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Hydro Quebec

Management of Hydro-Quebec's Off Grid Network

Since the re-organization on September 11, 2006, the Regional Management - East and North of Quebec (DRENQ) has been in charge of managing production, transportation and remote region electrical distribution in the off-grid network, a unique activity within Hydro-Quebec. The 500-member DRENQ is headquartered in Rimouski.

Our mission is to provide quality, reliable energy services to our clients at the best possible prices.

The unique nature of our client groups and their cultural and linguistic diversity require that our actions be fair and appropriate. Three main values guide our interactions with the community: transparency, consistency and respect.

With 225 employees, the off-grid systems are managed through three units: the Boreal Installations Unit, the Iles-de-la-Madeleine Installations Unit and the Technical Expertise and Planning Unit.

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Overview of the off-grid network:

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Boreal Installations

The Boreal Installations Unit operates one hydroelectric generating station (2, 10.8MW turbines) and 22 stations (3 in cold reserve) with diesel generator sets varying between 210 and 1600 kW. The engines in the generator stations use light type-2 fuel oil. Most of the engines are series 3400 and 3500 1200 and 1800 RPM high-speed Caterpillar sets.

The Boreal Installations Unit also operates a fleet of over 200 mobile generator sets varying from 40kW to 1.5MW. They are stored in Montreal to meet Hydro-Quebec's needs by supplying backup electricity during repair work, planned work or distribution network outages. In addition, under an agreement between the company and the Securie civile du Quebec, the generator sets must be used to supply priority loads in the event of disaster.

In terms of distribution and transmission, Boreal Installations Unit has over 117 km of distribution lines and 200 km of transmission lines (69 kV), including 695 aluminium pylons.

Boreal Installations headquarters is located in Quebec City and covers three of the five geographic regions: the territories of Nunavik, Haute-Mauricie, and Basse-Cote-Nord/Anticosti.

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Iles-de-la-Madeleine (IDM) Installations

The Cap-aux-Meules station is the IDM Installations' main asset. It was initially put into service in 1991 at a cost of $237 million. The station has six 11.2 MW generator sets that run on heavy fuel oil, for installed power of 67.2 W. The station's generator sets have Wartsila Sulzer ZA40 514 RPM medium-speed engines.

The IDM Installations Unit also operates the IDE station (Ile d'Entree), which runs on type-2 light fuel oil. This station's engines are series 3400 1800 RPM high-speed Caterpillar marine models.

In terms of distribution and transmission, IDM Installations has over 320 km of distribution lines and 60 km of transmission lines (69 kV) on wooden poles.

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Technical Expertise & Planning Unit

Two teams provide technical support for operations and for the specific and unique expertise required for all maintenance, operations and project activities.

The Unit also has a team that looks after supply of materials including hazardous materials throughout the entire off-grid network territory. This team also provides services related to air transportation for personnel and coordination of materials and equipment transport across the territory.

The Unit offers training that covers all DRENQ training needs.

After the Quebec government request to take over the electrical networks in the Schefferville region, the unit established a project team to integrate all customers into the Hydro-Quebec system.

The Technical Expertise and Planning Unit is in charge of all major and minor studies, project proposals, projects concerning durabilty and growth equipment for Thermal and Hydraulic production, and transmission and distribution for the off-grid network. These services include administration, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and coordination.

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Energy Board

As part of Hydro-Quebec Distribution, DRENQ is regulated by the Energy Board.

The Energy Board is an economic regulatory body with the mission to reconcile public interest, consumer protection and fair treatment for the electricity transmitter and distributors. It promotes the satisfaction of energy needs from a point of view of sustainable development and fairness for both individuals and the community.

To this end, it sets or modifies the conditions and rates at which electricity is transmitted by the electricity transmitter or distributed by the electricity distributor. The rates are set or modified through incentive measures or mechanisms to improve the performance of the transmitter and the satisfaction of consumer needs.

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Effective use of Energy

Commercial programs (such as grants for heating oil) and new means of production and transmission (such as low-frequency networks, wind power, and micro-stations) may improve profitability in the long term.

The current program Programme d'utilisation efficace de l'energie (effective energy use program) encourages customers to use heating oil. This program is specific to the five major territories of the off-grid systems (Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Anticosti, Haute-Mauricie, Basse Cote-Nord and Nunavik) and targets residential and business clients differently.

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