Hydro-Québec working on 315-kV, 735-kV transmission project

A project consisting of overhead, AC transmission lines designed for 315 kV and 735 kV is being developed by Hydro-Québec to integrate the output of some generating stations into the company’s power system.

The project, known as the extension of the transmission system in Minganie and Romaine complex connection, is being carried out by Hydro-Québec Équipement et services partages, the construction arm of Hydro-Québec, a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub on Dec. 13.

A 1,550 MW hydroelectric complex is being built on the Romaine river and the objective of the Romaine complex transmission project is to integrate the output of the generating stations into Hydro-Québec’s power system. The first powerhouse, Romaine-2, is scheduled for commissioning by the end of 2014, he added, noting that the lines will also allow integration of future projects in the area.

The Romaine complex connection project is part of a larger project for extending the transmission system in the Minganie region, he said.

The project is about 500 kilometers long: Romaine-2 – Poste Arnaud, 262 kilometers; Romaine-4 – Poste Montagnais, 176 kilometers; Romaine-1 – Romaine-2, 28 kilometers; and Romaine-3 – Romaine-4, 32 kilometers.

Work on the Romaine-2 – Arnaud line began in 2011 and will extend to 2014, while work on the Romaine-1 – Romaine-2 line will begin in 2014 and run to 2015. Work on the Romaine-4 – Montagnais line and on the Romaine-3 – Romaine-4 line will run from 2013 to 2017.

“All of the work on the lines will be finished in 2020, with the commissioning of the fourth powerhouse of the Romaine complex,” the spokesperson added.

Hydro-Québec has obtained a Québec government order-in-council authorizing the project in its entirety, he said, adding that several dozen specific authorization certificates, at the provincial or federal levels, are needed for different works and are applied for when necessary at different points in the project schedule.

The lines are designed for 315-kV and 735-kV, but will all be operated at 315-kV, allowing for the integration of future project capacity in the area. Those lines will connect the future powerhouses of Romaine-1, Romaine-2, Romaine-3 and Romaine-4 to Hydro-Quebec’s Transenergie’s transmission grid.

The project also includes the construction of a 161-kV line to connect to the regional grid and new transmission substations for the powerhouses. A switchyard will also be built near each of the Romaine powerhouses and modifications will be made to the Arnaud and Montagnais substations.

The total cost of the transmission project is evaluated at C$1.9bn, the spokesperson added.

For the 161-kV line for the Romaine project construction site (RO-1–161-kV), a permit was obtained under Article 22 of the Québec Environment Quality Act in the spring of 2009.

Of principal authorizations, the spokesperson also noted that order-in-council of the government of Québec, Article 31.5 of the Québec Environment Quality Act was obtained on Aug. 3, 2011, and modified on Dec. 12, 2012.

The other authorizations obtained since then include authorization certificates emitted by the Minister of the Environment under the terms of Article 22 for the construction of lines and substations, the construction of roads and the construction of work camps, among others. Authorizations under the terms of Article 32 of the Québec Environment Quality Act have been obtained for the work camps and others will be necessary in the future.

The spokesperson also said that other authorizations are needed under forestry legislation, municipal regulation compliance certificates or land-use regulations. Also, various federal authorizations have been obtained under the Navigable Waters Protection Act, Federal Real Property and Federal Immovables Act and the Indian Act, he said.

The spokesperson further noted that Hydro-Québec has done a great deal of public outreach, with public consultation beginning in 2005. Consultations continue at various stages throughout the process, he said, adding that public information bulletins are posted to the company’s website at http://www.hydroquebec.com/projets/romaine_transport.html. There is also a toll-free number that the public may use for more project information, he said.

About Corina Rivera-Linares 3236 Articles
Corina Rivera-Linares, chief editor for TransmissionHub, has covered the U.S. power industry for the past 15 years. Before joining TransmissionHub, Corina covered renewable energy and environmental issues, as well as transmission, generation, regulation, legislation and ISO/RTO matters at SNL Financial. She has also covered such topics as health, politics, and education for weekly newspapers and national magazines. She can be reached at clinares@endeavorb2b.com.