You can often look at an electric generating project and peg its age by what needs it was designed to meet and the political sensitivities (if any) at the time it was built.

Today, for example, there are several proposed U.S.-Canada transmission projects currently gaining regulatory approvals. Generally, it appears carbon-free (relatively, anyway) hydropower will be flowing from Canada to the U.S. This also means, presumably, that dollars will be flowing from the U.S. to Canada.

APPA’s Public Power Daily reported today thata proposed 1,000-megawatt, bi-directional, high-voltage direct current underwater transmission line that would provide a link between the markets of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator and the PJM Interconnection has received a presidential permit from the Department of Energy.” Power flows on the line may be bi-directional, according to a project website. Additional details on the project are available here.

There are three other projects of a similar nature that will clearly be carrying power from Canada into the U.S.

In December, the DOE issued a presidential permit for the New England Clean Power Link, a 1,000-megawatt electric transmission line that will connect New England with eastern Canada, and carry Canadian hydropower into the U.S..

A solicitation process has been launched for energy to be bundled with transmission capacity on Emera Inc.’s proposed Atlantic Link submarine electricity transmission project that will deliver renewable energy (said to be wind and hydro, but the line starts at Muskrat Falls) from Canada into the ISO-New England market. 

Minnesotans are familiar with the Great Northern Transmission Line proposed by Minnesota Power. The 500 kV line will carry hydropower from Manitoba Hydro to a substation near Grand Rapids. The project received its US Department of Energy — Presidential Permit on Nov. 15, 2016. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission issued a certificate of need on June 30, 2015 and route permit on April 11, 2016. Several other regulatory hurdles remain.

It will be interesting to see if this trend--of high-voltage lines carrying Canadian hydropower to the U.S.--continues under a Trump administration, or if resource development in America becomes ascendant.

Here’s betting on the latter.

Editor’s note: Thanks to APPA for much of the background information here.