Hydro-Québec: record pruning work in 2024

Hydro-Québec: record pruning work in 2024
Hydro-Québec: record pruning work in 2024

Hydro-Québec will work hard in the coming weeks to carry out pruning work in order to reduce outages.

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More than 900 sectors across Quebec are in the sights of the state corporation. This is an unprecedented effort.

Investments for vegetation control work have doubled in five years, from $62 million in 2018 to $130 million this year.

To achieve its objective of reducing service interruptions by 35% within five to ten years, Hydro-Québec is redoubling its efforts in the field to carry out pruning, trimming and cutting trees.

The regions of Outaouais, Estrie, Capitale-Nationale and Montreal are among the priorities.

“We will release the equivalent of 220,000 litters. A span is the distance between two posts. This is the equivalent of 22,000 kilometers. We must understand that we, every five years, return to each of the places where we carried out work in the past because the trees grow continuously,” explains Hydro-Québec spokesperson Cendrix Bouchard.

A logistics challenge

Work of this magnitude represents a significant logistical challenge, since subcontractors are responsible for the operations.

Labor shortage hits the pruning sector.

“We are confident that we will be able to achieve our objectives this year. It must be said that 2024 will be a record in terms of volume, because we have very good collaboration with subcontractors and because we have found ways to mechanize part of the work,” adds M. . Bouchard.

Solutions to be more efficient

With climate change and the increase in extreme weather events, researchers are looking into solutions to improve pruning practices.

This is the case of Professor Christian Messier’s teams.

“It would be to use artificial intelligence. Use new data or new information obtained from LiDAR data files, a device that sends thousands of laser beams and can detect the exact position of branches in space. With this, we would like to develop an algorithm that would make it possible to better predict which tree or which branch is at risk of falling if we have a wind of a certain power or an ice storm of a certain importance,” explains Christian Messier, professor of forest ecology at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) and at the University of Quebec in Outaouais (UQO).

In the meantime, Hydro-Québec is asking citizens and municipalities for their cooperation in order to authorize teams to carry out pruning work on their property.

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