Maintain system reliability, strengthen the Manic–Québec corridor, and reduce electrical losses: Hydro-Quebec’s Micoua-Saguenay Transmission Project will deliver the energy needs for the Manic-Quebec corridor.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, Hydro-Québec has added a number of 735-kV lines to its transmission system over the years. These lines are used to carry the electric power produced by our generating stations, located primarily in the Baie-James and Côte-Nord regions, to the province’s major load centers, situated in southern Québec.

Annie Rousseau, Chef Projets IV at Hydro-Québec, tells Business Elite Canada that the new 735-kilovolt (kV) supply line connects Micoua substation in the Côte-Nord region with Saguenay substation in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. The latter is currently being expanded to accommodate the equipment needed to connect the line. New equipment will also be installed at Micoua substation and this will not involve any expansion.

Hydro-Québec has obtained the necessary government approvals to begin the construction of the 735-kV Micoua–Saguenay transmission line. The planned route for this line extends for roughly 262 km between Micoua substation in the Côte-Nord region and Saguenay substation in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region—a staggering feat of engineering facilitated by hundreds of skilled local labourers.

“Everyday, hundreds of people work on the different sites in both regions of Saguenay and Côte-Nord. This means a great contribution to the regional economies,” says Rousseau. “The contribution to the province’s economy is also to be noted as it is a major project of over 1 billion dollars and when possible, Hydro-Québec’s objective is to work with as many local businesses as we can.”

“The new transmission line will help to maintain the reliability of Hydro-Quebec’s transmission system,” says Rousseau. “Reduced consumption in the Côte-Nord region and the shutdown of thermal and nuclear generating stations in southern Québec have resulted in increased power flow along the lines in the Manic–Québec corridor towards the major load centers, making the new line necessary.”

All Hydro-Québec clients will benefit from this project as it aims to reenforce the transmission network’s reliability across the province. The main challenge in the realization of this project is in the length of the line. It is 262 kilometres long, which means we need to manage many different worksites along the way, while keeping in mind our number one priority which remains the health and safety of our workers and everyone around the sites. There are 588 electric poles and each of them is a separate construction site and this needs to be done in a precise order.

“Our teams are working hard to deliver this project and are proud to take part in such a big endeavor,” says Rousseau.

The commissioning of the new line is scheduled for 2023.