Hydro-Québec announced on December 4, 2019 that it will begin building solar generating stations in La Prairie and Varennes in spring 2020. Commissioning is scheduled for fall 2020.

This project will allow for the necessary tests to determine whether solar energy is well adapted to Quebec’s climate, to its generating fleet and to its transmission system.

The two generating stations will have a combined annual generating capacity of close to 10 megawatts (MW), enough to supply about 600 residential customers. The generating stations will be located on land belonging to Hydro-Québec, a public utility that manages the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the province of Quebec, as well as the export of power to portions of the Northeast United States.

The contractor selected to build the generating stations is Borea Construction, a subsidiary of Pomerleau. Stace of Trois-Rivières will supply close to 4,000 solar panels for the generating station in La Prairie. The engineering firm Hatch is also involved in the project.

Technical data is as follows:

Generating station in La Prairie (site of former La Citière thermal generating station)

  • Area: 150,000 m2, or the equivalent of 28 football fields
  • Installed capacity: 8 MW
  • Number of solar panels: 26,000
  • Annual output: 13 GWh

Generating station in Varennes (at Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ)

  • Area: 56,000 m2, or the equivalent of 10 football fields
  • Installed capacity: 1.5 MW
  • Number of solar panels: 4,600
  • Annual output: 2.6 GWh

For further information, contact Francis Labbé, Hydro-Québec at 514 289-5005

Hydro-Québec recently released its Strategic Plan 2020–2024, which focuses on the fight against climate change and the creation of collective wealth through new energy initiatives.

“With this Strategic Plan, we will pursue the work begun four years ago by continuing to improve our customer service, increasing our net income and stepping up our contribution in the fight against climate change,” explained Éric Martel, president and chief executive officer of Hydro-Québec. “Our energy is a tremendous asset in reducing greenhouse gas emissions not only in Quebec but also beyond our borders. Electrification is also a powerful driver of economic development that benefits Quebec society as a whole.”

Featured image courtesy of Hydro-Québec.

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