• John Jantak

Hydro-Québec holds public consultations for its new power line projects


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Jonathan Petit, Hydro-Québec Director of Community Relations, points to the St. Lazare power line corridor that will see the existing 57 wooden H-frame poles replaced with about 30 steel towers.

Hydro-Québec representatives held an informal public information session May 27 at the St. Lazare community centre to meet with residents and discuss the power utility’s plans to replace its existing power lines with steel towers that will be built on an existing right-of-way through the municipality. Jonathan Petit, Hydro-Québec Director of Community Relations, said about 50 residents attended the meeting to learn the utility needs to expand its hydroelectric distribution.

“This project is to address the large growth in electricity consumption in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region which is why we have to build a new line,” Petit told Your Local Journal. “We also have to build a short line to provide service to Ericsson Canada in Vaudreuil-Dorion. They need a lot of power because of their activities.”

The first of the three phases of the project involves building a second set of steel towers next to existing towers from the Les Cèdres substation that will run northward for about seven kilometers to the Dorion substation. In order to accommodate the second set of towers, Hydro officials met with landowners in the area to ask for an additional 20 meters to be added to the existing 40 meter right-of-way to accommodate the new towers. The second phase will run eastward from the Vaudreuil-Soulanges substation through St. Lazare for about 8.5 kilometers to the Dorion sub-station and will not require an additional right-of-way.

The existing wooden poles that support three powers lines will be dismantled and replaced with steel towers with six power lines, said Petit. “There are about 57 wooden H-frames and they will be replaced with about 30 steel towers,” said Petit. Engineering studies conducted by the power utility confirmed it is feasible to build a new line within the existing 30 meter wide right-of-way without having to widen it. “We don’t have to expand it,” said Petit.

“We can use the same land so we won’t have to cut any trees. The property owners are happy. Hydro-Québec always tries to use the existing right-of-way.” The third phase of the project involves building a 2.5 kilometer dedicated power line for Ericsson Canada which will begin near Boulevard Cité des Jeunes from the St. Lazare corridor. The power lines will cross over Highway 40 before reaching a new overhead-underground junction substation that will be located near the Ericsson underground connection point.

The underground component is essential for Ericsson because there isn’t enough space available to build a new aerial line and the perimeter of the plant will be surrounded by large walls which also prevents an overhead connection from being built, said Petit.

The public consultations are an essential part of Hydro’s power grid planning process so it can gather feedback and make modifications to its plans before it begins work on building the new power lines, said Petit. The final plan will be presented in the fall.