Renewable energy accounts for two-thirds of Canada’s power generation largely due to its significant hydropower resources, which make it the third largest producer of hydropower in the world in 2018.
During 2018, work progressed on four major hydropower projects under construction across four provinces. In British Columbia, BC Hydro’s 1,100 MW Site C project on the Peace River, commenced construction in July 2015 and is anticipated to be completed by 2024. The project will generate about 5,300 GWh per year.
In Labrador, the 824 MW Muskrat Falls project on the Lower Churchill River was expected to go into service in 2019, generating about 4,900 GWh.
In Manitoba, the Keeyask Hydropower Limited Partnership, a partnership between Manitoba Hydro and four Manitoba First Nations, is developing the 695 MW Keeyask project on the Nelson River within the ancestral homeland of all four partner First Nations; construction commenced in July 2014, with completion scheduled for 2021, generating about 4,400 GWh.
Work continues on Hydro-Québec’s La Romaine 4 hydropower project, scheduled to go into service in 2021 at a capacity of 245 MW. La Romaine 4 is the final stage of the 1,550 MW La Romaine complex, which will generate 8,000 GWh. Romaine 3 was commissioned in late 2017, adding 395 MW.
Other hydropower projects completed or under construction in 2018 include BC Hydro’s John Hart redevelopment project, uprated from its original installed capacity of 126 MW to 132 MW at a cost of approximately CAD 1.1 billion. The project featured several unique improvements including a new underground powerhouse.
The Nicknaqueet 350 KW hydro-diesel hybrid went into service in early 2018 in BC’s Central Coast region, and is expected to replace 92 per cent of existing diesel generation for the community. Elsewhere in the province, work continues on the Narrows Inlet 33 MW project, developed in a partnership between the Shíshálh Nation and BluEarth Renewables, which is expected to be fully commissioned in 2019.
The 16 MW Yellow Falls project developed by Boralex on the Mattagami River in Ontario will be commissioned in mid-2019. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) also announced its issue of CAD 450 million of green bonds, used to partially fund the development of a 28 MW hydropower project and the expansion of an existing project.
Alberta’s legislature approved the construction of the proposed Canyon Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Project. The project will have a storage capacity of 75 MW for 37 hours of full-capacity operation.
Work continues to advance major new interconnections between Canada and the United States. Bipole III, Manitoba Hydro’s new 500 kV HVDC transmission project was commissioned in July 2018 after five years of construction. In addition, the National Energy Board issued its decision approving the Manitoba Hydro – Manitoba-Minnesota Transmission Project subject to a number of conditions.
In Quebec and New England (USA), work is underway to advance the proposed des Appalaches-Maine interconnection with the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) transmission project through Maine.
In January 2019, Canada joined other countries in becoming a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
This country profile is featured in the 2019 Hydropower Status Report. Download the report: hydropower.org/statusreport
This profile was last updated in May 2019.