Hydro-Québec and NB Power sign agreements on electricity purchases and expertise sharing
Mactaquac, New Brunswick, January 10, 2020 – The CEOs of Hydro-Québec and NB Power, Éric Martel and Gaëtan Thomas, are pleased to announce the signature of three agreements in a joint press conference at Mactaquac hydroelectric generating station, near Fredericton. Under these agreements, a large volume of electricity will be exported from Québec and imported into New Brunswick; a technical collaboration will be initiated between the parties to refurbish concrete at the Mactaquac generating station; and discussions will begin regarding the construction of additional interconnections between the two provinces.
Electricity purchase agreement
Under the first agreement, Hydro-Québec will export a total of 47 TWh of electricity to New Brunswick between now and 2040. These exports will be transmitted over existing interconnections. New Brunswick has had a power purchase agreement with Québec on energy imports since 2012, and this will build on that agreement. Energy exchanges have been underway between Quebec and New Brunswick since 1972.
For the coming years, Hydro-Québec can count on having more than 40 TWh of energy available annually for sale to adjacent markets. A terawatt hour of electricity is equal to 1 million megawatt hours.
Technical collaboration at the Mactaquac hydroelectric generating station
The second agreement provides for technical collaboration between Hydro-Québec and NB Power for part of the refurbishment of Mactaquac generating station (pending regulatory approvals), in order to extend its useful life at least until 2068.
Since the 1980s, NB Power has observed that the concrete portions of the generating station and spillway have been affected by a chemical reaction causing the concrete to swell and crack. This reaction, called alkali aggregate reactivity or AAR, has compromised the useful life of the facility, which has required substantial annual maintenance and repairs.
Over the years, Hydro-Québec has developed expertise that can help limit the impacts of this problem while ensuring the long-term operability of the affected structures. The company will provide expert advice, handle design aspects and ensure technical supervision of the project.
Discussions on the construction of additional interconnections
The third agreement calls for discussions to begin regarding the construction of additional interconnections between Québec and New Brunswick, to increase electricity exports to Atlantic Canada and the United States.
Boosting the transmission capacity between the two grids would not only help reduce GHG emissions in northeast North America by replacing fossil fuels with clean hydropower, but also improve the reliability of both grids.
“Thanks to a major build-out of our generation facilities, Hydro-Québec has a lot of energy available, and we’re thrilled to be contributing to New Brunswick’s clean energy supply over the next two decades,” said Éric Martel, President and CEO of Hydro-Québec. “We’re also very proud that our expertise will help NB Power keep the Mactaquac generating station in operation until at least 2068.”
“We are very pleased to continue our long and beneficial partnership with our neighbours in Québec,” said Gaëtan Thomas, President and CEO of NB Power. “Not only will this result in more clean energy for our province and Atlantic Canada, but Hydro-Québec’s expertise in AAR mitigation will be very helpful to our Life Achievement project at Mactaquac and will translate into significant capital cost savings on the project.”
For more information:
Hydro-Québec communications: 514 289-5005; NB Power communications: 506 458-4203