The value chain includes all activities that create value, from product design to service provision. At Hydro-Québec, we integrate criteria for environmental protection, social progress and economic development into every link in this chain.

Construction

Activity

Design and carry out projects for the construction and refurbishment of generation and transmission facilities.

Value creation

Through our projects, we contribute to creating jobs for local suppliers and communities, and our activities generate various other spinoffs.

Elements to monitor

The construction stage may involve significant impacts on the environment and biodiversity, as well as on the host communities. Projects must meet three criteria: they must be profitable, environmentally acceptable and favorably received by local communities.

Main actions

  • Avoid, mitigate and offset environmental impacts
  • Design and carry out projects in consultation with local communities, taking their expectations and concerns into account
  • Contribute to the socioeconomic development of the region and maximize economic spinoffs from projects
  • Complete projects within budget and on schedule

A few figures – 2016

Generation

Activity

Generate electricity at a competitive cost by applying optimal generation strategies to ensure maximum value from electricity sales.

Value creation

Thanks to our hydropower, companies produce goods and services with a small environmental footprint, while our neighboring provinces and states are supplied with clean, renewable energy. Moreover, we support job creation and investments in the communities that host our generation activities.

Elements to monitor

The generation stage may involve impacts on the environment and biodiversity, as well as on communities, particularly on people living near facilities or using the reservoirs. The operation of generating facilities—management of reservoir and flow levels—must be compatible with the human environment (waterside infrastructure, recreational and tourism activities, etc.) and the natural environment (wildlife, wetlands, erosion zones, wood debris accumulation).

Main actions

  • Generate over 99% of our electricity using a renewable energy source
  • Manage watersheds, taking into account their use by communities
  • Protect water bodies and preserve wildlife and vegetation, including their diversity
  • Increase the company’s profitability through the sale of electricity

A few figures – 2016

  • 36,908 MW installed capacity
  • 62 generating facilities connected to the main grid: 61 hydroelectric generating stations (42 run-of-river) and 1 thermal generating station
  • 24 generating facilities supplying off-grid systems: 23 thermal generating stations and 1 hydroelectric generating station
  • 27 large reservoirs, 668 dams and 99 control structures

Transmission

Activity

Transmit electricity—most often generated hundreds of kilometres from the main load centres—via one of the most extensive transmission systems in North America while integrating all energy inputs, at the best possible cost with the expected level of quality.

Value creation

We provide high-quality, reliable power transmission and monitor the changing needs of our customers. Our interconnections allow advantageous power interchanges with neighboring systems and ensure non-discriminatory access to our system.

Elements to monitor

The transmission stage may involve impacts on the environment and biodiversity—when maintaining rights-of-way, for example—as well as on communities, particularly on people living near facilities, who may experience visual or noise impacts.

Main actions

  • Harmoniously integrate facilities (lines and substations) into their surroundings and reduce their impacts on natural and human environments and the landscape
  • Ensure high-quality power transmission by investing in the reliability and long-term operability of our transmission assets ($1,139 million in 2016)
  • Invest in increasing the system’s capacity to meet customer needs ($618 million in 2016)
  • Effectively manage variable wind energy output while guaranteeing service quality and reliability
  • Maintain rights-of-way, taking into account sensitive elements in the area

A few figures – 2016

  • 536 substations, 34,292 km of lines and 172,961 ha of line rights-of-way
  • 15 interconnections with Ontario, New Brunswick and the U.S. Northeast, with a total transmission capacity of 6,025 MW for imports and 7,974 MW for exports

Distribution and customer service

Activity

Distribute electricity at a uniform price, regardless of location, while effectively meeting customer needs and expectations and ensuring reliable electric power.

Value creation

We guarantee customers high-quality services and reliable power at one of the lowest rates in North America. Moreover, we offer customers energy efficiency solutions to help them reduce their power consumption. We also offer low-income customers arrangements to help them pay their electricity bills.

Elements to monitor

The distribution stage may involve impacts on the environment, biodiversity and communities, particularly during vegetation control activities. Keeping equipment clear of vegetation and in good working order is essential to ensure public and worker safety, reduce the risk of outages and guarantee reliable system operation. Customer services must take into account the situation and needs of each customer, particularly low-income customers.

Main actions

  • Ensure an adequate supply of electricity, reliable, high-quality power and excellent customer service
  • Encourage customers to save energy
  • Support low-income customers experiencing payment difficulties and maintain their access to electricity
  • Ensure safe use of electricity
  • Promote economic development through electricity rates for businesses

A few figures – 2016

  • 4,244,541 customer accounts
  • 116,794 km of lines (744 km at 34 kV, 111,111 km at 25 kV, 4,674 km at 12 kV and 265 km at 4 kV and under)
  • 15,753 simple service connection requests

Management and support of our business units

Activity

Develop and maintain corporate governance rules and procedures. Define objectives, strategies and guidelines. Follow up on commitments and report on the company’s activities. Develop and maintain internal and external mechanisms for cooperation and dialogue. Maintain a competent workforce and plan for succession. Maintain and manage a telecommunications network capable of processing massive amounts of critical data related to our operations and the monitoring of our activities.

Value creation

Our guidelines and objectives promote dialogue with the community, the socioeconomic spinoffs of our activities and community investment. Our complex and robust telecommunications network boosts the efficiency and security of our power system operation and administrative activities.

Elements to monitor

This stage can have significant impacts on the entire value chain, as it involves decisions related to procurement and management practices. We must ensure that good governance is maintained and that we manage our human and natural resources with care, responsibility and respect. Our business culture should reflect these values. We must also ensure the security and integrity of the telecommunications network and its data.

Main actions

  • Ensure sustainable procurement, building and residual material management, and transportation services
  • Oversee risk management
  • Establish codes of conduct and oversee their application
  • Provide sustainability guidelines and sustainability reporting
  • Maintain a well-qualified, committed workforce
  • Ensure facility security and public safety
  • Ensure effective communication and ongoing relations with communities
  • Carry out community investments
  • Provide IT and telecommunications solutions

A few figures – 2016

  • $4 billion contribution to the Québec government’s revenue
  • 4,400 requests from communities processed by Hydro-Québec’s regional representatives
  • 1,800 media inquiries
  • 2.7% of payroll invested in training
  • Contribution to the Québec government’s revenue: $2,861 million in net income, $667 million in water-power royalties, $284 million in public utilities tax and $218 million in guarantee fees related to debt securities.
  • Telecommunications network: over 850,000 km2 and more than 835 sites

Technological innovation

Activity

Develop sustainable technological solutions to optimize power systems and extend their service life, and to make the grid smarter, more automated and more flexible. Our innovation projects focus on asset reliability and sustainment, energy efficiency, renewables and transportation electrification.

Value creation

Through our partnerships with universities, research centres and other industries, we share expertise and resources along with risks. By contributing to the improvement of our system and services, technological innovation is a driver of value creation for our partners and customers. It is essential for increasing the positive impacts of our activities while reducing their negative effects. It translates into cost avoidance, additional sales, productivity gains and investment deferral.

Elements to monitor

The decisions made in technological innovation have considerable impacts on various other stages in the value chain. R&D projects are assessed based on their potential impact throughout their life cycle, which determines the selection of the best solutions.

Main actions

  • Implement innovative solutions to ensure facility security and long-term operability
  • Contribute to the development and integration of renewables
  • Contribute to transportation electrification

A few figures – 2016

  • $134 million R&D budget allocated to IREQ in 2016
  • $5.9 million in research funding awarded to educational institutions