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Governor, premier announce preliminary 26-year Vermont-Hydro-Québec agreement

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first_imgVermont s two largest utilities today signed a memorandum of understanding with provincial utility Hydro-Québec that sets the stage for a new power supply contract for Vermont customers. The 225-megawatt deal is comparable the current Hydro-Quebec contract and the initial cost will have little if any inflation, according to a utility source. Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas hailed the accord, which he said would be good for Vermont and Québec. Reaching a new long-term agreement with Hydro-Québec is a good deal for ratepayers and strengthens the state s economic future, Douglas said. This new contract will provide stable, clean, renewable power at a competitive price through 2038. Energy trade is the centerpiece of our longstanding and valued trading relationship with the Province of Quebec a relationship that Lt. Gov. Dubie and I have worked hard to strengthen over the past seven years. The agreement reached today is the result of many hours of hard work by my administration working in a collaborative fashion with CVPS and GMP. Québec and Vermont have an established relationship in multiple sectors. Today’s agreement is yet another example of this collaboration. Under this agreement Québec will continue to provide clean renewable electricity to Vermont. Today Québec strengthens its commercial ties with Vermont; together we continue to pursue the fight against climate change, said Jean Charest, Premier of Québec.Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power seek similar volumes to what they receive from Hydro-Québec today, and to make power available to other Vermont utilities.Under the MOU, the term sheet is confidential to protect market-sensitive information, but the companies announced that they anticipate purchases totaling up to about 225 megawatts starting in November 2012 and ending in 2038. The term sheet includes a price-smoothing mechanism that will shield customers from volatile market spikes over this period.Hydro-Quebec/Vermont Agreement Key Points March 11, 2010This agreement continues a decades-long relationship that has been good for Vermont and Quebec. It will provide a substantial block of energy to Vermont, roughly approximating current purchases from Hydro-Quebec, filling a large piece of the state s impending energy gap. Based on our market evaluation, we expect the starting price will be comparable to our existing HQ contract. It s a very good deal for Vermont.The agreement announced today is the result of extensive, collaborative efforts involving Hydro-Quebec, Premier Jean Charest, Governor Jim Douglas, Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power.The MOU sets the stage for a new 26-year contract, starting in 2012 and ending in 2038, which will provide the next generation of Vermonters with clean, sustainable, affordable energy from Hydro-Quebec and will help Vermont maintain its low-carbon power supply.The purchase agreement will provide precisely the type of energy Vermonters and policymakers have said they want: clean, low-emission energy with relative price stability.The agreement will tie future energy prices to a series of market indexes and should provide significant price stability at very competitive rates. It will offer Vermont ratepayers significant protection from high energy price spikes, and will protect Hydro-Quebec from very low price swings.The Vermont Legislature can add to the value of the deal by passing legislation that defines large hydro-electric production, including Hydro-Quebec s energy, as renewable energy. If such legislation is enacted, any renewable energy certificate revenue from power delivered over the Highgate Interconnection, up to 225 MW per hour, will be shared 50-50 between the parties, and the Vermont utilities share will benefit their customers.This is a sizable purchase of scheduled energy, available during the key 16 hours of every day, 365 days per year. To put it in perspective, Vermont s typical load is around 700 megawatts, with a peak of about 1,000 megawatts. The contract will provide up to 225 megawatts.Under the MOU, final terms and conditions should be ironed out over the next few months, with a filing at the Vermont Public Service Board expected by August. The resulting contract will require PSB approval.  This agreement sets the stage for a new contract that will help us maintain what is arguably the cleanest power supply in the nation, while ensuring a relatively stable and affordable future for our customers, CVPS President Bob Young and GMP President Mary Powell said in a joint statement. It continues a relationship that has helped us provide competitive rates in the northeast, with minimal air and greenhouse impacts. This is an enormous step forward as we continue to plan Vermont s energy future. This agreement is the natural extension of a business relationship that has benefited both Hydro-Québec and our Vermont customers, said Thierry Vandal, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro-Québec. It will allow us to optimize our exports of clean renewable electricity, and Vermonters will continue to benefit from a reliable energy source at a stable and competitive price.Under the accord, announced at a meeting with Premier Charest and Gov. Douglas, CVPS, GMP and Hydro-Québec will negotiate final terms of the agreement over the next few months. The final 26-year agreement is expected to provide broad, scheduled energy delivery at a good value for customers. The market is extremely volatile, with tremendous highs and lows, the companies said. The contract will tend to keep Vermont s purchases near the middle of the market, protecting Vermont consumers from the highest price swings and Hydro-Québec from the lowest price swings.Young said the memorandum of understanding will help secure a major segment of CVPS s power supply as existing contracts with Hydro-Québec and Vermont Yankee come to a close starting in 2012. Hydro-Québec s clean, sustainable hydroelectric projects and relative price stability provide exactly the kind of power Vermonters have told us they would like, Young said. We have always provided an energy mix with very low emissions, and this agreement will help us ensure that tradition for the next generation of our customers.Powell said: A major component of our energy strategy, launched two years ago, was to pursue a broader, more strategic partnership with Hydro-Québec in order to benefit from its highly reliable, very low-carbon power system. Our agreement today is a major step in that direction and also ensures significant economic value for Vermont consumers.Vermont and Québec have had an energy partnership for a very long time. Energy trading between Vermont and Québec has been an important component of Vermont s energy supply since the early 1980s, when longer-term power deals were inaugurated. The current Vermont-Hydro-Québec contract, which was signed on Dec. 4, 1987, expires in 2016.One of the key provisions of the agreement is for the Vermont General Assembly to enact legislation to designate large hydro, which would include Hydro-Québec power, as renewable. Any renewable energy credit revenues for HQ power delivered over the Highgate Interconnection would be shared between the Vermont companies, benefiting their customers, and Hydro-Québec.The accord was signed by CVPS (NYSE-CV), GMP and H.Q. Energy Services (U.S.) Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec. It commits the parties to negotiate in good faith a power purchase agreement based on the non-binding term sheet. According to the memorandum, the parties intend to negotiate the material terms of the power purchase agreement no later than June 30, 2010 to allow the parties to obtain all necessary internal organizational approvals and execute the agreement no later than July 31, 2010. The final agreement will be subject to Vermont Public Service Board approval and certain other conditions.The binding terms of a power purchase agreement will be established only upon execution of a contract acceptable to each party. Should execution of the agreement by all parties fail to occur for any reason prior to July 31, 2010, the memorandum of understanding and the obligations of the parties to negotiate a final agreement will terminate.Source: Governor’s office. Québec, March 11, 2010 – -30-last_img read more

Ebola: Curse Or Trial? An Introductory

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first_imgIN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MOST MERCIFUL. All praise belongs to Allah; and may His peace and blessings be upon His Prophet, his household, his companions and all those who rightly follow their foot-steps. Ameen!Since the emergence of the pandemic disease-Ebola on the Liberian soil some months ago, individuals as well as groups continue to give a name, appellation or description to the virus of this killer disease. Its virus has sadly engulfed not only Liberia and its people with, but also some other countries, African and non-African countries. Its germs continue to adversely affect the lives of the peoples in those countries. What is more worrisome in the premises is that up to now, there is no definite cerement for it. In consequence of this, some called it as a “curse” and others termed it as “trial”.In as much as the emergence of such deadly disease is sadden; nonetheless, discourse of this kind is indeed fascinating and more impressive. In that, when done intellectually in good-faith, it would prayerfully have the tendency of encouraging intellectual discourse in other areas of our social life as people belonging to a nation. Moreover, it would also hopefully become something that will, by Allah’s grace, help instill in our in people, particularly the youth-who are the hope and future actors of our Nation, a sense of spiritual pausing, reflection and mature judgment!In other words, if Liberians could find logic in discussing the issue of ebola intellectually, there is reason to believe that it could serve as opening of a page of the finest chapter in the history of Liberia in matters appertaining to decision making process of our Nation problems. The fact is that, the gravity of the ebola and its adverse affects is as serious as pandemically contagious as it is. It may interest readers to know that so are the cases of “curse” and “trial”. For “curse”, in general terminology, can be classified, as a kind of expression that is used to condemn, execrate, imprecate and/or maledict a person or group of people, including a community or nation. Of course, reason for pouring such denouncement varied, but it usually centers on the commission of an act that the curser regards to be wrongful or evil. While trial is a method of testing one’s true character, nature and/or quality. This trial can be done for spiritual or material purpose and either be good or bad. However, all in all, it end objective is to test an individual or group; so as to serve as an opportunity for correction and rehabilitation. Al-Qur’an-the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam is replete with the description of the various kinds of “curse” and “trial”.So, as students of theology, we think it behooves us that we partake in their discussion; so as to share our view in the premises. Our aim and objective is that our participation will prayerfully be contributive and meaningful in arriving at a conclusion that will be impressive and fascinating in matters of national debate. Our desire in the premise is to do so within the context of Al-Islamic jurisprudence. With this in mind, we would like to first make crystal and clear that, generally, humans are imperfect beings imbued with limited knowledge; and as students, we entertain no objection or hesitation in humbly and profoundly recognizing, appreciating and admitting with unmitigated conviction that this fact is undisputable and hence, we can in no way be an exception to such limitation.It is therefore our earnest supplication that Allah will guide us in our endeavor to appreciate the true meaning of both “curse” and “trial”. For it is held that human life is like a restless sea, full of see-saw and wonders; something that is always in a state of perpetual turmoil that is usually caused by the waves of events. It goes without saying therefore, unless humans adapt themselves to the process of brief pausing and sober reflection, they will not be able to make a mature judgment. Within this, Al-Qur’an maintains that human as sociable beings; and as such, “There is nothing useful nor reliable for a purpose or efficient in a function in much of their secret counsel and in the thoughts they convey reciprocally in talk uttered below their breath unless it be in accord with wisdom and piety to the end that it enjoins benevolence, equity and the inducement to peace among people and to principle of justice. And he whose lines of character are broad and clear as to feature willingness to comply with divine principles for the sake of piety shall be a recipient of Allah’s grace; We (Allah) will requite him with a great reward”(4:114).In another Scriptural assertion, the Holy Book of Al-Islam echoes that the felicity of human depends on the availability of personalities who are dedicated and committed to enjoining people to: “conformity of life and conduct to the requirements of divine and moral law and forbid all that is wrongful and obscene; such-like person shall reap the fruits of victory here and Hereafter” (3:104).Interestingly, no one in Liberia or the world for that matter, that do want to “be a recipient of Allah’s grace”; a grace that is an embodiment of all that is good, prosperous, wealthy and felicitous. By the same trend there is no one who does not want to “reap the fruits of victory”. Of course, there would be a variance in the end desire, inclination and purpose. Perhaps it is against this background that the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam avers thus: “That you endeavour (you people) to attain your goals is diverse, to some, righteousness be but a goal to their will, other in vanity they waste their days, others compromise between opposite motives and exercise adjustment of rival courses of action, and others attain it through benefaction. So that he who gives gratuitously and fears Allah indeed, and solemnly believes in deeds imprinted with wisdom and piety and that the end crowns the deed, will We (Allah) facilitate his task and lead him to the facile and ready course. But he who is niggardly and thinks he is self-sufficient and exercises greed, and denies the Day of Judgment and the requital that is commensurate with one’s deed, will We (Allah) allow his course to what is miserable, unfavourable and bad; nor will his material advantages save him from the internal abode which is dark, troublesome and sad,”  (92:4-11).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more