The Vermont House is expected soon to take up a wide-ranging bill on renewable energy with one provision relating to Hydro-Quebec that could draw heated debate. A House committee this past week approved legislation that would remove the size cap of 200 megawatts on hydroelectric projects that can be considered renewable under the law.
That’s drawn criticism from some environmentalists, who say it would help very large hydroelectric projects owned by Hydro-Quebec in the northern part of the province. Large hydroelectric projects have been described as a source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Backers of the change say Hydro-Quebec’s dams should meet the definition of renewable energy even if they’re not environmentally benign.