In the ongoing “Voices of Hydro” series published by the International Hydropower Association, industry leaders offer perspectives on the opportunities and challenges within the hydropower sector and detail the steps their organizations are taking to advance sustainability.

Lynn St-Laurent, Senior Communications Advisor at Hydro-Québec, recently engaged in conversation, highlighting efforts within Hydro-Québec to enhance energy efficiency and foster collaboration with indigenous Cree communities, particularly regarding the gold-certified Eastmain-1 Development.

Discussing the challenges facing hydropower in Canada, St-Laurent emphasized the imperative of transitioning to clean electricity to decarbonize the economy. She underscored the escalating demand for clean energy from industries and the necessity of expanding renewable energy capacity to meet this demand. St-Laurent outlined Hydro-Québec’s commitment to adding between 150 and 200 TWh of new clean energy by 2050, identifying energy efficiency as a pivotal strategy in achieving this goal. Furthermore, she highlighted plans to triple wind power in Québec, enhance existing facilities through refurbishment, and leverage hydropower’s flexibility and storage capabilities to complement other renewable resources.

Regarding sustainability through community partnerships, St-Laurent emphasized Hydro-Québec’s adherence to best Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices and its endorsement of the Hydropower Sustainability Standard. She celebrated the gold certification achieved by the Eastmain-1 Development, attributing it to rigorous planning and collaboration with Cree communities. St-Laurent detailed measures implemented to mitigate ecological impacts, including the construction of weirs and low dams to preserve habitat and spawning grounds vital to Cree livelihoods. She highlighted the crucial role of local community involvement in project design and underscored the importance of credible sustainability standards in inspiring confidence.

For further insights, please see Lynn St-Laurent’s interview, available online here.