Because most of our generating facilities are located in northern Québec while our load centres are hundreds of kilometres to the south, we rely on industry best practices and technological innovation to keep our vast transmission system robust and reliable.
Integration of intermittent renewables
The massive influx of renewables such as wind and solar power is a major challenge to grid operators, both technically and economically. To deal with the complexities of bringing these intermittent sources onto the grid, we have developed sophisticated modeling tools that allow us to optimize and upgrade our transmission system with maximum efficiency, while at the same time maintaining its stability and security.
Transmission line construction and modernization
Hydro-Québec has exceptional experience in designing, building and operating transmission lines, especially those covering long distances. Our grid comprises 34,300 km of lines operated at voltages ranging from 44 kV to 765 kV, including 11,700 km of 735-kV or 765-kV AC lines and 1,200 km of 450-kV DC lines. The decision to use very high voltages is a strategic one: they’re the best solution for carrying large quantities of electricity generated far from the load centres while reducing transmission losses.
Power transmission optimization
Hydro-Québec has implemented many innovative technological solutions to enhance transmission capacity and system reliability, especially as regards high-voltage facilities. For instance, we use series compensation to increase the capacity of existing lines and thereby avoid or defer the construction of new ones. Similarly, for reasons of economy and efficiency, we rely on HVDC for long-distance interties that connect asynchronous grids for export purposes.
Leading-edge power system technology
Hydro-Québec offers a number of solutions for better management of power flows over transmission systems:
- System control strategies and tools to improve reliability and security
- Cybersecurity reinforcement
- Remote control and special protection systems
- Improved system average interruption duration index (SAIDI)
- Telecommunications network redundancy
- Optimization of transmission time
- Transition to smart grid
Continuous monitoring of strategic equipment is the basis of real-time management of large power grids. Thanks to special protection systems, sensors, analysis systems and other IREQ innovations, Hydro-Québec has developed an adaptive and increasingly smarter grid.
Interconnection construction, operation and upgrading
Cross-border power interchanges are not just a source of income, but also guarantee security of supply. Hydro-Québec has solid expertise in designing and operating interconnections utilizing high-voltage DC or AC technologies. What’s more, thanks to our experience in exporting clean energy to the U.S. and to other Canadian provinces, we can help our partners comply with the regulations governing the sale of power on wholesale markets.