Because they burn fossil fuels, thermal power plants cost more to operate and emit more pollutants in comparison to hydroelectric generating stations.
While these facilities represent only a small portion of Hydro-Québec's overall generating capacity–about 3% in 2002–they play a vital role in meeting Québec's baseload and peak energy requirements. They're also useful in supplying power to remote, off-grid regions such as the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
The role of thermal generation at Hydro-Québec
Some thermal power stations operate continuously to meet baseload energy needs; for instance, diesel generating stations and Gentilly–2 nuclear power plant. Others, such as gas-fired facilities and the oil-fired conventional thermal generating station located near Sorel-Tracy, operate only when demand is high and hydroelectric facilities are working at maximum capacity.
|Name||Type||Installed capacity (MW)||Number of units||Commissioning date||Tours|
|La Citière||Gas-fired turbines||309||4||1979–
*Hydro-Québec operates diesel-powered facilities to supply its off-grid systems. The diesel-powered facilities are the responsibility of Hydro-Québec Distribution.
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