La Grande-1 Generating Station

Make your way through the boreal forest to the last generating station on La Grande Rivière before it flows into Baie James (James Bay). It’s worth the detour!

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In the heart of the boreal forest

On the edge of the Canadian Shield, in the heart of the boreal forest, lies the last of the La Grande Complex facilities: La Grande-1.

This run-of-river power plant, made of 640,000 m3 of concrete—enough to build a sidewalk from Montréal to Miami—will impress you with its drive shafts measuring over 2 m in diameter.

More than 6,000 workers helped build La Grande-1 generating station. You’ll be amazed to see how well it blends in with the natural environment.

Imposing and majestic!

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Did you know?

Active workforce

Over 6,000 people helped build La Grande-1 generating station, commissioned in 1995.

Last, but not least

La Grande-1 is the last of nine facilities in the complex to harness the power of La Grande Rivière before it empties into Baie James (James Bay).

204 km/h

That’s how fast the rotors of each of La Grande-1’s 12 generating units turn.

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Question from: François, Chibougamau

Answer from: Claude, tour guide at La Grande-1 generating facility

Why is it called La Grande-1 when it was the eighth generating station commissioned?
Generating stations are named for their locations in relation to the mouth of the river, not the order in which they were built. The facility’s name shows that it’s the first on La Grande Rivière, closest to Baie James (James Bay).

Question from: Sylvain, Mont-Laurier

Answer from: Francis, tour guide at La Grande-1 generating facility

What animals are there in the Baie-James (James Bay) region?
There are no fewer than 39 species in the region, including caribou, beaver, muskrat, black bear, Canada goose and various kinds of ducks. Near La Grande-1, in the Baie d’Upichiwuun, you can even see osprey nests.

Question from: Louise, Québec

Answer from: Francis, tour guide at La Grande-1 generating facility

Why is La Grande-1 so different from Robert-Bourassa?
La Grande-1 is a run-of-river generating station, while Robert-Bourassa is an underground facility with a reservoir. It was decided to build this type of power plant because of the local topography, which made a large reservoir impossible. Since there is no reservoir, the river water has to flow directly through the turbines as it arrives.

Follow the guides!

Our guides know what they’re talking about. They’ve been specially trained to make sure you have a rewarding experience that meets your expectations. They’ll be delighted to tailor your tour to match the goal you have in mind and the profile of your group.

Our interactive educational tours are full of facts and most of them are fun for the entire family. Don’t be shy about asking questions: our guides are very knowledgeable. Your curiosity will be satisfied!

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School tours

School tours

Plan a field trip to Baie-James (James Bay): an unforgettable experience! Whether it’s for a science, geography or history course, or a special school project, your students will discover things on site that they could never learn otherwise.

Pick a date!

Schedule and practical information

Maximum number of visitors

Maximum of 50 people per visit, including students and escorts.

Supervision

These are the recommended ratios for adults accompanying groups:

  • Ages 9 to 12: 1 adult for every 1 to 10 pupils
  • Ages 13 to 17: 1 adult for every 1 to 20 pupils

For safety’s sake, teachers and accompanying adults must remain with their charges throughout the tour and help the guides.

Tour packages

Two for one

Take full advantage of your trip to Baie-James (James Bay). Depending on the time of year, you could combine your tour of La Grande-1 with a visit to Robert-Bourassa generating facility. You could also seize the opportunity to visit Robert A. Boyd Park, an exploration camp that has been recreated to show living conditions of the first workers at what was to become the La Grande complex. The park is open to groups from mid-May until the end of September.

Our guides can tell you more about all the attractions in the region.

Pre-visit preparation

Age-appropriate tours

Tours of Hydro-Québec facilities are an excellent complement to the Québec Education Program. They reinforce the acquisition and development of several competencies in the areas of math, science and technology, social science and more.

Broad Areas of Learning

  • Personal and career planning
  • Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities

Areas of learning and competencies

  • Science and Technology: Competency 1, 2 and 3
  • Social Sciences: Competency 1 and 2

Essential knowledge related to competencies

  • Material World: Energy, Forces and Motion, Systems and interaction, Appropriate language
  • Earth and Space: Energy, Appropriate language
  • Knowledge related to the organization of a society in its territory: Québec society around 1980
  • Knowledge related to change in a society and its territory: Québec society between 1905 and 1980

Broad Areas of Learning

  • Personal and career planning
  • Environmental awareness and consumer rights and responsibilities

Areas of learning and competencies

  • Science and Technology: Competency 2 and 3
  • Social Sciences: Competency 1

Topics

  • History of the La Grande complex
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Generating electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • Power transmission
  • Operating a generating unit
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Structural characteristics (dams, dikes)
  • Reservoir and run-of-river generating stations
  • Managing water for use in more than one station
  • Ecology and the environment (wildlife, plants and the taiga)
  • Regional geography
  • Native culture: Cree and Inuit
  • The James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement

Complements the following programs

  • Science
  • Humanities
  • Engineering programs

Topics

  • History of the La Grande complex
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Generating electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • Power transmission
  • Operating a generating unit
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Structural characteristics (dams, dikes)
  • Reservoir and run-of-river generating stations
  • Managing water for use in more than one station
  • Ecology and the environment (wildlife, plants and the taiga)
  • Regional geography
  • Native culture: Cree and Inuit
  • The James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement

We tailor the tour to suit your needs./h4>

Topics

  • History of the La Grande complex
  • Hydroelectric power generation
  • Generating electricity through electromagnetic induction
  • Power transmission
  • Operating a generating unit
  • Tour of a turbine shaft
  • Structural characteristics (dams, dikes)
  • Reservoir and run-of-river generating stations
  • Managing water for use in more than one station
  • Ecology and the environment (wildlife, plants and the taiga)
  • Regional geography
  • Native culture: Cree and Inuit
  • The James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement
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Visitors’ comments

Read more comments
I’m amazed by the knowledge demonstrated by our young guide, Frédéric.
There are seven wonders of the world. Has anyone thought of counting Baie-James (James Bay) as the eighth?
A good tour experience all along. Clean, well-maintained facilities. My congratulations and thanks.
Excellent program. Good balance between the technical information and historical facts.
Marie-Hélène is very professional, explains things very well. Thank you.

Schedule and practical information

Schedule and practical information

Admission

Free

Schedule

From June 12 to September 1, 2017

Tours in French Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 8:00 a.m.
English tours by appointment.

Reservations required 48 hours in advance

Photo ID mandatory

Length of tour

3.5 hours
Transportation by bus from Radisson at 8:00 a.m., return at 12:00 p.m

School groups

From September to May

By appointment only. Depending on availability.

Photo ID mandatory
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What you should know

ID card

ID required

Visitors aged 18 years and over must present official photo ID (medicare card, driver’s licence or passport) to tour a facility.

Free guided tours

Tours are led by qualified, dynamic guides.

Time of arrival

Tours start at set times. You should be there 15 minutes in advance.

Age

For safety reasons, tours are not recommended for children younger than two.

Clothing

Flat, closed shoes are recommended.

Accessibility

The tour is by bus, but includes stops with some walking and climbing steps.

Notice to pacemaker users

Notice to pacemaker users

The electromagnetic fields in power plants may disrupt pacemaker operation. As a precaution, pacemaker users will not be allowed during the part of the guided tour that takes place in the generating station.

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Services

  • Free parking
  • Gift shop
  • Partially accessible to persons with a physical impairment
  • Restrooms

Information and reservations

1 800 291-8486

E-mail

Reservations required 48 hours in advance

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How to get there

La Grande-1 Generating Station

Complexe Pierre-Radisson
66 Des Groseilliers
Radisson, Québec
J0Y 2X0


* Transportation by bus from Radisson
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