We have contractual commitments stemming from agreements with Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) that provide for the management of this organization’s energy surpluses.
Generally speaking, RTA is a net electricity buyer. Its surpluses are only occasionally sold to us, according to runoff fluctuations. Outside of flood season or periods of heavy runoff, RTA’s generating capacity exceeds its needs, and these surpluses enter Hydro-Québec’s system. The opposite is also true: in low runoff conditions, RTA has an energy deficit and buys electricity from Hydro-Québec in order to meet its needs. In addition, there are power exchanges between our two systems, especially during winter peaks.
Hydro-Québec buys the megawatts produced by RTA at the same price as it sells to RTA. Note also that the rates and conditions offered to aluminum smelters are set by government decrees.