December 5, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Hydro-Québec says 13 dams like La Romaine are needed to meet demand

Hydro-Québec says 13 dams like La Romaine are needed to meet demand

We are seeing unprecedented enthusiasm for our electricity in emerging sectors such as batteries and green hydrogenHydro-Québec explains in a briefing prepared for the parliamentary committee studying Bill 2 (new window)It specifically aims to enhance the framework for electricity distribution liability.

Attracted by the low carbon footprint of our electricity and the competitiveness of our rates, companies have sent Hydro-Québec requests for supplies equivalent to half of the installed capacity of the Hydro-Québec fleet. »

A quote from A brief from Hydro-Québec

An increase in demand comes from Electric transportAs well as the transformation of companies’ heating and industrial processes, driven by government ambitions.

On Friday, Prime Minister Francois Legault backed the idea Providing low cost electricity to industries contributing to decarbonisation of the economy. He quoted Battery sector, Green hydrogen, Green aluminum And green steel, Among others.

23,000 MW requests

Economy, Innovation and Energy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon already has requests for 20,000 megawatts on his desk.

More precisely, a total of 23,000 MW, Hydro-Québec calculates. This is the power to be added if we agree to supply all these projects.

That equivalent to the construction of 13 complexes such as the Romaine RiverThe Crown Corporation assesses and includes:

  • 80 projects above 50 MW for about 20,000 MW;
  • More than 150 projects from 5 to 50 MW, about 3000 MW.

Of course, such a scenario is unrealistic. Technical, economic and social constraints mean that it is possible to supply only a fraction of the requests received. »

A quote from A brief from Hydro-Québec

So we must make choices to maximize the spin-offs of our energy resource use.Hydro-Québec wrote.

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By comparison, and to give an idea of ​​the magnitude of these demands, all of Quebec’s large-energy consumers today represent just over 9,000 MW of power.

Between 2000 and 2022, industrial demand grew by just 0.1%, but the outlook has changed dramatically as the energy transition materializes.

According to Pierre Fitzgibbon between 8,000 and 10,000 MW is needed

Quebec Minister of Economy, Innovation and Energy Pierre Fitzgibbon responded on his Twitter account. Since he agreed Implementation of 23,000 MW projects is unrealistic. He writes that his ministry It is estimated that 8,000 to 10,000 MW will be required for the projects.

We should prioritize decarbonisation projects with significant economic benefits. »

A quote from Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec Minister of Finance, Innovation and Energy

Electricity is a problem before energy is a problem

François Legault often repeats it The province needs an additional 100 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, It means “Half a Hydro-Quebec”. But in the short term, it is not a power problem but an electricity problem. By 2026-2027, the state corporation will be out of power.

A distinction must be made between the power of electricity quantity and the power that can be supplied simultaneously to all those who demand this power. This strength is tested on cold winter days.

Consequences on customer prices

Hydro-Québec pointed out in the brief Any connection of additional power purchases would have tariff implications, due to the cost of new supplies that would have to be distributed across different customer bases, which would be higher than the tariffs..

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can be read in the memorandumAfter a long time when the amount of energy available is high and Quebecers’ supply costs are low (ie 3¢/kWh for Heritage Pool electricity), we are entering an era of high demand and we need to increase electricity production, at a very high cost (about 11¢/kWh)..

With these new models, we have a collective responsibility more than ever to strategically allocate electricity to maximize benefits in terms of GHG reduction and economic development. »

A quote from A brief from Hydro-Québec

Hydro-Québec’s brief favors Bill 2, which provides Limits the rate of indexation of domestic tariffs.

The bill would allow Hydro-Québec to reject supply requests of more than 5 MW. Earlier, the Crown Corporation had to accept any project below 50 MW. Connecting cryptocurrency processing centers Criticized.

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