Hydro Quebec Power Deal Will Be Competitive

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(Host)  The recently announced power deal with Hydro-Quebec will include prices that are comparable to the current contract.

That’s according to Mary Powell, the president and CEO of Green Mountain Power. GMP and Central Vermont Public Service are entering into a 26-year deal to buy electricity from the Canadian power generator.

But the parties won’t reveal the actual price of the power until the contract is finalized.

Speaking on VPR’s Vermont Edition, Powell said the price will be competitive with the current contract:

(Powell) "I feel very comfortable telling you it is my opinion that, based on where prices are now in electricity markets and what we’re seeing, we’re expecting it to come in at, or actually, maybe modestly less than the existing contract."

(Host) Currently, Vermont utilities pay 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour under a contract that expires in 2012.

Powell says future prices will be based on a market average. The deal is meant to protect utilities from high prices and to protect Hydro-Quebec from dips in the market price:

(Powell) "The electricity market is like any other commodity market now – it goes up, it goes down, there’s wide swings. And in fact most other states in New England basically just ride the swings of the market and that’s why you saw over the last 5 years rate increases of even up to 60% I saw in some New England states."

(Host) The contract between Hydro-Quebec and the two Vermont utilities will be finalized in June. The starting price for the contract will be determined at the end of this calendar year.

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