Study reveals economic benefits of importing electricity, including hydro, for Massachusetts

Massachusetts import study

BOSTON

Importing 18.9 TWh of clean electricity, including hydro, from Canada will result in substantial annual savings to energy consumer in Massachusetts and New England, as well as dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study.

According to Analysis of Benefits of Clean Electricity Imports to Massachusetts Customers, these imports will:

  • Reduce wholesale electricity costs by 8% in Massachusetts and 6% across New England
  • Reduce GHG emissions by an average of 7.2 million metric tons per year
  • Reduce natural gas requirements across the region by about 10%
  • Reduce wholesale natural gas prices 5%

The average savings for the New England region (before the cost of these facilities are considered) would be about $1.072 billion each year for the 25-year study period. The average savings in Massachusetts would be $603 million each year.

The study was conducted by Power Advisory on behalf of the Massachusetts Clean Electricity Partnership. Power Advisory performed computer simulations of the New England wholesale electricity and natural gas markets over a 25-year period with and without the importation of a combination of Canadian hydropower and on-shore wind generation. Scenarios considered reflect the potential for legislation to be enacted in Massachusetts that would authorize electric distribution companies to contract for the delivery of 18.9 TWh per year of such power with the goal of lowering and stabilizing electricity prices and reducing GHG emissions.

The average savings mentioned above are created by four different impacts from substantial imports of clean electricity:

  • Gas consumer savings: Average savings of $300 million per year for New England and $159 million per year for Massachusetts
  • Electricity fuel cost savings: Average savings of $476 million per year for New England and $219 million per year for Massachusetts
  • Generation efficiency savings: Average savings of $344 million per year for New England and $158 million per year for Massachusetts
  • Capacity cost impacts: Average savings of $47 million per year for New England and $67 million per year for Massachusetts

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