Hydroelectric generating station construction, operation and refurbishment

Hydro-Québec is a global benchmark for large hydro. As such, we’re able to support our partners at every stage of their infrastructure projects—including run-of-river or reservoir powerhouses, dams and other structures—from planning through to operation.

Over the course of numerous hydro megaprojects, we’ve developed sophisticated work methods and strategies for reducing construction costs and lead times, such as 3D modeling and advanced analyses for maximizing the use of prefabricated components. In our refurbishment projects, too, we make extensive use of prefabricated components and apply techniques designed to keep downtime to a minimum.

All the knowledge acquired through our construction and refurbishment projects is recorded in databases, providing ready access to reliable information we can use to budget, plan and carry out subsequent projects with maximum efficiency.

Power output optimization

Hydro-Québec employs a number of techniques to optimize the operation and management of its hydropower generating fleet, with a two-pronged objective: improve output and ensure long-term operability (asset sustainment).

For example, sophisticated flow modeling allows us to make adjustments that lead to overall capacity gains. Our research institute, IREQ, has come up with a multiphysical numerical model that covers all aspects of generator behavior: electromagnetic, thermal, mechanical, and fluid flows. The model is used to test various parameters with a view to increasing generator capacity without compromising service life [PDF – 885 Kb].

Safety and maintenance of hydraulic structures

Hydro-Québec relies on new technologies to ensure the safety and maintenance of its dams, dikes and other hydraulic structures. For instance, rather than systematically have divers inspect the submerged parts of dams, in some cases we use Maski, an underwater robot designed by IREQ. We also rely on remote monitoring of dams to reduce our workforce needs.

Environmental studies

In accordance with sustainable development principles, exhaustive impact assessments are conducted for all our large-scale projects. In this way, we have built up a remarkable body of knowledge of the ecosystems in the province, particularly in northern Québec. Our goal is simple: anticipate project impacts from the outset so that we can take measures to avoid, mitigate or offset them. As recognized experts in environmental studies, we can help you assess the impacts of your infrastructure projects.