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Hydro-Québec transmission network | Fitzgibbon wants new high-voltage lines to Montreal



(Quebec) Quebec’s inability to attract Volkswagen’s battery plant due to a lack of electricity in the Montreal region is prompting the Legault government to consider erecting new electric transmission lines to the metropolis .

“The electricity is there. […] Getting him to Montreal is the problem. It’s not so much to have other sources as to carry it. I think that we are going to have to today, and Quebec agrees, to start upstream to say where we are going to develop powerful surplus transmission lines so that we can be ready to have projects, “launched the Energy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon Thursday during a press scrum at the National Assembly.

The Minister was questioned about comments he made on Radio-Canada on Tuesday, to explain the fact that the multinational Volkswagen had chosen to establish itself in Ontario: “If we had had electricity, we would have been at the rendezvous, but we didn’t have it. »

However, as written The Press1Hydro-Québec has energy available, except that the company’s requirements and the very short deadlines to meet them have made any agreement impossible.

Volkswagen wanted a huge 640-hectare site, the equivalent of 1,400 football fields, and 700 megawatts of power on site, in a very short period of time. The upgrading of the transmission network that would have been required could not have been carried out in time “according to the aggressive schedule of the promoter”, explained Hydro-Québec.

It was impossible to comply with the requests of the car manufacturer, explained the minister.

Labor shortage


Energy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon

I’m no magician, I’m just Minister of Energy.

Peter Fitzgibbon

Mr. Fitzgibbon, however, maintained that the company could have established itself in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean or in Sept-Îles. In these regions, the electricity network is sufficient. But in this case, it was the shortage of labor that made the proposal obsolete. The company needed 4000 to 6000 workers. It would have taken a lot of “boldness” to promise Volkswagen to attract so many people to Sept-Îles, said the minister.

“The discussion was not long. They said, “Here’s what we want.” We said, “We can’t do it.” We can do it in Saguenay, in Sept-Îles, but they wanted Montreal, ”he explained.

2050 goal

On the side of Hydro-Quebec, it is also pointed out that the capacity of the electrical network of the greater Montreal region will have to be updated. “According to recent Hydro-Québec forecasts, Québec’s electricity demand will increase by 25 terawatt hours (TWh) over the next 10 years. […] It will therefore be necessary to significantly increase electricity production in the future, but also the transmission capacity on the network,” notes Caroline Des Rosiers, spokesperson for Hydro-Québec.

And that’s without taking into account the stated desire of the Legault government and Hydro-Québec to significantly increase energy production by 2050 to electrify the Québec economy – an addition of 100 TWh in 2050. additional will have to be transported to our customers, through a large part of the Quebec territory, which will involve modernizing the network and adding transmission lines,” she notes.

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