21 June 2011

US has surplus electricity

A conference in Halifax last week heard a tale of electricity demand in the United States that you certainly aren’t hearing from proponents of mega-debt projects north of the border.

Massachusetts-based consultant Danielle Powers said that the New England states have enough capacity to meet anticipated demand in the near term.  At the same time, Powers said the situation could change if up to 8500 megawatts of existing generation in the United States wound up out of production.

But still:

"When you look at (natural gas) prices right now, I don't know how the case is made financially to bring the resources in," she responded. "In the near term, unless I'm missing something, I don't see it working."

Price seems to be the key.  Another American consultant quoted in the same New Brunswick Business Journal article put it the same way.  John Kerry is policy director for the Conference of New England Governors:

"There will be, at some point in the future, the need for reasonably priced Canadian power," he said at the Atlantic Power conference. "The lower the price, the greater the chance they will purchase Canadian power."

Something says Kerry wouldn’t think that 14.3 cents per kilowatt hour plus wheeling charges through three Canadian provinces and up to five American states will wind up with “reasonably priced” power in New England.

- srbp -