The American program called,Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) started in the Great Depression still exists. It its formation, land was flooded, homes lost, people displaced. This event inspired the formation of Quebec Hydro in 1943. Same sad beginnings as TVA but now Quebec Hydro thrives as the largest hydroelectric project with the lowest costs in North America. They’ve dammed up 75 rivers and flooded land over the years to serve over 4 million customers. There is much power to spare. If it is not used, it is wasted—water over the dam, so to speak.Vermont and Connecticut are helping themselves to this lowest cost, non-polluting, clean, reliable energy. Vermont claims that 28% of its power comes from Quebec Hydro. Connecticut wants to use more as its current energy costs are very high. Their general assembly with pressure from Governor Malloy, opened the door to Quebec Hydro for limited purchases approaching 20% of its energy buy.A Rhode Island past governor, J. Joseph Garrahy along with Governor Lincoln Chafee favored hydro power. However, the legislature bowed to special interest groups including the Sierra Club and National Grid who opposed the plan. To tighten to noose, Rhode Island differentiated small hydro from large hydro (read Quebec Hydro) declaring only small hydro as sustainable energy. Small hydro does not produce much energy; perhaps enough for a home or two for each installation.Less than 5% of Rhode Island utility purchased energy comes from hydro. Until the state redefines large hydro as sustainable, Rhode Island households and industry will continue to suffer with some of the highest energy rates in America. By opening the door to large hydro, we invite industry and real jobs into our state’s economy. By controlling energy costs, we control our economy. Our state has made a pact with the devil. Deepwater Wind is under contract to provide Rhode Island with the most expensive energy generation available: off-shore wind. We, as energy buyers are obligated to pay Deepwater Wind a $500,000,000 premium for power and that is not affordable. That premium goes to Deepwater Wind and is five times more than 38 Studios cost us—It’s cash out of our pockets. Our legislatures need to understand this simple argument. References:http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/integrating-wind-and-hydro-power/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydro-Qu%C3%A9bechttp://ripr.org/post/ris-energy-future-needs-canadian-hydro-powerhttp://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/06/12/connecticut-adds-hydropower-renewable-mix
Myron WaldmanStarted and sold several industrial technology businesses, authored several technical papers, contributed to several books. Resident of Narragansett, RI.
If Deepwater Wind cared about RI it would move away. We don’t need ocean pollution or high electric rates.
Rhode Island is surrounded by several states who’ve recognized that hydroelectric generated power is green, plentiful and cheap.By decree, Rhode Island classifies large hydro power as not environmentally safe. Show me the gasses, the smoke, the soot? There are none.