Clean Energy Leaders Highlight Collaboration, Diversification as Key to Achieving Goals

“I think it’s questionable,” he said.

Curtatone noted that the state has made significant strides in ramping up wind and solar energy production, but it should prioritize hydroelectric power as well.

“We need it all,” he said. “The more the better. The more overlap and redundancy [and] reliability can be built into it, it builds more confidence.”

In addition to diversifying energy production to meet demand, imported and exported energy could help decrease use of fossil fuels across a large region.

Currently, 12% of Massachusetts’ power comes from Quebec’s hydropower stations, according to Serge Abergel, chief operations officer for Hydro-Quebec Energy Services.

Soon, Massachusetts will be importing even more renewable energy. The New England Clean Energy Connect project, which would link New England with Quebec through Maine, is expected to be operating by the end of 2025.

“It’s going to bring clean energy to more than a million homes here in the commonwealth to create incredible environmental, social and economic impact,” Curtatone said.

Another proposed project, the Twin States Clean Energy Link, aimed to establish a bi-directional transmission line between New England and Quebec. But National Grid ultimately deemed that the project was “not viable.”

Abergel said that if Massachusetts experienced a surplus in wind power, for example, the transmission line would have been able to deliver power back to Quebec.

“We have five million customers there. We could use it, we’ll buy it,” he said. “But, when [New England doesn’t] have enough power, we can reverse the line and send some of our hydropower back.”

Still, Abergel expressed optimism about future collaborations between Quebec and Massachusetts.

“When I compare Quebec [and] Massachusetts, I think they're like-minded. And the team that you guys have here today, they're top notch. They've been great partners,” Abergel said. “We're really looking forward to working with them not just to bring this current project online [New England Clean Energy Connect], but also for future projects in terms of two-way trades.”

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