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Hydro-Québec to build $1.4 billion transmission line


The government of Quebec has announced it will go ahead with constructing a new 400-kilometre hydroelectricity transmission line. The $1.4-billion project will be the first major new transmission line that Hydro-Québec has constructed in 20 years.

The 735-kV line will bring power from the Lac St-Jean region to Montreal.

Currently four transmission lines bring power south from Quebec’s vast northern hydro resources in James Bay and Côte-Nord (North Shore). The four lines converge at the Chamouchouane and Saguenay substations in Lac St-Jean, but only three lines carry that power to the metropolitan Montreal area. This creates a funnel effect, says Hydro-Québec, so the new transmission line is needed to reduce the pressure on the system, give more flexibility, and reduce electrical losses.

AECOM, CIMA+ and WSP were involved in the planning and preparation of the new line, which according to a Hydro-Quebec spokesperson has received environmental approval.

The utility has held hundreds of public consultation meetings about the proposed line, as a result of which the route was moved to the west of its original alignment. The plans include building a new substation servicing Terrebonne and Mascouche near Montreal, and diverting a 19-kilometre section of the existing 735 kV line.

This article was updated on April 29, 2015, at 9.54 a.m.