10 Years of Energy Marketing: A Decade of Evolution at Hydro

Members of Hydro's Energy Marketing team smiling and posing for a photo with Premier Andrew Furey, with several computer screens in the background.

March 2024 marked the 10th anniversary of Hydro’s Energy Marketing department – a fitting time to reflect on the evolution, achievements, and significant contributions of this vital part of our organization.

What is Energy Marketing?

In Newfoundland and Labrador our clean, renewable energy comes mainly from our abundant sources of water. At times when customer demand for electricity is low here at home, our system has capacity to produce more energy than our own customers need. During those times we have an opportunity to sell it to other provinces and states for their use. At other times, we may need to purchase more electricity for ourselves. To make all of this happen, Hydro’s Energy Marketing team works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, monitoring our system’s supply, local electricity use, and demand for electricity in other markets. It’s a complex and delicate balance to ensure our customers have all the energy they need, or are benefiting from the sale of energy we don’t need in Newfoundland and Labrador. Learn more about how the process works.

Decade of Growth and Change

The Energy Marketing department originated from Hydro’s decision to retain the rights to all recapture energy from the 1969 power contract between Churchill Falls and Hydro Quebec. Over the last 10 years, Energy Marketing has transformed from a modest group of four employees managing this recapture energy within Hydro’s Business Development team, to a full-service entity overseeing various aspects of energy trading and optimization in multiple markets.

Energy Marketing was officially incorporated on March 24, 2014. The department now has a staff of 22 who are responsible for the sale of surplus energy, managing transmission rights, scheduling energy transfers, the sale of renewable energy credits, energy imports and deliveries, and more.

A Day in the Life

Comprised of three main areas, Trading (including Information Systems), Analytics, and Regulatory, Energy Marketing’s structure reflects its multifaceted role. Trading oversees daily optimization of assets and energy sales, Analytics monitors market trends, and Regulatory ensures compliance with regulatory requirements. The team also collaborates closely with other operational groups throughout Hydro, in areas such as finance, risk, legal, and resource and production planning. Learn more about a day in the life of one of our Energy Marketing Analytics Specialists, Maria Oliver.

Real-time decision-making is crucial for the Energy Marketing team. The team navigates factors like resource availability, outages, and market opportunities to strategically optimize Hydro’s surplus electricity that is not needed by our customers. The 24/7 nature of the team’s work involves constant monitoring, coordination, and communication to ensure efficient operations, as well as meticulous planning and preparation so everyone – from the operators of generating plants, to transmission operators, to our Energy Control Centre and neighboring control centres – is ready to generate, transmit or accept that electricity each hour.

A Legacy of Achievements

The Energy Marketing team works together to serve our province. They help ensure our electricity and reliability requirements are met, while selling surplus energy not needed by our customers to benefit the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Energy Marketing’s role will continue to be essential to our organization and our province as the global demand for clean energy grows.

In 2023 alone, the team made significant contributions through trading in New York, New England, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia:

  • More than 4 terawatt hours of energy deliveries to external markets.
  • Over $5 million in renewable energy credit (REC)* sales.
  • Achieved recognition of recapture energy as clean energy in Massachusetts – opening new avenues for future revenue generation.

Contributing significantly to the province’s economic and sustainable growth, Energy Marketing is an example of innovation, adaptability, and success within the energy sector. From its humble beginnings in 2014 to its pivotal role in Hydro’s journey, the department has become a vital piece of Newfoundland and Labrador’s energy future. Here’s to many more years of Energy Marketing excellence!

* A REC represents the eligible attributes of one megawatt hour of actual generation from a renewable resource, the value of which is in addition to the amount received from the sale of each megawatt of energy.