Report says hiking Quebec energy exports to Ontario would benefit both provinces

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MONTREAL - A new study suggests boosting Quebec energy exports to Ontario would help both cash-strapped provinces.

The joint report was released today by environmental groups Equiterre and the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

The study says the increase could earn Quebec about $12 billion over 20 years, while Ontario would save the same amount of cash over the same period by cutting down on its nuclear-energy production.

The groups say the provinces would benefit by setting a price of 5.7 cents per kWh — nearly double what Hydro-Quebec currently earns for its electricity exports.

The report says that price would be lower than the estimated 8.3 cents per kWh it would cost to generate electricity from a refurbished Darlington Nuclear station.

It also says no new infrastructure would be necessary because transmission lines between the two provinces already exist.

Jack Gibbons of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance suggests the cost savings could be poured into Ontario's other priorities, like public transit.

The Ontario government says it's committed to generating about 50 per cent of the province's electricity from nuclear sources.

It also plans to refurbish existing nuclear eactors, but has postponed plans to build two new reactors.

Steven Guilbeault of Equiterre says working with Ontario would immediately boost Hydro-Quebec's export profits.

Guilbeault says the public utility sells electricity to clients in the United States for about 3 cents per kWh.

Organizations: Ontario Clean Air Alliance, Hydro-Quebec

Geographic location: Ontario, Quebec, MONTREAL United States

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