Lac-Mégantic: Looking toward an innovative future
Following the July 2013 rail disaster and the destruction of its downtown core, Lac‑Mégantic faced multiple challenges: physical reconstruction, social rehabilitation and economic diversification, to name but a few. Yet, as early as 2014, Lac-Mégantic was already starting to bounce back and turn its gaze forward.
The reconstruction process was launched, and with it came a whole new vision of the district.
Birth of a partnership [in French]
As it entered the planning process, Lac‑Mégantic set itself the challenge of becoming a hub of innovation. At the same time, Hydro‑Québec was considering the energy transition and how it might best respond. The convergence of these two visions resulted in the microgrid, which was jointly developed over the months that ensued.
Hydro‑Québec would be the project’s lead proponent, supported by Natural Resources Canada.
An innovative undertaking
- The microgrid was designed in consultation with an engaged, forward-looking community that was willing to innovate and support sustainable development.
- Environmental conservation initiatives had been under way in the municipality for a number of years: the introduction of three-way waste collection in 1997; the opening of the International Dark Sky Reserve in 2007; and the promotion of active transportation in 2016.
- The vision of a downtown core rebuilt based on the principles of sustainable development was in sync with the spirit of the project.
- Mobilizing the community fostered active participation in the energy transition.
A reaffirmed vision
- The town’s 2020–2025 strategic plan, with its focus on making Lac-Mégantic an eco-friendly technological showcase and its newly formed CITÉ (Commission for innovation and ecological transition), has taken shape with the microgrid.
GHG emisssions by generating option
The keys to the energy transition
The energy industry is undergoing a period of intense change. What are the keys to the energy transition?
- The phasing out of fossil fuels in favor of renewables like wind, wave and solar
- Responsible energy use through the adoption of an energy-efficiency mindset (elimination of waste/optimized power consumption)
This was the context surrounding the development of the LacMégantic microgrid.
What is a microgrid?
An electric microgrid:
- is a community-centered initiative
- meets the needs of local users
- consists of interconnected components for:
- energy generation
- energy storage
- energy management and control