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Quebecers had to drop Volkswagen due to a lack of electricity, says Fitzgibbon

The German company announced Monday that it has chosen St. Thomas, Ontario, to set up its first battery factory outside of Europe. This investment amounts to several billion dollars.

In an interview in economic zone On Tuesday evening, Minister Fitzgibbon made it clear that Quebec could not supply Volkswagen with the 800 to 900 megawatts of power the company would need over the next seven years to power its plant.

If we had electricity, we would be there, but we are not.I confess.

Last spring we could not follow the conditions of the Volkswagen, which required a large land near Montreal, fragmented, and mainly an electrical connection that we did not have. »

Quote from Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister for Economy, Innovation and Energy

timetable violentsays Hydro

Radio-Canada called, and Hydro-Québec confirmed that the giant Volkswagen’s demands were too important to meet the deadline.

The German company in particular wanted to own a huge area of ​​640 hectares, the equivalent of more than 1,400 football fields. In addition, Volkswagen wished for access In the very short term To provide electricity 700 MW in the building.

“There was no potential match based on these different criteria,” Maxence Howard Lefevre, a Hydro-Québec spokesperson, said in an email to Radio-Canada.

In addition, the transmission network had to be upgraded (reconstruction of transmission lines and equipment at substations) to ensure such a high load.

These upgrades could not be implemented in a timely manner due to the promoter’s strict scheduleThe speaker continued.

Despite having to part with Volkswagen, the state-owned company maintains that it still has surpluses in capacity.

We must bear in mind that we currently still have energy surpluses. Our ability to serve customers remains great.

However, as indicated in the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan and its recent supply plan, Hydro-Québec expects significant growth in electricity demand and tighten of its balance sheet over the next few years.

Also contacted by Radio Canada, Volkswagen declined to comment on Minister Fitzgibbon’s remarks.

Attract new players

However, Mr. Fitzgibbon hopes to be able to attract other electric vehicle batteries.

There are other lands we can offer to othersHe reassured the minister, adding that discussions are underway with a specific group, which he did not name.

We lost Volkswagen a year ago because we did not have the required conditions, but we are not giving upsum up.

Why did Volkswagen choose Ontario and not Quebec for its battery factory? Should Canada adopt a green industrial policy like the United States? Interview with Quebec’s Minister of Economy and Energy, Pierre Fitzgibbon.

Even if he did not mention the name of the cellist with whom Quebec was having the debate, the minister announced the next day on Trois-Rivières Always in the morning It is to be announced soon that a “major project” related to the manufacture of battery components will be announced in Becancourt.

Avoid lack of energy

Pierre Fitzgibbon’s admission about Volkswagen comes as Quebec is heading toward a huge energy deficit, which the current government wants to avoid by building new dams.

However, this bill – which has been one of the dominant themes of the 2022 election campaign – is far from unanimous and faces much opposition, both in the National Assembly and among environmental and indigenous groups.

Hydro-Québec President Sophie Brochu, who has made energy efficiency her horse, announced in January that she would leave office on 1 January.any April. His replacement is still unknown.

The Legault government also wants to be able to adjust the preferential rates for Hydro-Québec according to the economic and environmental commitments of the companies that benefit from it. A bill to that effect should also be presented to the National Assembly next autumn by Minister Fitzgibbon.

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