A new milestone has been reached by Quebec’s public utility company, Hydro-Quebec. The corporation has unveiled the addition of two new solar power generating stations to its grid.
It’s the first time the public utility company is using solar panels to provide electricity to its clients.
And one, the solar power generating station in La Prairie, is named after Gabrielle Bodis, the first female engineering graduate from l’École Polytechnique and the first engineer to work at Hydro-Quebec in a male-dominated industry.
“She was a real trailblazer. And frankly this is very emotional for me personally and the whole team of Hydro-Quebec,” Sophie Brochu, Hydro-Quebec’s CEO said at a Monday morning press conference.
The naming of the station deeply touched Bodis’s goddaughter.
“I was a bit teary when this whole thing happened. She was a very special person to me but I didn’t realize how special she was to everybody,” Victoria Naday told Global News.
The two stations use bifacial panels, allowing the energy to be captured on both sides of the panels. The back side of the solar panels will capture light from the sun’s reflection off the snow during the winter.
“Bifacial panels bring us between five to twenty per cent more energy,” Francis Labbé, a spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec, told Global News.
The stations are capable of producing almost 16 gigawatt hours of solar power annually, the equivalent consumption of 1,000 residential customers.