Hydro-Québec wants to boost bids between the various players in the block chain sector and cryptocurrencies who plan to put projects forward in the province.
In fact , the increase in the price of electricity that will be granted by the bidders is the determining factor identified by the Crown corporation in its evaluation process filed Thursday with the Régie de l’énergie.
This five-page document explains that this criterion will account for 70 percent of the weighting of successful proposals, while the economic development aspect will account for 30 percent of the evaluation grid.
To complete the first evaluation phase, bidders must first agree to a minimum mark-up of one cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) of the M and LG rates, which are generally available to large companies.
The goal for the crown corporation is to be able to maximize its revenues, said spokesman Jonathan Cote, suggesting that this could be reflected on the residential electricity bill.
“If the price is good, these additional revenues will have a downward effect on tariffs,” he said. In general, this should benefit all our customers. ”
The parameters suggested by Hydro-Québec are not final, since they will be the subject of hearings before the regulatory tribunal, which could, for example, make changes to it at the end of the process.
This document only concerns new projects, which means that there is no impact for companies already established in Quebec that consume about 120 megawatts (MW).
Hydro-Québec, which wants to keep the right to select the best projects, says it has received more than 300 requests from companies wishing to settle in Quebec because of the energy available, the reliability of this supply and cold climate, an advantage for companies using computer equipment that produces a lot of heat.
An additional block of 500 MW is expected for new players, who will not be eligible for rate rebates generally available to large customers.
To participate in the selection process, the Crown corporation will require a non-refundable registration fee of $ 2,000, which is a way of discouraging project sponsors who seem less serious.
“It’s a bit of a co-payment,” explained Mr. Côté. For many, the mining of cryptocurrencies is a kind of hobby. Evaluating hundreds of proposals is a daunting task. ”
These potential customers will also have to commit for a minimum of five years and a maximum of 10 years for a power that should oscillate between 50 kWh and 500 MW. Under threat of sanctions, they will also be asked to agree to reduce their electricity consumption for up to 300 hours per year, especially during peak winter periods.
In addition, all costs related to the connection to the distribution or transmission system – which may represent considerable sums – will be borne by the successful bidder who has an agreement with Hydro-Québec.
“Successful bidders will be able to withdraw their offer without penalty within five days after receiving the information relating to these costs from the distributor,” states the document filed with the Régie.
Moreover, projects that are ready for rapid exploitation, such as some with eyes turned to empty paper mills, will be favored by Hydro-Québec as part of its analysis.
Earlier this week, the Régie gave a temporary green light – until June 28 – at the request of Hydro-Québec to impose a “dissuasive tariff” of 15 cents per kWh. Hearings on this issue are scheduled for next Tuesday.
Various stakeholders, such as the Association of Redistributors of Electricity of Quebec as well as the City of Baie-Comeau, have indicated their intention to participate in these hearings.
The municipality of Côte-Nord, which criticized the Régie’s provisional decision on the deterrent tariff, wishes to be represented since it says it already has an agreement with a private developer in the blockchain business.