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Hydro-Québec is right to want to prioritize profitable projects

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Hydro-Québec is right to want to prioritize profitable projects

Canada NewsWire

MONTREAL, Aug. 9, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The President and CEO of Hydro-Québec, Éric Martel, in a letter to the Innu Chiefs, expressed his conviction that the Apuiat project is "not recommendable." Indeed, this wind farm project would entail losses of $1.5 billion to $2 billion, depending on the duration of the contract. Mr. Martel is acting in Quebecers' best interests by declaring his significant reserves about this project.

"The government should not force Hydro-Québec to go forward with a project that will end up once again costing Quebecers dearly," maintains Mathieu Bédard, Economist at the MEI.

Recall that in May 2018, the Attorney General had evaluated the recourse to wind power and other alternative energy sources at $2.5 billion over a period of eight years.

The MEI has pointed out on numerous occasions that the average cost of production of wind power is higher than the average price at which it is sold by the public corporation. "It is completely unacceptable the way these contracts granted by Hydro-Québec undermine its profitability," says Mr. Bédard.

"Hydro-Québec has a fiduciary duty to act in the interests of the Quebec population as a whole. The government interferes with this duty when it tries to impose on the public corporation decisions that have no commercial justification. On the Apuiat file, we're talking about entirely predictable losses of as much as two billion dollars. In the end, this will just lead to higher taxes or electricity rates, and maybe even both," argues Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of the MEI.

"Given the data now available, the government should avoid playing sorcerer's apprentice and instead let Hydro-Québec establish its own priorities," concludes Michel Kelly-Gagnon.

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications and media appearances, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing reforms based on market principles and entrepreneurship.

 

SOURCE Montreal Economic Institute

View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/August2018/09/c5570.html

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