Monday Jun 24, 2013
- Tuesday Jun 25, 2013 -
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - USA
Data Informed´s Marketing Analytics and Customer Engagement provides marketing, sales, and customer support managers with the information they need to create an effective data-driven customer strategy. more...
Monday May 20, 2013
- Saturday May 25, 2013
- 8:30 AM Eastern -
Stowe, Vermont - USA
Legal Essentials for Utility Executives: May 19 to 25, 2013 and October 6 to 12, 2013 This rigorous, two-week course will provide electric utility executives with the legal foundation to more fully understand the utility regulatory framework, the role of more...
We know you have something to say!
There is an immediate need for articles on
the hot topics in the Power Industry!
EnergyPulse, like no other publication,
also provides a means for our readers to
immediately interact with experts like you.
Canada has for decades, exported hydroelectric power from Quebec and from Labrador into markets in the northeastern USA. California has periodically imported hydroelectric power from British Columbia. A power transmission company based in Vancouver has proposed to install a submarine power cable along America's Pacific coast to carry electric power from British Columbia to California. A transmission development company in Toronto is formulating plans to install a submarine power cable under waterways that link Montreal and New York City, for the purpose of carrying hydroelectric power to that city from dams at James Bay.
A recent announcement from Newfoundland in Eastern Canada involved plans to carry hydroelectric power from Labrador to Northeastern American markets via submarine power cables installed under 2 straits along Canada's Atlantic coast. The province of Manitoba that has much undeveloped hydroelectric generating capacity along the Nelson River and Churchill River, has indicated the interest in exporting some of that power into Midwestern American markets at some time in the future. It may be possible to carry that power via submarine power cable installed under northern riverbeds, Lake Winnipeg and the Red River, with potential to extend the cable through the riverbeds of tributaries and over a short distance across land into the headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Submarine power cables installed in the riverbed of the Mississippi River could connect to similar cables that carry power to cities such as Minneapolis-St Paul, Chicago, St Louis and Kansas City. However, Manitoba Hydro may only have enough undeveloped generating capacity (some 10,000MW) to meet up to 40% of future Midwestern American power requirements that may increase by up to 25,000MW by 2030. Midwestern American power providers may consider obtaining competitively priced Canadian hydroelectric power from Hydro Quebec, via one of 2 direct routes. A third indirect route would see a submarine cable across southern Hudson Bay linking the power dams of Hydro Quebec and Manitoba Hydro.
The is potential to install a submarine cable along the south side of the St. Lawrence River, between the navigation channel and the riverbank from Montreal to Lake Ontario. There is a canal along the south side of the Moses-Saunders power dam near Massena NY that may provide the submarine cable with a route around the power dam and the navigation locks. The cable may follow the south shore of Lake Ontario to any of several streams located to the west of Rochester NY, that have origins near the barge canal that connects Tonawanda NY to Syracuse NY.
That barge canal connects to the channel that carries water from Lake Erie to Niagara Falls and may carry a submarine into the south side of Lake Erie, where it may reach Toledo and Maumee River. The Maumee River connects into the Wabash River that has a tributary with headwaters located near the headwaters of a tributary of a river system that carries water to Chicago. The capacity of the submarine cable may provide potential to serve other possible power markets at Erie, Cleveland and Toledo.
While a submarine cable is possible between Montreal and Chicago, it needs to be a reserve option to a shorter and more direct route between the power dams of Quebec and Chicago. Mutually cordial and cooperate intergovernmental relations between New York State, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois would make such the optional southern route possible. Canadian politics will ultimately determine the route of the submarine power cable between Quebec and Chicago.
Direct James Bay -- Chicago Link:
A direct link between the hydroelectric power dams near James Bay and Chicago would cross over Ontario. It may involve submarine cables installed along the eastern shore of James Bay and in the riverbed of the Moose River and tributary the Missinaibi River that has headwaters near rivers such as the Magpie and the Whitefish that flow into Lake Superior. The cable would continue along the eastern shore of Lake Superior and under the navigation channel to the northern coast of northwestern Michigan.
There are several streams in northwestern Michigan with headwaters in close proximity that flow to Lake Superior and to Lake Michigan. Depending on the nature of intergovernmental relations between Illinois and Michigan, it may be possible to install submarine cables in such riverbeds. A submarine cable buried under riverbeds across northwestern Michigan may be extended south along western Lake Michigan to Milwaukee and Chicago. The overall distance between the power dams of Quebec and Chicago would match the distance between the power dams and New York City and be 1/3rd shorter than the link via Montreal.
A direct connection between the Quebec power dams and Chicago would depend on future negotiations between Quebec and Ontario. Ontario wanted to purchase hydroelectric power from Labrador via a power line across Quebec, except that political differences between the governments of Quebec and Newfoundland precluded such an arrangement. A submarine cable under the Lower St. Lawrence River may be possible, given that that river is under joint jurisdiction of the both the Federal Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec.
Ontario may be agreeable to an American-owned submarine power cable connecting between Lake Superior and James Bay through rivers that flow across northern Ontario. James Bay is under Federal Canadian jurisdiction and there would be opportunity to negotiate to install a submarine cable under the seabed near the eastern shore of James Bay, to the a point where Hydro Quebec would provide a connection to their hydroelectric power dams. Quebec's willingness to allow Ontario to acquire hydroelectric power from Labrador would likely enhance prospects for a shorter link between Quebec's power dams and Midwestern American markets.
Lower St. Lawrence River Cable:
High-ranking officials of the Federal Government of Canada have indicated their interest in developing an east-west power connection across Canada. In this regard they may advocate and facilitate the installation of a submarine power cable from Labrador at the Strait of Belle Isle and upstream along the Lower St. Lawrence River to either the Upper St. Lawrence River or the Ottawa River. It is possible that influential political forces in Quebec may allow for a submarine cable to follow the bed of a river that flows from Labrador through Quebec into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Modern drilling technology allows for the drilling of circular conduits under the control dams along the river system, to allow submarine power cables to be "threaded" through the conduits. The submarine power cable may be routed to the Canadian side of the Moses-Saunders international power dam, from where it would connect to an upgraded overland power transmission line to carry electric power to Toronto. The submarine power cable may follow an alternate route up the Ottawa River (also under Federal Canadian jurisdiction) from Montreal to Ottawa, from where a high-density power line that is due for upgrading connects through to Toronto.
There is the likelihood of influential political forces using the judicial system to prevent the installation of a submarine power cable along the Lower St. Lawrence River that may carry electric power from Labrador to Ontario. Such action would undermine the credibility and authority of the Federal Government of Canada and serve the interest of secessionist political elements in eastern and western Canada. It would also leave Quebec with the option of a submarine cable carrying electric power from Montreal to Midwestern American markets using a longer southern route.
Ontario would be left with the option of purchasing Canadian hydroelectric power from Labrador via buried power cables installed along rail and roadbeds across the northeastern USA, to the Moses-Saunders power dam. However, the successful installation of a submarine power cable under the St. Lawrence River, between the Gulf of St. Lawrence to either the Moses-Saunders power dam or to Ottawa, would affirm credibility of the Federal Government of Canada. It would also provide Ontario with access to a source of competitively priced, renewable electric power from another region of Canada.
Labrador (Newfoundland) and Quebec are literally competing against each other in the export of hydroelectric power into northeastern American markets. Such competitive rivalry has undermined cordial intergovernmental relations in Eastern Canada. Ontario could offer an option for Quebec to export hydroelectric power to Midwestern American via a short route, provided Quebec allows Ontario to receive hydroelectric power from Labrador via the St. Lawrence River. Such an arrangement would maximize hydroelectric power generation in both Labrador and Quebec, giving American markets the option of competitively priced renewable electric power.
For information on purchasing reprints of this article, contact sales. Copyright 2013 CyberTech, Inc.
All wonderful, except that American's don't consider hydro-electric power to be "renewable" or "green" or whatever. Watch the "environmentalists" go nuts as soon as this sort of power source starts to threaten coal-generating markets.
Malcolm Rawlingson 1.27.11
Right on Len. The US runs on coal. its is a very powerful lobby in congress. It is also most definitely NOT a green energy source as touted. The flooding of vast areas of northern quebec in the James Bay region has wiped out huge carbon absorbing forests so if you're worried about CO2 in the atmosphere (I am not) taking out a carbon sink is the same as building a carbon producer.
Recently the Lower Churchill Falls project was announced by Newfoundland&Labrador but my understanding is that the development using undersea cables from Labrador onto the island of Newfoundland and then across to Nova Scotia is intended to target the Northeastern USA markets of Boston and New York in direct competition to Quebec.
Quebec does not want to export electricity to Ontario and building a power line across Northern Ontario to allow Quebec to export its electricity to Chicago is a political non-starter. Any political party that did that would be toasted at election time.
It has been a struggle to get permission to build an additional power line alongside an existing transmission route out of the nuclear power complex at the Bruce Site. Building one that benefits Quebec would cause the demise of any politician that promotes it. It ain't gonna happen. Let's see we want to destroy the Northern landscape and the lands of aboriginal people to keep the lights on in Chicago with electricity from Quebec.....give your head a shake.
Len Gould 1.31.11
"taking out a carbon sink is the same as building a carbon producer. " -- Not exactly. A forest usually only counts (as a carbon sink) for the mass of carbon captured in the trees which grow in it, since the dead trees very quickly recycle back into the carbon cycle by rotting. If you're concerned about replacing the lost carbon sink of say 100 sq km of northern boreal forest to a hydro reservoir, then simply harvest the trees from a neighbouring 100 sq km every 100 years, and turn the trees into lumber and other building products and sequester the wood by incorporating them into weatherproof buildings which don't rot. Same effect. And if the "vast areas" can also produce a few GW continuous of electricity thereby eliminating equivalent coalburners, then you're far ahead of the game.
Don Hirschberg 2.1.11
“Labrador (Newfoundland) and Quebec are literally competing against each other in the export of hydroelectric power into northeastern American markets. Such competitive rivalry has undermined cordial intergovernmental relations in Eastern Canada.” And here I had the notion that completion was good, in fact we have laws against practicing the opposite.
Malcolm, the US is hardly unique in using coal to generate electricity:
South Africa 93% Kazakhstan 70% Morocco 55% Poland 92% India 69% Greece 52% PR China 79% Israel 63% USA 49% Australia 77% Czech Rep 60% Germany 46% And furthermore I have never heard anyone seriously claim coal burning was “green.” A large number (over fifty if memory serves) of proposed economically justifiable coal burners have been canceled in the US on environmental grounds. Those powerful lobbyists haven’t earned their salt, at least in getting coal burners approved..
Charles Rhodes 2.1.11
The article by Harry Valentine is good with respect to outlining the various submarine cable physical route options, but the article does not address either the impact on aboriginal people or the cost. A typical 2 circuit 500 kV overhead transmission line with a 3000 MW capacity in a rural area costs about $3 million / kilometer. What is the corresponding cost of a submarine cable of equal capacity? There is also the cost of the power inverters. What is the ongoing maintenance cost of these cables? What is the cost of insuring the cable against damage by boat anchors and similar risks? Charles Rhodes 02/02/2011
Xuguang Leng 2.2.11
A few years back when I was in California, we looked at alternative to a 500kV overhead line. At that time, the cost of underground cable was about 10 times the overhead line, and 500kV cable was unproven technology.
Well, these submarine cables have not been purposed for a reason, they are not economically viable.
Malcolm Rawlingson 2.5.11
Quite right Don, I didn't say the US was unique in burning coal for the majority of its electric power needs. In fact it is as you point out with your numbers the most common fuel used now and will be so well into the future.
I missed a word out of my post. It should have said hydroelectric is touted as a green energy source. I wasn't referring to coal although I have seen the term "clean coal" used quite frequently which seesms to be something of a misnomer.
Malcolm Rawlingson 2.5.11
Submarine cables are used to transport electricity under the English Channel from France to England. They are DC cables and have a capacity of 4000MW. They have been in place for many years without trouble. So clearly the technology is there to do what Harry proposes. The English Channel is fairly shallow and ships regularly run aground. I don't think the DC cables have been damaged as a result as I think they are buried in a trench. There are rectifier/inverter stations at both ends.
The set up seems to be quite reliable.
David Katz 2.6.11
As a member of the smart Grid efforts and a former Ontartiio Hydro power contract negotiator, I welocme the discusion on how GREEN hydro projects are and how the North american GRID has maintained it's reliability and low electricity costs for many years. I investigated the economics of the Lake Erie undergrounf cable that was to be built to bail out GPUY aftert Three Mile Island. International Energy tranactions are part economics and part political. Hydro Quebec will do eaht right for my Quebec family and Ontario will do whats right for my Ontario family. Both already do the right things for my US sister as part of NERC . Now that we recognize there really is no low cost CLEAN energy and we should take into account the GHG and other externalities that affect our health and economy if an under ground cable is going to contribute to both, it will happen in the right place for the well being, I have heard both Stephen Chu of US Energy and the President of NYPA state they would welcome the import of Canadian power using the vast land, wind and hydro resources that are in many instances better than the alternatives of the tar sands and burning polluting coal. Look forward to further discussions.
Xuguang Leng 2.7.11
The UK-France cable is a special circumstance. UK is an island, there is no possible land route. Overhead over sea is going to be more expensive than submarine cable, if it is feasible at all.
According to wikipedia, there are 8 cables of 270kV. I am sure they would have used higher voltage and less cables, had the technology been there.
Don Hirschberg 2.7.11
What is GPUY?
Ronald Lord 2.8.11
"What is GPUY? "
General Public Utilities. The holding company that owned Jersey Central, Penelec, and MetEd along with pricipal ownership in TMI. They were aquired in 2001 by FirstEnergy.
Malcolm Rawlingson 2.9.11
Xuguang, If you take a look at your world map you will see that Newfoundland IS an island. The UK is not a special case at all.
The highest voltage over most land lines is 500kV and the majority of land based grid systems in the UK is 230kV. These are AC of course.
Viability depends on many economic factors not simply the cable voltage or size. For Newfoundland and Labrador the option of moving the power through Quebec has been prohibitted by Quebec so in order to get por out of the Lower Churchill Falls a land line will take it to the strait that separates Labrador from the island of Newfoundland. Once on land high voltage AC grid lines will supply Newfoundland distribution and the balance will be sent across to Nova Scotia by a second set of undersea lines.
Seems perfectly feasible and economic to me. Especially as the alternative is to burn oil coal or gas.
Malcolm Rawlingson 2.9.11
Canadian Tar sands oil is not used to produce electricity anywhere in the states. It is shipped to US oil refineries to be made into gasoline and other petrochemicals that have nothing whatever to do with making electricity. Not sure why it made its way into your post.
Hydroelectric projects are for the most part not "GREEN" at all. Run of river plants are but flooding vast areas of land behind dams and wiping out massive numbers of trees - come on - that is hardly green is it. The man made lakes cover up most of natures green.
The reliability of the North American Grid has been and continues to be sustained by large highly reliable nuclear, coal and gas plants as well as hydroelectric plants whose output can be guaranteed. The addition of unpredictable wind and solar has had a negative effect on reliability...unnoticeable at present because the amounts are so small and they have been backed up by natural gas fired plants that have been built in droves in Ontario for that very reason.
And if you call wind "GREEN" please go talk to the folks on Wolfe Island whose community they have wrecked. They think otherwise.
The results of of this in Ontario are massive and sustained increases in price (8% per year at the Ontario Governments own estimates) that are pushing many residents particularly the elderly on fixed incomes to the financial breaking point.
So much for green energy.
Xuguang Leng 2.10.11
Agree with your points. All I was saying is where a land route exists, like between Montreal and Chicago, submarine cable is a non-starter, given the current technology and economics. Any transmission planner worths his/her 2 cents should know that.
Danny Dumaresque 2.10.11
Good article but can you provide some info on the cost of undersea cables in Canada ?
Malcolm Rawlingson 2.10.11
My apologies Xuguang I misunderstood what you were saying. Yes I do agree that where a land route exists then there is simply no argument. In the case of the Lower Churchill Falls development in Labrador the land route is politically unnacceptable for economic as well as historical reasons.The Province of Quebec wants a heavy premium for the use of the land route through its jurisdiction that Newfoundland and Labrador are not prepared to pay. As a result the undersea rout to bring the power out to the island of Newfoundland is the best option. Trouble is that the demand in Newfoundland is small and Lower Churchill provides too much power. The surplus will be shipped by a second undersea cable to Nova Scotia and then over land routes to the US market.
I am quite sure that if a land route were available for this development it would be used.
I recall in the late 80's a plan to construct a power line under Lake Ontario to take power from Darlington B to New York State. Darlington B was never built and the line was not constructed but to me it was a good option to take power into the USA rather than have high voltage power lines all around Lake Ontario which we now have and destroy the once beautiful views of Lake Ontario.
Since we do not put a price on the destruction of the environment or our enjoyment of our natural views and scenery lans based power lines as ugly as they are will always win economically. over undergound or undersea facilities.
But as the song goes we won't know what we've got 'til its gone. Put up a parking lot.