In Québec, electricity is cheap. Hydro-Québec, a state-owned utility, has over 60 generating stations that use the province’s rivers to produce power. One of them is Beauharnois, southwest of Montreal on the St. Lawrence River.
On a residential street outside of Albany, there is a discreet red-brick building. There’s no sign telling drivers that the flow of all the electricity in New York state is being controlled inside. The organization at the controls is the New York Independent System Operators (NYISO). They’re a non-profit created after New York’s energy markets were opened up in the '90s.