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Hydro Power

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medium_hydro.jpgIn its infancy, hydroelectric power in the Eastern Townships was in the hands of a variety of small, local companies. In the years following the First World War, most of these installations fell under the control of either the Southern Canada Power Company or Shawinigan Water and Power, both of which were expanding their respective networks of power lines and stations across the region.

The power station at Burroughs Falls, near Ayer's Cliff, was one of a number of such stations. It was built by the Southern Canada Power Company in 1929, and generated about 1,500 kilowatts of electricity per hour.

Several towns acquired their own hydro power installations -- as did a number of pulp and paper and manufacturing companies (such as Dominion Textile in Magog). In the 1960s, however, hydroelectric power facilities across Quebec were nationalized and placed under the control of Hydro-Québec.

A few towns managed to maintain control of their own existing power companies. The power plant in Coaticook (right), which opened in 1927, and which produced about 1,300 kilowatts of electricity per hour -- enough to supply Coaticook and even export a small surplus to the U.S. -- was one of them. To this day, Hydro-Coaticook provides power to the city of Coaticook.