Hydro-Québec: 75 years of ingenuity and innovation

Montréal, April 14, 2019 – Seventy-five years ago, Québec took a bold step that would have an undeniable impact on its future. In response to public pressure, Adélard Godbout’s government nationalized Montreal Light, Heat and Power Consolidated, which controlled Montréal’s electricity market at the time. The Québec Hydro-Electric Commission, which later became Hydro-Québec, was created on April 14, 1944.

Today marks the 75th anniversary of this pivotal moment in Québec’s history. Hydro-Québec’s achievements during this time have been outstanding. The corporation is one of the largest producers of clean energy on the planet, with green power derived from over 99% renewable resources. It offers its customers the lowest electricity rates in North America, while paying a dividend of over $2 billion to the Québec government each year.

“Hydro-Québec has transformed the energy sector, but its mission remains the same: to provide high-quality service at reasonable rates to all Québec customers, throughout the province. We are looking toward the future more than ever so that, 75 years from now, Quebecers will still take great pride in this publicly owned corporation,” said Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro-Québec.

Hydro-Québec’s impact extends beyond the borders of Québec, with countless innovations that have revolutionized the energy industry. By building the world’s first 735-kV high-voltage transmission line and sending energy over long distances, Hydro-Québec enabled the development of major hydroelectric projects far from where energy is consumed. The La Grande complex in Baie-James, the world’s largest hydroelectric complex, became the gold standard in civil engineering.

More recently, Hydro-Québec distinguished itself in transportation electrification by developing and marketing battery and electric motor technologies that power vehicles around the globe.

Québec currently exports power to northeastern North America, helping reduce greenhouse gases significantly — the equivalent of taking 2 million vehicles off the road each year.

Seventy-five years after its creation, Hydro-Québec is looking to the future with confidence, proud of its role in Québec’s development and the energy transition.

Follow Hydro-Québec’s 75th anniversary activities

Hydro-Québec has organized several activities for the public over the next 75 days. Information about these activities is available on the 75th anniversary website at https://75ans.hydroquebec.com.

Francis Labbé

Spokesperson

514 289-5005