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Hydro-Québec would not need the power of the Bécancour power station


Montreal, September 9, 2016 – Analysis of Association of Environmental Energy Organizations (ROEE) – of which Fondation Rivières is a part – evidence from Hydro-Québec in the annual rate file currently in progress at the Régie de l'énergie reveals a drastic reversal in the state company's assessment of power needs. Hydro-Québec would need, today, 945 MW less than what it had planned when it was trying to have its agreements with TransCanada Energy and Gaz Métro approved. In fact, for the year 2016-2017, Hydro-Québec expected to need 38,575 MW in 2015, while in 2016, it ultimately plans to only need 37,630 MW. The TransCanada thermal power station in Bécancour was to be used and produce 325 MW during the winter of 2016-2017 and 570 MW in the following years. ROEE notes that this expense would have been unnecessary, at least this winter and perhaps also in subsequent years, since the company's power balance is sufficient to meet demand.

This revision in the forecast of power needs is worrying since again this summer, before the Bureau d'audiences publique sur l'environnement (BAPE), representatives of Hydro-Québec proclaimed loud and clear that they absolutely needed the power resulting from the new contract proposed by the company to spend the next winter. However, a few weeks later, we learned that this was not the case.

Fortunately, due to the ROEE's challenge to the authorization of Hydro-Québec's new contract with TransCanada, Hydro-Québec's customers in its distribution activities will save several tens of millions of additional dollars in fixed costs to keep the power plant closed during peak periods. Remember that Hydro-Québec customers have unnecessarily paid hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties to TransCanada since 2008 for the non-delivery of superfluous baseload energy and will continue to pay around 135 M$ annually until 2026 for keep the Bécancour thermal power station closed for basic energy.

Let us also recall that at the request of the ROEE, the Régie de l'énergie recently revised its decision which authorized the mutual agreement between Hydro-Québec and TransCanada for the operation until 2036 of the Bécancour thermal power station. during peak periods since it was a new supply contracted without a prior call for tender process. According to the ROEE, it is essential that the requirement for a public tender process provided for by the National Assembly be respected in order to ensure consideration on an equal basis of all available sources of supply.

Hydro-Québec has several alternatives to this polluting power plant, including demand management measures, calls to the public in extreme cold, the 500 MW available under an exchange with Ontario and new energy storage technology. electricity on a large scale. According to the ROEE, Quebecers should be more concerned about the consequences of Hydro-Québec's planning on electricity rates. Not only can failures in this area cost them dearly, but they also risk having negative impacts on the environment.

Thanks to ROEE's recent interventions before the Régie de l'énergie, millions of additional dollars were not wasted on adapting the Bécancour power station to peak power production and maintaining unnecessary deliveries until in 2036, i.e. 10 years more than under the original contract linking Hydro-Québec to TransCanada.


For informations :

Alain Saladzius
514 924-2013


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