The Town of Sutton has been approaching Hydro-Québec for the past two years

On a number of occasions, Mayor Robert Benoît has had the opportunity, at council meetings, to inform citizens of the electricity problems encountered on Sutton territory. At the special meeting held on December 13, he explained the situation. You can listen to the beginning of the last session on You Tube.

There are two types of problem: one concerning the transmission network and the other relating to the electricity distribution network.

The transport network :

  • The Sutton network is at 49 kV. This voltage will no longer exist in Quebec by 2030.
  • It will be replaced by a 120 kV network, which implies a new substation and a new line to provide a larger and safer supply.
  • The replacement is scheduled for the late 2020s, as technical studies must be carried out and several permits obtained.
  • The Town has argued that this timeline should be shortened as much as possible, and Hydro has recently begun corridor studies.
  • In addition, Hydro-Québec has offered the HILO program to install free electronic thermostats in Sutton residences to reduce demand pressure at the transmission substation located in the heart of the village.

The distribution network :

  • After the major blackout we experienced during Christmas week last year, we agreed with Hydro-Québec on measures to reduce the risk of blackouts and improve communication with customers.
  • Unfortunately, we’ve had a series of blackouts recently, particularly in the mountain sector.
  • We have a wooded area of 240 square kilometers with many isolated houses, which increases the risk of branches and trees falling on the power lines, automatically triggering protection mechanisms that cut off power to several arteries.
  • Hydro-Québec recognizes that more tree trimming will be required in the Sutton area, and that budgets have not historically been sufficient to manage these risks.
  • Today, December 18, the Town and the Minister, Isabelle Charest, will meet with Hydro-Québec management to find palliative solutions, if any, to avoid waiting for the vegetation control work that is usually carried out during the summer months.

All over the country, we experience momentary stoppages in the electricity distributed to our homes. This is called flicker. It’s caused by voltage variations on the Hydro-Québec network.

Flickering lights is a complete, momentary power outage, sometimes just for a second or two. Your lights may also flicker a few times before you lose power entirely. Generally, flickering lights occur when there is a fault in our electrical system, such as a tree or branch contacting a power line.

We are served by an aging electrical network that is at the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced.

We will provide the public with more information following our meeting with Hydro-Québec scheduled for December 18.

As you can see, the Town is treating this issue as a priority and proactively, but it is Hydro-Québec’s responsibility to adequately manage these risks that directly affect our quality of life and our economy.