Housed within alstom’s existing North American hydro headquarters, manufacturing and engineering facility in the Canadian town of Sorel-Tracy, this new centre will serve as the company’s global hub for innovation in hydro retrofit processes and technology.
The Sorel-Tracy GTC houses a team of Alstom research experts and engineers working with industry and academic partners to study improvements in retrofit techniques that can significantly improve plant performance, availability and reliability without increasing overall plant size or environmental impact.
“Many Alstom customers in North America and Europe own hydro facilities that have been operating continuously for 30 years or more, such as some of those in the territory of James Bay,” said Maryse François-Xausa, Alstom’s Vice President for Global Hydro R&D and Product Management. “These plants are a source of clean, reliable energy, but many need to be retrofitted and are opportunities for increases in efficiency/capacity. This new GTC is here to ensure those plants continue operating smoothly while making the largest possible contribution to a balanced portfolio of low and no-carbon energy sources.”
The formal inauguration ceremony was followed by a tour of the GTC where local and provincially elected officials, Alstom customers, academic partners such as École de technologie supérieure, Institut de recherche d’Hydro-Québec, Aerospace Manufacturing Technology Centre of the NRC Institute for Aerospace Research and École Polytechnique, and members of the community, were shown how staff will use state-of-the-art technology to model and test new retrofit processes. The program also included visits to Alstom’s mechanical and electrical fabrication facilities where visitors saw how the solutions developed in the GTC are then applied to manufacturing processes to meet customers’ particular demands and changing operating conditions.