04/20/2015 07:01 EDT | Updated 07/11/2015 05:59 EDT

Group opposed to Hydro-Québec's plan for new major transmission line

A group is trying to convince Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard that a new Hydro-Québec transmission line is not necessary.

"We figured out the justifications just aren't there," said Pierre Cyr, a member of Citoyens sous haute tension (Citizens under high tension) in Rawdon.

Hydro-Québec wants to create a new $1.3 billion transmission line that would carry energy from Lac-Saint-Jean, in central Quebec, to the Montreal area.

The line would include hundreds of pylons over hundreds of kilometres.

The public utility says that with a 25 per cent increase in demand for power in Montreal, it needs a long-term plan to make sure its system is stable.

Hydro said the new transmission line — Chamachouane-Bout-de-l'Ile — would reduce a funnel effect in the Saguenay region, which has more transmission lines coming from the north compared to lines that move electricity south.

Instead of building a new line, Cyr said Hydro-Québec could update older towers instead.

The BAPE — Quebec's environmental review board — agreed that the public utility should be exploring other options.