The Romaine hydroelectric project is a 1.5GW hydropower complex being developed on the Romaine River in Quebec, Canada.

Hydro Quebec, a public utility that manages electricity generation, transmission, and distribution in the Canadian province of Quebec, is the owner and operator of the project.

Involving a total estimated investment of £4.6bn ($6.5bn), the Romaine hydropower complex comprises four hydroelectric power plants namely, Romaine-1 (270MW), Romaine-2 (640MW), Romaine-3 (395MW) and Romaine-4 (245MW).

Construction works on the project were started in May 2009, while the  Romaine-2 plant was commissioned in December 2014, followed by Romaine-1 in November 2015 and Romaine-3 in October 2017.

Construction on Romaine-4 was started in 2016 with commissioning expected in 2021.

Once fully functional, the Romaine hydroelectric power complex is expected to generate up to 8 TWh of electricity annually to power approximately 470,000 households in Quebec.

Location and site details 

The Romaine hydroelectric power complex is located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence to the north of Havre-Saint-Pierre municipality, in northern Quebec, Canada.

The four power plant sites on the Romaine River are located respectively at 37km, 68km, and 34km distances from each other.

The Romaine hydroelectric power complex is accessible by a 150km paved road connecting the coastal Highway-138.

Romaine hydroelectric facility make-up

Each of the four run-of-the-river power plants of the Romaine hydroelectric power complex consists of a rock-fill dam, and a powerhouse equipped with two Francis turbine units.

The Romaine-1 plant comprises of a 37.6m-tall dam that creates a 12.6km2 storage area, and two 135MW Francis turbine units operating with 485m3/s design flow at a net head of 62m.

The Romaine-2 power station involves a 121m-tall dam with 85.8km2  storage area, and two 320MW Francis turbine units operating with 453m3/s of design flow at a net head of 158m.

The Romaine-3 facility comprises a 92m-tall dam with 38.6km2 storage area and a powerhouse equipped with two 200MW Francis turbine units operating with  372m3/s design discharge at a net head of 119m.

The Romaine-4 power station, which is currently under construction, will include an 87.3m-high dam with 142.2km2 reservoir area, and a powerhouse equipped with two 123MW   Francis turbine units operating with 307m3/s design flow at a net head of 88m.

The total reservoir area of the four stations of the Romaine complex is estimated to be 279km2.

Power evacuation

The electricity generated by the Romaine power stations is evacuated into the grid via an onsite substation for each facility through 28km of 315kV transmission lines and 470km of 735kV transmission lines.

Contractors involved

Alstom (now GE) supplied the Francis turbine and generator sets for the Romaine-2 and the Romaine-3 facilities under two separate contracts worth £46m ($70m) and £59m ($90m) awarded in March 2010 and July 2013, respectively.

Voith supplied two 135MW Francis turbine-generator sets for the Romaine-1 hydroelectric power station.

AECOM was engaged to provide detailed engineering and technical support services for the four power stations of the Romaine hydroelectric complex.

The other contractors involved in the project include Pomerleau and EBC, while CRH supplied cement for the concrete works for the project.