Renewable energies | Back to basics for Innergex

Hydro-Québec is the main supplier and producer of hydroelectricity in the province, it is well known. But he is not the only actor in his field. Innergex has nearly a hundred dams to its credit, both here and abroad. And for the first time in 14 years, the company will respond to calls for tenders in British Columbia, a sort of “back to basics”.

Founded in 1990, the independent renewable energy producer conducts business in Canada, the United States, France and Chile. With 54% in wind energy, 30% in hydroelectricity and 16% in solar energy, Innergex manages a portfolio of assets made up of 86 operating plants.

“It’s always nice to travel, but it’s also always fun to come back home. We are very proud to be present elsewhere, but there is this feeling of well-being to come back home where we already have all our teams. It’s like going to see your old friends again,” opening image Michel Letellier, president and CEO of Innergex, in a telephone interview.

In Quebec, long-term hydroelectric planning made it possible to become aware of growing energy needs, which caused a chain reaction in the other Canadian provinces. In fact, by 2050, the province’s hydroelectric fleet will have to be doubled, and it will go even further elsewhere in the country, such as in the West or in Ontario.

Just to understand, the energy pie in Quebec is approximately 50-50 between clean electrical energy and the rest is oil, fuel oil, natural gas, petroleum. If we make this projection in British Columbia, it’s just 25% of the energy that is electric, they still have 75% to decarbonize.

Michel Letellier, President and CEO of Innergex

Indigenous partnerships

Among the new developments in the pipeline for the Longueuil company, we also find two wind projects totaling 400 megawatts in the MRC of Lotbinière and Manicouagan, carried out respectively in partnership with the indigenous communities of the Abenaki councils of Odanak and Wôlinak, then the Innu Council of Pessamit.

These two projects are added to a catalog of projects carried out in conjunction with Canadian indigenous communities: power stations in Innavik, Kwoiek Creek, Umbata Falls and Walden North, then wind farms in Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n and in Viger-Denonville.

For Innergex, this is an angle that allows it to differentiate itself from the competition, but also a source of pride coming from relationships established on “respect and transparency”.

“During the construction of major infrastructures in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, society had a less good understanding of how to share the territory and think about sustainable development,” says the CEO.

“When we started, we already had a problem; it’s always been at the forefront of our house. We made a fairly rapid transition between the need for consultation/compensation and the openness to being partners with the communities. We embraced this philosophy. »

Today, the company describes itself as a proactive group that “wants to provide quality electricity at a competitive price while acting as an economic engine on a regional scale”, which is trusted by communities and MRCs. as “an important subcontractor for Hydro-Québec and partner of choice for the First Nations. »


Michel Letellier, President and CEO of Innergex

We think that in the long term, regional participation is the key. We find it normal that citizens have a direct impact on projects carried out on their territory. And I think this must make its way into mines or the forestry industry.

Michel Letellier, President and CEO of Innergex

In the future, as part of the energy transition, he believes that Quebecers will have to “review their relationship with energy”.

“It has always been taken for granted that energy is available instantly. We turn on the switch, there is light. What will be the most difficult to manage is peak demand. Europe, for example, has developed reflexes. We too will have to learn differently. That’s the challenge. »


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