Canadian Power Imports:

A Growing Source of U.S. Supply

RCED-86-119: Published: Apr 30, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on the impact of Canadian power imports on the United States, specifically: (1) import pricing methods; (2) the cost-effectiveness of imports versus building new power plants in the United States; (3) increasing U.S. dependence on a foreign power source; (4) the technical reliability of importing large quantities of Canadian electricity; and (5) the use of imported power rather than domestic power surpluses.

GAO noted that the United States will probably increase its use of imported Canadian electricity through the year 2000. GAO found that: (1) although import prices differ between the New England and Midwest regions, importing Canadian power creates cost advantages for domestic utilities and consumers; (2) the United States is not overly dependent on Canadian power; and (3) industry groups and utilities are examining the issue of technical reliability and the potential for transmitting surplus domestic power between regions.

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