Montréal, July 11, 2022

Press Release

New York City high school students travel north to experience Québec hydropower, university life and Mohawk community

The Champlain Hudson Power Express’s clean energy supplier, Hydro-Québec, hosted a group of young students from Queens, New York, in Montréal last month for a tour of two of its facilities, i.e., a hydropower generating station and a research center, as well as a visit to a local university and the Mohawk community of Kahnawà:ke. The students are taking part in the College Access Program managed by Urban Upbound, a New York non-profit organization that works to provide underserved youth with resources to achieve economic prosperity and self-sufficiency. 

Experiencing Québec hydropower and innovation

This unique program, the first collaboration between Hydro-Québec and Urban Upbound, allowed young people from Queens to experience first-hand the renewable energy source that will help power their neighborhoods. As part of this innovative trip, the group visited one of the largest hydroelectric facilities in the world, Hydro-Québec’s Beauharnois generating station, which extends over the Beauharnois canal for about half a mile. It is one of Hydro-Québec’s longest-running facilities—and one of its most powerful. Equipped with 36 generating units, it has an installed capacity of over 1,900 megawatts (MW).

The students also visited Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ, which is at the origin of key innovation projects that have shaped the path for modernization, electrification and advancement in the clean economy not only in Québec, but also around the world. IREQ’s technical breakthroughs including innovations like the in-wheel motor that allowed the development of TM4; today Dana TM4 manufactures electric motors that power electric buses across the globe. IREQ has a team of 500 experts who work on all aspects of Hydro-Québec’s activities, from electricity generation to consumption.

Tekwanonwerá:tons Kahnawà:ke [Welcome to Kahnawà:ke]

Ratsénhaienhs (Chief) Mike Delisle, Jr. welcomed the young students to Kahnawà:ke, one of the Mohawk Nation’s eight communities and future co-owner of the Hertel–New York line that will extend the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) into Québec. The community of Kahnawà:ke is situated along the southern shore of the Fleuve Saint-Laurent (St. Lawrence River), across from the city of Montréal. During the 20th century, the Mohawks of Kahnawà:ke helped construct New York City’s most iconic buildings and bridges, thanks to their skilled ironworkers. They were so numerous and worked so often in New York City that there was a neighborhood in Brooklyn named ‘Little Caughnawaga,’ where many of them lived.

"It is always a pleasure to host people in our community to share our history and culture,” said Chief Mike Delisle, Jr. However, this visit was special, as the students and their teachers are part of a community in Queens, New York, which will be the recipient of the clean energy we and our partner Hydro-Québec will be providing to New York City, part of our traditional homeland."

An insight into university life

The visit of the HEC Montréal campus was an opportunity for the group to interact with students and faculty, experience university life, and spend time engaging in academic discussions about business and innovation.

“It was a pleasure to engage with such motivated young students and reflect upon key issues of the sociopolitical and business landscape,” stated Pierre-Emmanuel Cardinal, Director – Campus Without Borders, HEC Montréal.  

Broadening horizons – Environmental justice and our clean energy future

Living in Queens, a community on the front lines of climate change impacts and where local air pollution levels are among the worst in New York State as a result of nearby fossil fuel power plants, the students were able to learn about the health and environmental benefits of the renewable hydropower the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) will deliver to their community.

As part of its commitment to promote environmental justice and invest in the economic development of disadvantaged communities, Hydro-Québec is pleased to have created an innovative program of visits that will encourage young generations to broaden their horizons while providing them with opportunities to reflect on the best ways forward in our collective transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.

“We are so grateful to Hydro-Québec for hosting the Urban Upbound College Access students,” declared Bishop Mitchell G. Taylor, CEO & Co-Founder of Urban Upbound. “Thank you for your excellent hospitality and for providing a rich opportunity for inner-city youth to see the renaissance of clean, renewable energy. These are the collaborations that change our world for the better.”

“Coming to Montréal has been eye opening and a gift,” added Jennifer Chen, a participant in the Urban Upbound College Access Program. “Whether it stems from politics or from a clean energy initiative, it expanded my perspective of the world around me knowing that other countries are working on things like clean and efficient energy services such as those offered by Hydro-Québec. Visiting HEC Montréal and having the privilege to hear inspiring ideas opens up the possibility for a brighter future for our current world. I’m very thankful that I had the opportunity to visit and learn such fascinating things in Montréal.”

  • The group visited one of the largest hydroelectric plants in the world, Hydro-Québec’s Beauharnois generating station.

  • Ratsénhaienhs (Chief) Mike Delisle, Jr. welcomed the young students to Kahnawà:ke.

  • The group engaged in inspiring conversations while visiting the HEC Montréal campus. ©HEC Montréal

About Urban Upbound

Urban Upbound’s mission is to break cycles of poverty in New York City public housing and other low-income neighborhoods. Originally known as East River Development Alliance (ERDA), Urban Upbound was co-founded in 2004 by Debra-Ellen Glickstein, a strong advocate of economic inclusion, and Bishop Mitchell Taylor, a lifelong resident of Queensbridge Houses, with the intention to develop high-quality services that address resident-identified needs. Since then, the organization has grown to serve thousands of youths and adults living in public housing and other low- and moderate-income neighborhoods annually.

About the Champlain Hudson Power Express

The CHPE project involves the construction of an entirely underground and underwater transmission line spanning approximately 339 miles between the Canada–U.S. border and New York City. Once built, CHPE will deliver clean hydropower from Québec. The permitted CHPE is estimated to create more than 1,400 jobs during construction, with a commitment to use union labor. In order to source the CHPE, Hydro-Québec will expand its transmission grid in Québec, from the Hertel substation to the Québec–New York border. 


Lynn St-Laurent, porte-parole d’Hydro-Québec
514 358-5218 / 514 289-5005
st-laurent.lynn@hydroquebec.comCe lien ouvrira une nouvelle fenêtre

Top of page