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Hydro & # 39; s new main road

The shutdown of a polluting oil-fired power plant and of the Gentilly-2 nuclear power plant resulted in a decrease in the reliability of Hydro-Québec's transmission system. The solution found: build an electric transport megaline, the Micoua-Saguenay line. Our photojournalist Martin Tremblay visited the site to document the beginning of the work.

Posted Oct 17, 2020 at 6:00 am.

Martin Tremblay
La Presse

A huge project of 700 million

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

More than 260 pylons are to be built between the North Shore and the Saguenay. Nearly 500 workers contributed to the work.

An extremely rare project since the great years of construction of the North Shore dams, Hydro-Quebec has to pay 700 million to build a brand new transmission line. This very high voltage line will be used to meet the electricity demand in southern Quebec's major consumption centers.

Hydro-Quebec no longer had a choice. The electric transport corridor connecting the Manic-Outardes dams to the Quebec City region is already being fully utilized. The closure of the Tracy oil-fired power plant and the cessation of production at the Gentilly-2 nuclear power plant in recent years have reduced the electricity supply. Despite this, however, additional energy can now be diverted from the Côte-Nord as the electricity demand in this region is lower than what Hydro-Québec originally predicted. [19659007] To compensate for this loss of production and to maintain the robustness of its network, Hydro-Québec has chosen to build a 260 km line between the Côte-Nord and the Saguenay. La Presse visited the site, which will continue until the end of 2021. PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

A group of 12 electricians are laying electrical cables. Jérôme Hovington, electrical foreman, and his team are installing the wires that will connect the control building to the facilities at the starting point of the new line.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

Electricity comes from the Churchill Falls, Toulnustouc, Manic-3, Manic-5 and Outardes-4 power stations. Most of the hydroelectric production from the Manic-Outardes complex passes through it.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

"The Micoua-Saguenay line is like adding an extra mesh in this spider web that is the Hydro-Quebec electrical distribution network," explains Dominic. Thibeault, site manager for Hydro-Quebec.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

The starting point of the new transmission line will be anchored on a base of 40 cubic meters of reinforced concrete on which the two legs of the portal will be installed.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

Mathieu Joseph worked on the site for two months. The entire work team is from the Gaspé, the members come every week from Paspébiac, on the Baie des Chaleurs, to work on the site. PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

Concrete arrives from Baie-Comeau by road transport. Employees must act quickly as soon as the truck arrives to ensure the quality of the materials.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

Two months after the scheduled date for the end of the first phase, work is progressing well and on schedule. Commissioning of the power line is scheduled for the end of 2021.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

The Micoua-Saguenay substation will be one of the main nerve centers for electricity distribution in Quebec

Outardes-4 power station: a delicate emergency response

Routine work on the Outardes-4 hydroelectric power plant revealed a major problem in a turbine generator group. The problem: the stator. The turbine was quickly shut down and a Hydro-Quebec team is currently conducting a delicate emergency response.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

Here electricity is produced by the movement. of the turbine that feeds the alternator. The stator is the fixed part of the alternator in which the rotor of the turbine alternator unit rotates. Partial discharge problems on the stators were discovered during compliance work.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

The work is carried out by four Hydro-Québec electricians working 50 hours a week for six weeks

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

The insulation of the stator beam was broken. The electricians gave an insulating paint and then a silicone. “It's precision work, because they do it with a small brush. It's really painstaking work, "explains production manager Steve Gagnon. PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, THE PRESS

Steve Gagnon inspects the inside of the turbine shaft. The water flows directly into the turbine, which produces electricity through the alternator above the well.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

Maintenance and upgrade work never stops in the middle. Hydro-Québec specialists inspect a set of valves.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

The hydro power plant Outardes-4 consists of four 280-megawatt turbine generator units. While one is being repaired, the other three continue to supply Quebec's power grid.

PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE

The Outardes-4 power station is fourth last year 50th anniversary Unlike the more famous concrete dams, this dam is built with riprap – that is, rocks and waterproof backfill – which is simpler and cheaper. 9025] PHOTO MARTIN TREMBLAY, LA PRESSE [19659025] Once it passes through the turbines of the Outardes-4 power station, the water from the reservoir flows back into the Outardes River and goes to the Outardes-3 power station. The same water will generate electricity at the Outardes-2 Power Plant before ending its course in the St. Lawrence River.

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