At a time when New York State is developing a new energy strategy, Québec's Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife Claude Béchard went to Albany on June 1 to promote hydroelectricity. Québec’s contribution in meeting the state’s goal of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and potential increase in exports of clean and renewable electricity were at the centre of the discussions.
Minister Béchard met with representatives from New York State and agencies involved in energy and environmental issues including Deputy Secretary for the Environment Judith Enck and the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation Alexander B. Grannis.
Mr. Béchard also spoke with Senator Darrel Aubertine and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, both chairmen of the Energy Committee from their respective houses in the New York State Legislature. The Minister also met two members of Congress: Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator for New York, and Paul D. Tonko, member of the House of Representatives for New York State.
A working session was also held with the President and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Francis Murray.
The Minister discussed the feasibility of signing long-term contracts for the supply of electricity and highlighted recent actions taken by Hydro-Québec, the government-owned utility, in the area of sustainable development and Québec’s energy project partnerships with Aboriginal nations.
“Renewable energy are at the heart and soul of Québec’s development policy. At present, we are among the few nations in the world able to enjoy abundant, clean energy. This vast natural wealth will make it possible for us to contribute to the economic and environmental well-being of the entire Northeast of the North American continent,” declared Minister Béchard.
The Québec Energy Strategy 2006-2015 has made it possible for Québec to restart and even accelerate development of its hydroelectric resources. New hydroelectric projects totalling 4,500 MW and wind energy projects totalling 4,000 MW will answer the long-term needs of the Québec market as well as making significant additional amounts of energy available for export. “The Romaine River and Eastmain-1-A-Sarcelle-Rupert hydroelectric complexes are examples of this vision for the future, as will be the Petit-Mécatina project,” Minister Béchard added.
Québec Energy Strategy 2006-2015