Distribution of power between states has an immense impact on the future of energy production in Maine. For example: The William F. Wyman power plant consists of four oil-fired generating units with a capacity of 620-megawatt. Owned by PPL is located on Cousins Island in Yarmouth, Maine. Along with the Wyman dam eight other hydroelectric facilities were purchased. Part of the agreement, gave PPL Maine 100 megawatts of transaction entitlements over the existing high-voltage transmission line. Later the rights were expanded for a second high-voltage transmission line from Bangor to New Brunswick, Canada. These purchases also gave PPL entrance into the New England Power Pool, which includes all of the New England states. The New England Power Pool was an initiation to transmit electrical energy to Hydro Quebec. Theoretically the purpose of the program was to aid the Providence of Quebec in states of emergency, which has happened on several occasions. Over the years the NEPOOL has grown into a non-profit group known as the ISO New England. The organization oversees the transfer of energy within and out of New England.
The group, established by FERC, has the ability to regulate the transition of energy applying tariffs and other management tools where needed. The ISO has allowed for harmonious trading between New England states and Canada. Though the future for energy is uncertain in Maine there will always be a need to receive or produce energy, which ISO will be able to facilitate.
As seen in the figure above Canada has developed stronger energy trades with the United States rather than among the provinces. This is because a north-south market is more economically beneficial than an east-west trade system. These east-west transmissions are often only small transfer facilities, which does not allow enough energy to be sent to make a large deficit in the neighboring province. For example only 200 MW is transmitted between Ontario and Manitoba which is the capacity of a small generation plant, while Manitoba has the capacity to accept or transfer 1,850 MW of electricity to or from the United States. This is equivalent to a large hydro facility. Ontario has an even larger flow of energy with the United States reaching up to a 3,100 MW capacity to collect or receive. Even if Ontario were to accept all interconnections from other providences at once it would only account for 10% of the need during peak generation. Actions have been made to curb this trend by constructing large transmission lines to distribute hydropower collected from Newfoundland, Quebec or Manitoba to Ontario.
One of the largest transfers of power from Canada to the United States was awarded a contract in 1986. The Québec- New England Phase II HVDC project was mitigated by Hydro Quebec and the National Grid USA. The project was the first large scale multi-terminal HVDC in the world. The energy was first generated in La Grande II hydro power station in James Bay. Subsequent transmissions brought the electricity to Montreal, which then receded to cross the boarder into Boston. Two converting stations were placed in Quebec both with a 690 MW capacity to control the flow into the United States. Further transmission lines were also constructed exceeding 1100km, carrying 2250 MW, in some sections. In latter years more terminals and transmission lines were added to allow the project to grow, however further construction ended in the late 1990's.
For further information on Canada's transmission and development of energy please feel free to read A Guide to Power Generation in Canada at www.canelect.ca/en/Pdfs/HandBook.pdf