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Hydro Quebec to increase hydropower capacity to more than 37,000 MW in 2021

New York — Hydro Quebec plans to add an incremental 245 MW of hydro-electric generation capacity in 2021 to its expansive portfolio in the north of the province, bringing the total capacity to 37,012 MW, an official said Friday.

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"When the Romaine-4 generating station comes online in 2021 the total power generation capacity of the system will be over 37,000 MW," Gary Sutherland, relationship manager in business development, said during a media tour of the Robert Bourassa Hydroelectric Generating Facility east of James Bay.

The company supplies power to the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, as well as sending electricity to northeastern US states.

Quebec's highest peak demand of 39,240 MW occurred on January 22, 2014.

A little over 75% of Quebec's population heat their homes with electricity, Sutherland said.

The province-owned company produced 205.1 TWh of power in 2017 and its net exports were 34.4 TWh that year.

Sutherland said Hydro Quebec's reservoirs are currently at "unprecedented levels" and the company could export more of its electricity to New England and New York, but lacks the transmission capacity to do so.

Hydro Quebec is working with US transmission developers, electric distribution companies, independent system operators and state government agencies to expand that transmission capacity in order to delivery more power from its hydro system to the US, Sutherland said.

The last major intertie connection between Quebec and the US was completed close to 30 years ago. The roughly 2,000 MW capacity transmission line that connects into the Boston area was completed in the late 1990s, according to Hydro Quebec spokeswoman Lynn St-Laurent.

-- Jared Anderson, jared.anderson@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh, newsdesk@spglobal.com

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