Visit the Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine thermal generating station!

Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine, QC

Reservations and practical information

Aerial view of Îles-de-la-Madeleine generating station

The energy of an entire community

I’m sure that when you think of Hydro‑Québec, you think of hydropower. But the government corporation also operates other types of generating stations to supply isolated communities.

This is the case in Les Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine, a community that has always relied on fuel oil to meet its energy needs. I’m like a gigantic generator. With my six 11,000 kilowatt generating sets, I supply electric power to nearly 13,000 people.

I’m also modern and environmentally conscious. For example, I use recycled water, which reduces my fresh water consumption by 70%. My system for recovering the heat released by my motors also saves a lot of energy. Pretty good, right?

My guides will tell you even more if you come visit me. I look forward to welcoming you to my beautiful part of the world!

Feast your eyes!

Have a look at these pictures to get a sneak peek of your guided tour.

Did you know?

Volunteer firefighters in front of a fuel tank.

Safety first!

I have my own squad of 12 volunteer firefighters, who are always ready to act quickly while the municipal fire department arrives. They can also help out with local fires.

An inside look at equipment at Îles-de-la-Madeleine generating station.

Like ship engines

I have six 11,000‑kilowatt diesel engines. They are like those used on many ships. Technicians who have studied at the Institut maritime du Québec oversee their maintenance.

A view of L’Île-d’Entrée.

A personalized service

The 7.2‑km2 Île d’Entrée is the only inhabited island that isn’t connected to the archipelago by land. The few dozen people who live there can count on their own generating station that has a capacity of 1,150 kilowatts.

An inside look at equipment at Îles-de-la-Madeleine generating station.

Cutting-edge expertise

There has not been a blackout in Les Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine since 2009. That’s because the teams on site have developed world-class expertise in operating a diesel‑fired generating station.

My history

I was built in Cap‑aux‑Meules in the early 1990s, and I’m quite proud to serve the archipelago’s 13,000 inhabitants, with the help of some 80 employees. In recent years, we’ve gotten a good bit of help from the wind energy generated by the 6.4‑MW Dune‑du‑Nord wind farm.

1944: First phase of electricity nationalization in Québec

1949: Birth of the electricity cooperative

The electrification of Les Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine is relatively recent. At the very end of the 1940s, the island’s electricity cooperative was created. It contributed to the archipelago’s electrification. At the time, shares cost $5 each and were tirelessly sold by those who were committed to the initiative. Isaac Boudreau (1913‑1978) was one such person. He was a resident of Les Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine who became a Hydro-Québec employee following the second phase of electricity nationalization in 1963. He even worked at Hydro‑Québec’s Institut de recherche en électricité (IREQ) from 1973 onwards.

December 1953: Inauguration of the first thermal generating station in Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine.

Source: © Musée de la mer des Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine

1953: Inauguration of the electricity cooperative’s generating station

The first thermal generating station in Les Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine was the one developed by the cooperative thanks to a $420,000 loan from the Rural Electrification Agency. When it was launched, it had two generating units and served just over 400 customers in Cap‑aux‑Meules and Havre‑aux‑Maisons. In 1954, Havre‑Aubert was connected, and then the rest of the archipelago, except for Île d’Entrée. From 1963 to 1982, the generating station was expanded several times in order to meet the growing demand.

Former Hydro‑Québec offices in Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine.

Source: Hydro‑Québec Archives

1960: Beginning of the Quiet Revolution in Québec

1962: Election of Jean Lesage’s Liberal Party (Maîtres chez nous!)

1963: Second phase of electricity nationalization in Québec

The second phase of electricity nationalization in 1963 was very beneficial for the residents of Les Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine, who saw their electricity costs cut in half.

1962: Minister of Hydraulic Resources René-Lévesque gives a speech in favor of the second phase of the nationalization of electricity.

Source: Hydro‑Québec Archives

1976: First election of René Lévesque’s Parti Québécois

1991: Commissioning

At the end of the 1980s, the generating station was nearing the end of its service life. The population was increasing and the mining and fishing industries were growing. Connecting the islands to the main system was considered, but it was ultimately a brand new 66‑MW generating station (me!) that was built and inaugurated in 1991, the largest diesel-powered thermal generating station in Québec. It is part of the company’s off‑grid system.

Aerial view of the former generating station and the new Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine generating station.

It’s well worth the trip!

Don’t take our word for it: this is what the people who visited the thermal generating station with our guides had to say.

A tour guide and a school group outside Îles-de-la-Madeleine generating station.

I really appreciated the knowledgeable guide and her explanations.

Good explanation of the site and the technology.

Thank you very much! I think it’s great that we can tour our generating station.

A father with his children wearing firefighter helmets.

Reservations and practical information

Visitors aged 18 and over must present official photo ID.

(Accepted ID: health insurance card, driver’s license or passport)

At a glance

Free admission

Reservations are required at all times and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Length of tour

About 75 mins

Tours start at set times. We recommend that you arrive 15 minutes in advance.

Tour schedule

From mid-June to the end of August

Monday to Friday

Tours start at

9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

School tours

Looking for original tours featuring science, history and technical know-how? Hydro‑Québec’s got just the ticket!
Check it out!

Contact information

Îles-de-la-Madeleine Generating Station
1034, chemin de La Vernière
Cap‑aux‑Meules (Québec) G4T 1R3

Tel : 1 418 986-7276Tel : 1 418 986-7276 (between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
Get in touch by email.

How to get there

Know before you go
(yes, really, it’s important!)


The tour of the generating station is on foot and includes some stairs.

Minimum age

The tour is suitable for adults and school-age children but is not recommended for children under the age of two, for safety reasons.

Pacemakers and other medical implants

Electric and/or magnetic fields may disrupt operation of pacemakers, implantable automatic defibrillators and processors in cochlear implants. As a precaution, visitors with these types of medical implants may not participate in the part of the tour that takes place inside the generating station.

Those with a neurostimulator must temporarily stop the device before entering the generating station. If they are unable to stop the device, they are advised not to enter.

For regular tours, there is no risk of interference for insulin pumps.

What to wear

Visitors must wear flat, closed‑toe shoes and the safety gear provided (hard hat, safety glasses and headphones) inside the generating station.


  • Free parking

  • Electric vehicle charging station

  • Restrooms

  • Campground

Book your tour!

Free admission

Reservations are required at all times and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

Reserve, to Visit the Îles‑de‑la‑Madeleine thermal generating station!

For any other information, call us at 1 418 986‑72761 418 986‑7276.
Get in touch by email.

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