Fresh Takes

Hydro-Québec: Independent Suppliers to the Rescue!

Over the coming years, Hydro-Québec is expected to have more and more difficulty meeting Quebecers’ demand for energy.

The end of energy surpluses is anticipated as of 2027, and the projected lack of energy is already costing us certain projects.

As Energy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon admits, the crown corporation and the government can’t do it all at the moment, and entrepreneurs have their part to play.

One solution would be to lighten the regulatory burden in order to allow independent companies to provide energy, whether by building wind farms, solar installations, or new power plants, or by renovating existing installations.

At the moment, certain hydroelectric plants in Quebec are run by independent suppliers. For example, the Gilles-Lefrançois Facility, located in Parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière in Lévis, is owned by Innergex, the Quebec company that built it in the 1990s.

The only thing is, the production capacity of these installations is limited by law. As Michel Letellier, the CEO of Innergex, reminds us, Hydro-Québec holds a monopoly on hydroelectric plants of 50 megawatts or more.

By lightening or eliminating this regulatory constraint, the provincial government would allow independent suppliers to come to Hydro-Québec’s rescue, either by renovating their existing power plants to increase their production capacity, or by proposing new projects financed with private capital rather than public funds.

Can we really afford not to accept this outstretched hand, with the province racing toward a power shortage?

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