Thirty years ago, in the wake of our major Baie-James projects, we introduced various methods for communicating with stakeholders with a view to promoting the social acceptability of our generation and transmission projects.

Social acceptability is as important to the success of our projects as is profitability and respect for the environment. Every project is unique, so the measures required to make projects acceptable vary depending on the host community’s expectations. This is why we solicit public participation and establish partnerships with stakeholders. Local communities can thus participate in the planning of our projects and help us develop solutions that meet our respective needs.

Public participation in a major project

Planning

GENERATION

  • Preliminary discussions with regional county municipalities and Aboriginal communities with a view to signing agreements
  • Identification of basic expectations and issues
  • Duration: 1 to 2 years

TRANSMISSION

  • Evaluation of communication tools based on the host community and type of project
  • Duration: 1 to 2 years

Draft-design and government authorizations

GENERATION

  • Information and discussion panels
  • Continuous communications (open-house events, information meetings, media relations, etc.)
  • Public consultation by government authorities
  • Duration: 2 to 5 years

TRANSMISSION

  • Three communication phases implemented by project teams:
    • general information
    • information and consultation
    • information about the solution selected
  • Various communications activities (open house events, information meetings, media relations, etc.)
  • Public consultation by government authoritiesa
  • Duration: 2 to 5 years
  1. For projects of at least 315 kV and more than 2 km.

Construction

GENERATION

  • Regional economic spinoffs committees
  • Environmental and agreement monitoring committees
  • Public information on work progress (bulletins, press releases, etc.)
  • Duration: varies, 2 to 12 years

TRANSMISSION

  • Public information on project progress (bulletins, press releases, Info-project line, etc.)
  • Duration: 1 to 5 years

Operation

GENERATION

  • Environmental and agreement monitoring committees
  • Follow-up duration: varies, exceeds 20 years for the Romaine project

TRANSMISSION

  • As needed, communication with the communities affected

Activities in 2016

  • An open house event was held for residents living in the vicinity of the new 120/25 kV Saint-Jérôme substation. More than 40 people toured the facility accompanied by Hydro-Québec specialists. (Laurentides)
  • We participated in meetings held by the Québec City resilience committee, created to strengthen the capacity of the city and its partners to cope with exceptional situations.
  • We gave a presentation to the Chambre de commerce de la Haute-Matawinie on the agreements reached regarding management of the Taureau reservoir, which are aimed at harmonizing our operations with regional recreational activities.
  • Information meetings were held with the Abitibi-Témiscamingue regional county municipality (MRC) to discuss doing business with Hydro-Québec, communications protocols for emergency situations, application procedures regarding moving or extending the system, street lighting, company programs, vegetation control, etc.

Examples of public participation – 2016

120-kV Grand-Brûlé – Saint-Sauveur supply line (Laurentides)

Status

Under study

Description

  • Construction of a 40-km line in the Laurentides and Pays-d’en-Haut regional county municipalities (MRCs). Objective: to transfer the power supply for the Saint-Sauveur and Doc-Grignon (Sainte-Adèle) substations to the Grand-Brûlé source substation (Mont-Tremblant) and to supply a third satellite substation.
  • Electricity needs in this region have grown by 20% between 2004 and 2012 and continue to increase at a pace that is twice the Québec average.
  • A number of substations and supply lines of the regional transmission system have reached their capacity.

Achievements

After three years of studies and close to 100 meetings, the final line route was presented to the communities affected by the project.

Numerous amendments were made to mitigate the line’s visibility and reroute it away from sensitive areas. The final line route was communicated to elected officials and the landowners concerned.

The Régie de l’énergie:

  • issued its ruling in September following public hearings.
  • has authorized the building of a 120-kV line connecting the Grand-Brûlé source substation to an existing 120-kV line that runs between the Saint-Sauveur and Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts substations.
  • believes the project will significantly enhance the system’s reliability and capacity to meet short and long-term needs.

Québec-New Hampshire interconnection (Estrie)

Status

Under study

Description

  • Construction of a 320-kV direct-current line (79 km) between Québec and New Hampshire. Objective: to increase the energy interchange capacity between Québec and New England. The new line will be used to export electricity.

Achievements

Project and public participation process presented to the community

Information and discussion panel on:

  • the project’s technical, environmental and social aspects.
  • compliance with applicable standards and due respect for community concerns and the obligations of the Forêt Hereford organization and the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

BAPE public hearing in the fall.

BAPE report submitted to the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MDDELCC) and publicized in February 2017.

735-kV Micoua-Saguenay Line (Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean)

Status

Under study

Description

  • Construction of a 735-kV (250 km) line between Micoua substation (Côte-Nord) and Saguenay substation (Saguenay–Lac–Saint-Jean). Adding equipment to both substations and expanding the Saguenay substation. Commissioning of the new equipment is planned for 2022.
  • The extra-high voltage transmission system was first commissioned in the 1960s. Over time, the increased power flow has led to decreased reliability. Action must be taken to restore adequate transmission capacity and maintain system reliability.

Achievements

  • Meetings with representatives from the municipality, Aboriginal community, local organizations and various ministries.
  • Meetings with landowners, land users and the public to share project information and note any concerns.
  • Public consultations in 2016 and 2017.
  • Open house events on December 6, 7 and 8 in Saint-Honoré, Jonquière and Saint-Ambroise (Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean).
  • Meetings with Côte-Nord organizations and local cottagers. Increasing our knowledge of the community in this way lets us establish the optimal line route and tailor the project to local realities.

Dismantling of a distribution line in Québec City (Capitale-Nationale)

Status

Ongoing

Description

  • Dismantling of a 24-km line segment along Boul. Sainte-Anne in the regional county municipality (MRC) of La Côte-de-Beaupré. The line links the Montmorency and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré substations while supplying power to customers on Île d’Orléans.
  • We dismantled this segment of the line after commissioning three lines from the new Lefrançois substation in 2015. We will dismantle the Montmorency substation in 2017.

Achievements

  • Cooperation between the four municipalities affected and the Chemin de fer Charlevoix, owner of the railway line that runs along the power distribution line.
  • Notification issued regarding the required work and service disruptions.
  • Project well received by the community. Local residents even expressed their satisfaction with the project’s progress.
  • No complaints made, despite the occasional traffic disruptions entailed by the work and the need for roughly 10 planned interruptions.
  • Project well received since it helped beautify the landscape.

Dike repairs at the Les Cèdres generating station (Montérégie)

Status

Under study

Description

  • Repair the dike and improve its watertightness and stability to minimize risks of erosion to its foundation.
  • Built around 1913, the Les Cèdres generating station is supplied with water through a headrace canal whose embankment dike is starting to show signs of water infiltration.

Achievements

  • Consultation meeting between the two municipalities and two local environmental groups
  • Open house events in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and Les Cèdres attended by some 50 people
  • Site tour by municipal and environmental group representatives
  • Two information bulletins and local media coverage

Rebuilding the 120-kV Arthabaska–Bois-Francs lines (Centre-du-Québec)

Status

Under study

Description

  • Replacement of two lines on wooden H-frames that run between the Arthabaska substation tap and the Bois-Francs substation in Victoriaville with a new double-circuit 10-km line on steel frames.
  • This project will meet the growing electricity demand and ensure system reliability and long-term operability for all customers supplied by Bois-Francs substation.

Achievements

  • Information bulletin issued and open-house event held for the elected representatives, local organizations and residents concerned
  • Information posted online
  • Open house event in Victoriaville
  • Follow-up meeting with representatives from the municipality and snowmobile/quad associations affected

120-kV Langlois– Vaudreuil-Soulanges line (Montérégie)

Status

Under study

Description

  • Construction of a new transmission line, reconstruction of a segment of the line that will be dismantled.
  • The population of the MRC of Vaudreuil-Soulanges grew 43% between 2001 and 2014, increasing power demand by 50% to a level that exceeded system capacity.

Achievements

  • Since December 2015, Hydro-Québec has held meetings with affected landowners and is carrying out field studies to determine the best location for each tower.
  • End of engineering works and the process to obtain government authorization
  • Construction of the new line is planned for 2017.

See also