Complementary energy sources

Even though Hydro-Québec uses water to generate over 99% of its output, the company is interested in all forms of renewable energy.

For example, Hydro-Québec supports the development of other technologies, such as wind energy and biomass, through purchases from independent power producers.

Wind power

Hydro-Québec is a major player in the wind power sector, buying wind-generated energy from Québec producers and feeding it reliably into its system.

Thirteen new wind farms came on stream at the end of 2014 and during 2015.

Hydro-Québec is also at the forefront of research on integrating wind generation into large power grids. In addition, Hydro Québec's reasearch institute is investigating emerging renewable energies that could eventually be used to complement hydro and wind power in Québec.

Hydro-Québec: a recognized leader in wind power

  • In October 2008, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) presented its Group Leadership Award to Hydro-Québec for its efforts in developing wind power.
  • In April 2011, the Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG), which is headquartered in the United States and has over 150 members in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia, recognized
    Hydro-Québec’s leadership role in wind power integration, underscoring its major contribution to the development of simulation, modeling and analysis tools for electrical systems that integrate a significant amount of wind energy.

Other energy sources

Biomass

Biomass involves burning residual organic waste from the agrifood industry or farms to produce heat and generate electricity. Biomass is a cost-effective option in regions where industrial activities produce a large quantity of organic waste.

Biomass potential in Québec is based on three major categories of source matter:

  • forest biomass
  • agrifood biomass
  • urban biomass

By purchasing biomass energy from independent producers, Hydro-Québec supports the development of this energy source in Québec.

Thermal generating stations

Thermal generating stations account for only 0.2% of Hydro-Québec’s total power output. They are used mainly to supply communities connected to off-grid systems.

Hydro-Québec has been working with specialized companies on wind-diesel hybrid projects in which a wind power facility is combined with a thermal power station. The purpose of these wind-diesel hybrid initiatives is to reduce the costs of using thermal energy and to cut the greenhouse gas emissions associated with it.

Small hydro

Hydro-Québec buys power from independent producers operating small hydropower plants.

In 2009, Hydro-Québec launched a program for the purchase of electricity generated by hydropower plants of 50 MW or less, for a total of 150 MW. The goal of this program is to enable local, regional and Aboriginal communities to develop small hydropower projects. The Québec government terminated this program in February 2013.

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