The ice storm forced Hydro-Québec to shut down power stations, including the Romaine

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The ice storm forced Hydro-Québec to shut down power stations, including the Romaine

Three lines very high voltage transmission lines are out of service on the North Shore. Helicopters were called in to de-ice them.

The Romaine-4 hydroelectric complex, one of four generating stations on the Romaine River.

Hydro-Québec is facing a rare situation on the North Shore when electricity no longer circulates on three 735 kV lines due to the ice, Radio-Canada has learned. Five power plants are shut down because their electricity can no longer be transported. Exports have also been reduced.

According to our sources, these are the four power stations on the Romaine River as well as that of Sainte-Marguerite. Production in Churchill Falls, Labrador was also cut in half.

Problems would date back to Monday, the day after an episode of freezing rain.

According to our information, there are more than 100 kilometers of lines to be de-iced. Three 735 kV lines are out of service. One of them lost conductors to the ground.

Hydro-Québec confirms that additional teams of fitters have been sent to areas difficult to access and helicopters to resolve the situation.

The helicopters try to hit the lines with sledgehammers to break the ice, a technique inspired by what was done during the ice storm in Quebec in 1998.

The state company says there are no outages associated with this situation, thanks to the redundancy of the network, in spider's web. But the web has lost its threads, and this event demonstrates the vulnerability of Hydro-Québec's infrastructure to changing weather conditions.

According to a source at Hydro-Québec in the region, it is rare to see ice causing problems for facilities on the North Shore.

The majority of our power stations on the North Shore Nord are currently in production and are routing their energy through our grid, said state-owned company spokesperson Francis Labbé. Even on the Churchill Falls side, a good part of the production is accessible.

Hydro-Québec confirms that it has reduced exports on our short-term markets to give us some leeway.

On Thursday, for the first time in the cold season, Hydro-Québec challenged its Hilo subscribers to reduce their electricity consumption to save power. Many were surprised that this request was made to them when the temperatures were not very cold.

Sometimes these tools are called upon in situations where it is there is maintenance on the network or that certain equipment is unavailable, explains Maxence Huart-Lefebvre, of Hydro-Québec. The temperature is currently not very cold – the network is therefore not at all used to the maximum, he reassures.

From Friday morning and until&#x27 ;As of Saturday, Environment Canada is forecasting heavy snowfall, strong winds and blowing snow on the North Shore. Freezing rain is possible depending on the temperature.

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