“Impossible” for Hydro-Québec to consolidate network data within a year

(Montreal) Hydro-Québec will not be able to consolidate all the data on its network within a year, an element which could prove crucial in its objective of reducing the number of outages.

“We have 260,000 kilometers of network, we have more than 4 million pieces of equipment on the distribution network,” underlines its head of operations and infrastructure, Claudine Bouchard, in a parliamentary committee in Quebec on Tuesday. It’s impossible that in one year we have updated the inventory of all that. »

The Auditor General, Guylaine Leclerc, noted that the reliability of the Hydro-Québec network left something to be desired, in a report published in December 2022. She highlighted that the number of outages and their duration had increased from 2012 to 2021.

At that time, Hydro-Québec accepted the conclusions of the report and said it was working to correct the deficiencies observed.

The auditor noted in particular deficiencies in the reliability of the state corporation’s data. These gaps could lead to productivity losses in network maintenance, such as a team traveling to carry out work that has already been done.

In parliamentary committee, Mme Bouchard was questioned for around ten minutes by Liberal MP Marwah Rizqy, who asked her pointed questions about the auditor’s findings on data gaps.

The consolidation of this database will be done in a “gradual” manner, the manager replied to the MP. “We’re going to inspect lines, we’re going to inspect poles. As we carry out this inspection, this information will be available in the system. »

“Until recently,” four divisions of Hydro-Québec had their own data collection and asset management system. “We start from several systems independent of each other towards a global vision of asset management,” explained M.me Bouchard.

Even with an imperfect base, Hydro-Québec manages to fill certain gaps with artificial intelligence. “We are able to use data that is incomplete, which is not always 100% reliable, but with meter data, we are able to cross-reference information. »

Hydro-Québec had already announced, in November, that it planned to invest between 45 billion and 50 billion by 2035 to improve the reliability of its network, as part of its 2035 action plan. This represents annual expenditure of between 4 billion and 5 billion, almost double the amounts spent in recent years.

The state-owned company has set itself the objective of reducing the number of breakdowns by 35% within 7 to 10 years in a context where extreme weather events are increasing.

Mme Bouchard says the state-owned company is seeing progress in the first months of 2024. “Since the start of the year, we have seen a 50% drop in the average duration of outages during major weather events. . »

The Info-pannes site now provides an estimate of the service restoration time, which allows customers to obtain “better visibility” on the time they will be without electricity. “Not only have we introduced these recovery times, but we respect them by almost 70%,” she emphasizes.

reference: www.lapresse.ca

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