Frequently asked questions
What is the status of the project?
The project is on schedule. Land clearing is finished, and construction of the line has begun in several sectors of the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Mauricie, Lanaudière and Montréal regions.
Why is this project necessary?
Hydro-Québec is responsible for ensuring the safety and reliability of the transmission system. The grid is constantly evolving according to changing transmission needs and the increase in power consumption, and the demands placed on the 735-kV lines are growing steadily.
In the Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean region, four transmission lines bring power to the Chamouchouane and Saguenay substations from the north (from Baie-James on one side, and Côte-Nord on the other), while only three run southwards. This creates a funnel effect on the transmission system and limits the capacity to bring power to the south, where the major load centres are located.
The optimal solution for maintaining the system’s reliability is to build a new transmission line connecting the power grid in northeastern Québec to the Montréal metropolitan loop.
System planning takes account of new power supplies generated by the Romaine complex and the wind farms approved following the second call for tenders in 2005. Adding this new electricity to the grid will increase north-south power transmission and accentuate the funnel effect around the Chamouchouane and Saguenay substations.
In addition, the Chamouchouane-Bout-de-l’Île project will considerably reduce electricity losses, reinforce the main transmission network, and increase the network’s operating flexibility for the benefit of all customers.
What economic impacts will the project have?
The project’s economic spinoffs for Québec are estimated at $1.1 billion, representing more than 80% of the total investment.
The project will create the equivalent of several hundred full-time jobs in Québec over a five-year period. At the height of construction, between 2017 and 2018, it will employ more than 1,500 workers.
The 735-kV Chamouchouane–Bout-de-l’Île project will also stimulate the regional economy.
Generally speaking, regional economic spinoffs amount to 10% to 15% of the cost of a transmission line project.
No workcamps will be built along the line. During clearing and construction, workers will find accommodations near their worksites, promoting economic spinoffs in the affected regions.
Will there be any other measures to support the development of the communities affected?
Hydro-Québec wants its facilities to blend harmoniously into the host environment. It sees its projects as opportunities to actively participate in the development of host communities and has set up the Integrated Enhancement Program (IEP) with this intent.
For each new power transmission project covered by this program, Hydro-Québec grants eligible organizations funding equivalent to 1% of the initially authorized value of the facilities covered by the IEP.
What are the project components?
This project consists of three key components:
- Building a new 400-km 735-kV transmission line between Chamouchouane substation in La Doré (Lac-Saint-Jean) and the future Judith-Jasmin substation, in Terrebonne.
- Building the 735/120/25-kV Judith-Jasmin substation.
- Diverting a section of an existing 735-kV line (circuit 7017) over 19 km. This line will supply Bout-de-l’Île substation in Montréal.
The type of tower used will vary according to land use, but will be mainly guyed towers in the north and self-supporting towers in the south.
To learn more about types of towers: http://www.hydroquebec.com/learning/transport/types-pylones.html
What are the main steps involved in building a line?
Building a 735-kV line involves several steps.
Clearing consists of felling the trees in the right-of-way and where temporary roads will run. On public land, this work is assigned to contractors, whereas on private land it can also be assigned to the owners. On public land, merchantable timber is recovered after felling and sent to local sawmills. On private land, the cut wood belongs to the owner.
- Access development
Clearing requires the creation of temporary roads and, at times, the improvement of existing roads, which will also be used when building the line. Whenever possible, temporary roads are built in the right-of-way, while protecting sensitive elements (e.g., wetlands, water crossings). For existing roads, Hydro-Québec makes every effort to promote shared and safe use. On private land, the company negotiates temporary access with affected owners.
- Laying the tower foundations
This step involves excavation, filling and leveling. Foundations vary based on the type of tower, the type of soil and the depth of the bedrock.
- Tower assembly and conductor unwinding
This step includes several operations: assembling towers on the ground, erecting towers and installing insulator strings, conductors and ground wires. This work is carried out by different tradespeople.
- Site restoration
This final step in the construction process includes cleaning up the worksites, ground levelling and reshaping, filling ruts, seeding worksites around towers and restoring infrastructure (e.g., roads, bridges and culverts, fences, etc.). On private land, a tour of the site is conducted with the landowner to ensure that the restoration work meets their expectations.
To learn more about the steps involved in building a line: www.hydroquebec.com/learning/transport/construction-ligne.html
When will the construction work be carried out?
Clearing and construction work for the lines will last three years, and the project will be carried out on the territory of five administrative regions.
For construction, the project will be divided into six line sections, each with its own distinct clearing and construction schedule, as shown in the map.
Clearing will begin in August 2015 on sections 1 and 3 and will continue until February 2017 for the various sections. Construction of the lines should start in 2016, with commissioning slated for the end of 2018.
Construction work for the new Judith-Jasmin substation started in April 2016. Information on this work are communicated separately. To learn more about the Judith-Jasmin substation.
Who will ensure worksite compliance?
Hydro-Québec will ensure worksite compliance. The company will see to it that all technical, environmental and safety requirements associated with the construction work are being met. Specific measures to mitigate the impact of the work will be implemented, contributing to the harmonious coexistence of the worksite and land users, both on public and private lands.
Will there be significant traffic from heavy machinery?
Traffic from heavy machinery is anticipated mainly during clearing and excavation work, and during the construction of tower foundations.
During tower erection and wire installation, heavy machinery traffic will be sporadic and localized.
Appropriate signage will be installed on public roads affected by the worksite.
Are any interruptions to electrical service anticipated during the work?
No service interruption is anticipated during the work.
How will you inform stakeholder groups of the start and progress of the work?
Project news bulletins will be sent to local organizations in communities affected by the project and to the owners and residents in the areas closest to the construction sites.
Information on the progress of the work and photos will also be posted on this Web site.
In addition, in each region, the Info-project Line will remain available at all times.
How will you ensure the safety of ATV and snowmobile users during the work?
During the work, ATV and snowmobile user safety will be ensured through adequate signage and the implementation of specific measures (signage, marking, adequate snow removal) that promote harmonious coexistence when ATV and snowmobile paths run through logging roads accessible during construction.
Will construction work be carried out during hunting season?
In controlled harvesting zones (ZECs) or outfitter territories, line construction work will generally stop for two weeks, whereas it will generally stop for one week outside such areas. Below are the planned break dates for 2017 and 2018.
Section 1: moose hunt
- In Zec de La Lièvre: September 23 to October 13, 2017
- Outside Zec de La Lièvre: September 23 to 30, 2017
Section 2: moose hunt
- Zec du Gros Brochet, Zec Chapeau-de-Paille and Pourvoirie Duplessis: October 7 to 22, 2017
- Outside these areas: October 7 to 14, 2017
Section 3: moose hunting
- Zec Chapeau-de-Paille: October 7 to 22, 2017
- Zec Collin (15 Est hunting zone): October 7 to 15, 2017
- Pourvoirie du Milieu, between towers 70 and 90: October 7 to 15, 2017
- Outside these areas: October 7 to 14, 2017
Section 4: moose hunting
- Zec Collin and Zec Lavigne (15 Est hunting area): October 7 to 15, 2017, during firearm hunting season and during a similar period in fall 2018
- Outside these areas: October 7 to 14, 2017
Sections 4 and 5: deer hunting
- November 4 to 17 (9 Est hunting area), and during a similar period in fall 2018
What jobs will be available?
In an electricity transmission project like this, the main categories of workers on the jobsite are the following:
- workers for contracts related to clearing and building roads
- equipment operators
- line workers
Note that Hydro-Québec is the project owner: most jobs associated with the project will be with the contractors who will be awarded the contracts.
Ongoing and future work
For more information on the contracts awarded: Ongoing and future work (in french).
Who do we contact if we have questions or concerns during the work?
You can reach us anytime through the Info-project Line or by contacting your region’s Advisor – Community Relations.