Hydro-Québec’s domestic infrastructure projects must meet three fundamental criteria in order to proceed: they must be technically and economically viable, environmentally acceptable, and favorably received by the host communities.
Technically and economically viable
Favorably received by the host community
To facilitate the acceptance of its infrastructure projects, Hydro‑Québec involves the affected communities in the planning process. We also maximize the positive spinoffs of all our activities in the host community.
Far from sticking to the minimum consultations required by regulations, we engage in sustained dialogue with stakeholders. Working groups, liaison committees and opinion surveys are among the many means we use to learn about community concerns. Good dialogue lets us establish and preserve relations of trust, obtain the support we need and even occasionally reconcile diverging interests.
Unique environmental expertise
In the past 40 years, we’ve conducted a multitude of studies on biophysical and human environments to produce impact statements for our major infrastructure projects, with the goal of anticipating impacts in order to avoid, mitigate or offset them. In this way, we have built up a remarkable body of knowledge of ecosystems in the province, particularly in northern Québec. We’ve also acquired extensive scientific expertise that can serve in studying a wide variety of environments. See our environmental publications.
An enviable carbon footprint
All forms of power generation emit GHGs, either directly or indirectly. Among baseload generating options, however, Québec hydropower has the best carbon footprint. Recognized around the world as a renewable energy source, hydropower accounts for over 99% of the electricity generated by Hydro‑Québec.
Since the early 2000s, Hydro‑Québec has also brought 3,900 MW of wind power onto its grid, thereby developing state‑of‑the‑art expertise in wind farm integration, forecasting of output from an intermittent source, and operation of a safe, reliable integrated grid.
What’s more, Hydro‑Québec is actively involved in seeking solutions to climate change. Our efforts are in three main areas: promoting energy efficiency to our customers, transportation electrification and exporting clean energy to neighboring markets.
As our electricity mix consists essentially of renewables, we have an extremely good GHG emissions record, and our exports help neighboring markets reduce their carbon footprint.
The emissions avoided thanks to our exports are equivalent to 25% of emissions from New England’s fuel-fired generating stations.