Hydroelectricity: Legault plans to improve the Romaine complex | Elections Quebec 2022

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Hydroelectricity: Legault plans to improve the Romaine complex | &Elections Québec 2022

The dam of the Romaine-3 hydroelectric power station during its inauguration in 2017. (Archives)

To achieve the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050, François Legault does not rule out increasing the hydroelectricity production of the Romaine complex, a-t- he declared the day after an electoral debate where he was questioned by the Liberal leader on the new rivers he intended to use to meet the future energy needs of Quebec.

By 2050, Hydro-Québec will have to increase its electricity deliveries by 50% in anticipation of growing electricity demand, or 100 terawatt hours (TWh) more. However, building a new hydroelectric dam can take 15 years, said the chief caquiste Friday morning.

At first cautious about the sources of electricity he intended to exploit in the event of re-election as head of government, François Legault indicated, secondly, that hydroelectric megacomplexes like the Romaine, on Côte-Nord, could be improved to have more volume.

He also addressed his political opponents who reproach him for harnessing the rivers, disputed by some Indigenous communities: Do they want gas? petrol? nuclear? They have to offer us something, they can't just say: “we're going to get energy, but we don't know where”.

Mr. Legault returned to the charge, a little later, in his speech to the members of the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ). Yes, it will take electricity. It is not true, those who tell you that we will get there just with wind power and energy efficiency.

“It's going to take either dams or nuclear. We, our choice, are the dams. This is the legacy of Robert Bourassa. »

— François Legault, head of the CAQ

Despite the agreements signed with the Aboriginal communities concerned by Hydro-Québec's Romaine project, the Innu of Uashat mak Mani-utenam have claimed $1.5 billion in compensation following various activities carried out on the territory they claim, indicates the Hydro-Québec annual report for 2021.

François Legault relies on Hydro-Québec experts to choose the least expensive locations closest to energy needs of Quebec.

The energy issue is becoming increasingly pressing as the Churchill Falls (Newfoundland and Laborador) supply contract, equivalent to 35 TWh of annual production, expires in 2041.

I would not want to have both hands tied to negotiate with Newfoundland by being forced to renew regardless of the price, indicated the outgoing Premier at a press conference, without however commenting on the energy projects that he would consider financing.

According to him, an agreement with Newfoundland would not be enough to meet the province's electricity needs. The use of Quebec dams is essential, he said.

It will be up to Hydro-Quebec, the experts, to tell us which places are are: 1, least expensive; 2, which are closest to our needs, added Mr. Legault about the best transport conditions for green fuels and other natural resources.

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