Generating stations

Hydroelectric generating stations

A hydroelectric generating station is a plant that produces electric power by using water to propel the turbines, which, in turn, drive the alternators.

These power stations generate about a quarter of all the electricity used in the world. With access to vast water reserves, Hydro-Québec uses water to generate almost all of its energy output. In this way, the company helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Last update: January 1st, 2020.

Name Watersheds River or other watercourse Type Installed capacity1 (MW) Number of units Head2 (m) Commissioning date3
Beauharnois St. Lawrence River Lac Saint-François and canal de Beauharnois Run-of-river 1,900 36 24.39 1932-1961
Beaumont Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 270 6 37.8 1958-1959
Bernard-Landry (Eastmain-1-A) La Grande Eastmain Reservoir 768 3 63 2011-2012
Bersimis-1 Betsiamites Betsiamites Reservoir 1,178 8 266.7 1956-1959
Bersimis-2 Betsiamites Betsiamites Run-of-river 845 5 115.83 1959-1960
Brisay La Grande Caniapiscau Reservoir 469 2 37.5 1993
Bryson Outaouais (lower) Outaouais Run-of-river 56 3 18.29 1925-1949
Carillon Outaouais (lower) Outaouais Run-of-river 753 14 17.99 1962-1964
Chelsea Outaouais (lower) Gatineau Run-of-river 152 5 28.35 1927-1939
Chute-Allard Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 62 6 17.83 2008-2009
Chute-Bell Outaouais (lower) Rouge Run-of-river 10 2 17.8 1915-2011
Chute-des-Chats Outaouais (lower) Outaouais Run-of-river 92 4 16.16 1931
Chute-Hemmings Saint-François Saint-François Run-of-river 29 6 14.64 1925
Drummondville Saint-François Saint-François Run-of-river 16 4 9.1 1919-1925
Eastmain-1 La Grande Eastmain Reservoir 480 3 63 2006
Hart-Jaune Manicouagan Hart-Jaune Reservoir 51 3 39.6 1960
Jean-Lesage (Manic-2) Manicouagan Manicouagan Run-of-river 1,229 8 70.11 1965-1967
La Gabelle Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 131 5 17.38 1924-1931
La Grande-1 La Grande Grande Rivière Run-of-river 1,436 12 27.5 1994-1995
La Grande-2-A La Grande Grande Rivière Reservoir 2,106 6 138.5 1991-1992
La Grande-3 La Grande Grande Rivière Reservoir 2,417 12 79 1982-1984
La Grande-4 La Grande Grande Rivière Reservoir 2,779 9 116.7 1984-1986
La Tuque Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 294 6 34.75 1940-1955
Lac-Robertson5 Véco Véco Reservoir 22 2 38.5 1995
Laforge-1 La Grande Laforge Reservoir 878 6 57.3 1993-1994
Laforge-2 La Grande Laforge Run-of-river 319 2 27.4 1996
Les Cèdres St. Lawrence River Saint-Laurent Run-of-river 113 12 9.14 1914-1924
Manic-1 Manicouagan Manicouagan Run-of-river 184 3 36.58 1966-1967
Manic-5 Manicouagan Manicouagan Reservoir 1,596 8 141.8 1970-1971
Manic-5-PA Manicouagan Manicouagan Reservoir 1,064 4 144.5 1989-1990
McCormick4 Manicouagan Manicouagan Run-of-river 235 7 37.8 1952
Mercier Outaouais (lower) Gatineau Reservoir 55 5 18 2007
Mitis-1 Mitis Mitis Run-of-river 6 2 36.58 1922-1929
Mitis-2 Mitis Mitis Run-of-river 4 1 22.86 1947
Outardes-2 Aux Outardes Aux Outardes Run-of-river 523 3 82.3 1978
Outardes-3 Aux Outardes Aux Outardes Run-of-river 1,026 4 143.57 1969
Outardes-4 Aux Outardes Aux Outardes Reservoir 785 4 120.55 1969
Paugan Outaouais (lower) Gatineau Run-of-river 226 8 40.54 1928-1956
Première-Chute Outaouais (upper) Outaouais Run-of-river 131 4 22.26 1968-1975
Péribonka Péribonka Péribonka Run-of-river 385 3 67.6 2007-2008
Rapide-2 Outaouais (upper) Outaouais Run-of-river 67 4 20.43 1954-1964
Rapide-7 Outaouais (upper) Outaouais Reservoir 67 4 20.73 1941-1949
Rapide-Blanc Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Reservoir 204 6 32.92 1934-1955
Rapide-des-Cœurs Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 76 6 22.69 2008-2009
Rapides-des-Quinze Outaouais (upper) Outaouais Run-of-river 109 6 25.9 1923-1955
Rapides-des-Îles Outaouais (upper) Outaouais Run-of-river 176 4 26.22 1966-1973
Rapides-Farmer Outaouais (lower) Gatineau Run-of-river 104 5 20.12 1927-1947
René-Lévesque (Manic-3) Manicouagan Manicouagan Run-of-river 1,326 6 94.19 1975-1976
Rivière-des-Prairies St. Lawrence River Rivière-des-Prairies Run-of-river 54 6 7.93 1929-1930
Robert-Bourassa La Grande Grande Rivière Reservoir 5,616 16 137.16 1979-1981
Rocher-de-Grand-Mère Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 230 3 24.3 2004
Romaine-1 Romaine Romaine Run-of-river 270 2 61.5 2015
Romaine-2 Romaine Romaine Reservoir 640 2 156 2014
Romaine-3 Romaine Romaine Reservoir 395 2 119 2017
Saint-Narcisse Batiscan Batiscan Run-of-river 15 2 44.81 1926
Sainte-Marguerite-3 Sainte-Marguerite Sainte-Marguerite Reservoir 882 2 330 2003
Sarcelle La Grande Eastmain Run-of-river 150 3 8.7 to 16.1 2013
Sept-Chutes Sainte-Anne Sainte-Anne Run-of-river 22 4 124.97 1916-1999
Shawinigan-2 Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 200 8 44.2 1911-1929
Shawinigan-3 Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 194 3 44.2 1948-1949
Toulnustouc Manicouagan Toulnustouc Reservoir 526 2 152 2005
Trenche Saint-Maurice Saint-Maurice Run-of-river 302 6 48.47 1950-1955
  1. The installed capacity of Rocher-de-Grand-Mère generating station is the maximum allowed under the operating permit.
  2. The head of water shown corresponds to the largest value (greatest height), if there are several values. The head varies with each generating unit. Refurbishment work may therefore change the water head value.
  3. Year of commissioning of first and last generating unit in each facility.
  4. McCormick generating station is operated by a limited partnership between Hydro-Québec (60%) and Alcoa (40%).
  5. Generating station not connected to the Hydro-Québec grid and operated by Hydro-Québec Distribution.

Thermal generating stations

Because they burn fossil fuels, thermal power plants cost more to operate and emit more pollutants in comparison to hydroelectric generating stations.

While these facilities represent only a small portion of Hydro-Québec's overall generating capacity–about 3% in 2002–they play a vital role in meeting Québec's baseload and peak energy requirements. They're also useful in supplying power to remote, off-grid regions such as the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

Name Type Installed capacity (MW) Number of units Commissioning date
Bécancour Gas-fired turbines 411 4 1992-1993
24 plants* Diesel 131 n/a n/a

*Hydro-Québec operates diesel-powered facilities to supply its off-grid systems. The diesel-powered facilities are the responsibility of Hydro-Québec Distribution.

The role of thermal generation at Hydro-Québec

Some thermal power stations operate continuously to meet baseload energy needs; for instance, diesel generating stations. Others, such as gas-fired facilities, operate only when demand is high and hydroelectric facilities are working at maximum capacity.

Other sources of supply

  • Installed capacity 10,314 MW
  • Churchill Falls generating station — Churchill Falls (Labrador) Corporation Limiteda 5,428 MW
  • 39 wind farms operated by independent power producersb 3,508 MW
  • 7 biomass and 3 biogas cogeneration plants operated by independent power producersc 257 MW
  • 5 small hydropower plants operated by independent power producersb 65 MW
  • Other suppliersd 1,056 MW
  • Hydro-Québec has access to almost all the output until 2041.
  • Hydro-Québec purchases all the output.
  • Hydro-Québec purchases almost all the output.
  • Hydro-Québec has access to the output of these suppliers.