEEC CEO.  “CMEEC’s continuing role in enabling the delivery of hydropower from the Province of Québec to New England, which began in the 1980s, remains consistent with CMEEC’s mission to achieve a more environmentally positive source of power for its member utilities and their customers, and is among the cornerstones of that effort.”

MMWEC is a non-profit, public corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, created by an Act of the General Assembly in 1975 and authorized to issue debt to finance a wide range of energy facilities. 

MMWEC provides a variety of power supply, financial, risk management and other services to the state’s consumer-owned municipal utilities. It has 20 municipal utility members and 28 project participants.

CMEEC’s member municipal electric utilities include the Jewett City Department of Public Utilities, Norwich Public Utilities, Groton Utilities, Bozrah Light & Power, Third Taxing District of the City of Norwalk and South Norwalk Electric and Water.