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The rules governing the development of hydroelectric power stations require that private developers prove the economical and technical viability for the contemplated term (25 years) of the project they are submitting. Each promoter must justify the profitability of a project, factoring in the purchase price established by Hydro-Quebec. The Crown corporation purchases only competitively priced power, so that it may then commercialize it with a reasonable profit. Thus, promoters compete with each other when bidding on such projects.

Another interesting aspect of hydroelectric power stations is that they help Hydro-Quebec conserve water in its own basins. Small station turbines are continually in operation, yielding a constant charge, which allows water to accumulate in the large basins that feed Hydro-Quebec’s larger power stations. As a result, power produced by small hydroelectric power stations can be sold by the Crown corporation on other markets, such as the North-Eastern US, for instance. Water maintained in the large basins is used to produce power at peak demand in the United States, when the prices are at their highest.

Building and operating hydroelectric power stations also helps maintain and even improve Quebec’s expertise in hydropower. It ensures the evolution and improvement of construction and operation techniques, which increase the efficiency of this renewable source of energy.
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