Montréal, April 4, 2023
Strategic Plan 2022-2026Hydro-Québec increases its energy efficiency targets and makes progress on the evaluation of Québec’s hydroelectric potential
In its Strategic Plan 2022–2026, published a year ago, Hydro-Québec estimated that over 100 terawatthours (TWh) of additional electricity—more than half of our current annual generating capacity—will be required to decarbonize Québec’s current energy mix and allow the province to attain carbon neutrality by 2050.
Hydro-Québec is working to meet this challenge through four initiatives on which it has already made significant progress over the past year.
Increased energy efficiency targets
In its Strategic Plan, Hydro-Québec announced its intention to increase energy efficiency efforts to reach 8.2 TWh by 2029. The cumulative goal for 2020–2022 was surpassed by more than 20%, with energy savings of some 2 TWh. Given these results and the intense growth energy needs, the company is today announcing that it intends to increase its efficiency targets.
In collaboration with experts and organizations from various sectors, Hydro-Québec will launch a process to identify solutions off all kinds to help Québec set ambitious targets so that it can approach its full energy efficiency potential, which as been estimated at 25 TWh.
Modernization of existing generating stations
The Strategic Plan states that since half of the generating stations in our fleet are over 50 years old, asset sustainment work is a necessity. The replacement of generating units in some of the oldest facilities could help increase our generating fleet’s capacity.
The rehabilitation work that is under way in three generating stations will allow us to add 128 MW in capacity in 2028. By 2035, we will have launched projects totaling the addition of 2,000 MW.
To support the major energy transition and to increase its flexibility, in keeping with its Strategic Plan, Hydro-Québec recently selected six wind farm projects in various regions of Québec, for a total installed capacity of 1,150 MW. We also launched a tender call for 1,500 MW of wind power in targeted areas, that could be brought onto our grid between December 2027 and December 2029. Other tender calls will be launched soon with a view to double Québec’s current wind power capacity.
Preliminary study on the hydroelectric potential of Rivière Petit Mécatina
With respect to energy and capacity, our Strategic Plan 2022–2026 states that we might need new hydropower generation capacity over the coming decades. To prepare for such an eventuality, we continue to assess the sites with the greatest theoretical potential.
A summary analysis is being carried out for a few sectors. This first step in the evaluation will soon be concluded for Rivière Petit Mécatina, in the Côte-Nord region. The next step will be to engage in dialogue with nearby communities, and over the coming months, we will undertake exploratory visits in the area. Local and Indigenous communities concerned will be involved in the launch of this preliminary study phase so that we can benefit from their expertise and knowledge.
It should be noted that no generating station project has been confirmed to date. Conducting preliminary studies doesn’t automatically mean that we will carry out any given project. Our analyses are ongoing, and results will help us make the best decisions and undertake projects that are based on a vision shared with local and Indigenous communities.
Note that no preliminary studies are being undertaken on Grande rivière de la Baleine, the Magpie or the Nottaway.
“A year into our Strategic Plan 2022–2026, Hydro-Québec is making excellent progress. This plan was developed with input from a number of internal and external stakeholders. I am confident that this collaborative approach is responsible for our successful implementation of initiatives to assist Québec society in its energy transition.”
– Sophie Brochu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro-Québec