What are the advantages of small hydro dams?
The construction and operation of a hydroelectric power station provides revenues in the form of taxes, income taxes and royalties. As an example and depending on commercial agreements, local communities who partner in such projects may benefit through profit sharing. The Chutes-de-la-Chaudière regional park, for instance, receives almost $100,000 a year from the station operator. Most of these funds are used to maintain the park.
In Quebec, the rules governing hydropower development favour partnership with local communities at political, economic and social levels. Partnership has been promoted over the years and is a key concept in regional development.
There are 13 jobs created for every million dollars invested in the construction of a hydropower project. Each megawatt of installed capacity requires an investment of approximately $2.5 million (a 10 MW hydroelectric power station requires investments in the area of $25 million). Once the plant is completed, 2.5 jobs are created on average in order to operate and maintain it. The site continues to generate income for its operator and provides additional revenue to Hydro-Quebec.
Participation of privately owned businesses
Privately owned businesses act as main developers for small hydroelectric projects. They invest on the basis of a 25 year term with Hydro-Quebec, usually renewable for an equivalent period. Competition between these developers has also provided Quebec with efficient and profitable operations.