The board of directors of WaterPower Canada has appointed Carolina Rinfret as the association's new president and chief executive officer. Rinfret assumes this role at a point in time when national and international developments firmly underscore the increasingly vital role of hydroelectricity as a source of clean, secure and affordable energy.
Rinfret brings to her new position close to 20 years of legal, regulatory and government relations experience in hydroelectricity and the broader energy sector. She has expertise and a track record of achievement that equip her well to lead the association, during what will be a period of ongoing growth to enable the energy system transformation.
A lawyer by training and a member of the Barreau du Québec (Québec Bar association), Rinfret began her legal career in private practice. She subsequently spent more than a decade with Hydro-Québec. In appearances on its behalf before the Régie de l'énergie du Québec (energy regulator) she secured approval for investments of more than $2.5 billion for the construction of high-voltage lines and substations connecting both generating stations and the province's first wind farms to its transmission grid.
Rinfret subsequently served as senior legal counsel for TC Energy, responsible for its legal affairs in Québec. She worked closely with its executives on various facets of oil and gas pipeline projects in the province, and secured authorization for construction of a natural gas pipeline extension and compressor stations. Most recently she held a senior legal and regulatory affairs director position with Gazoduq Inc., the proponent of an underground transmission line intended to supply a natural gas liquefaction facility.
At WaterPower Canada she will lead a team tasked with providing advocacy, research and other services, all aimed at maximizing the waterpower industry's contribution to meeting Canada's energy needs and decarbonization objectives.
Waterpower is by far Canada's largest source of renewable and reliable electricity, and a vital element of national energy security. All credible strategies and projections for the transition to a net zero carbon economy are heavily premised on optimizing hydro generation, transmission, and storage capacity – in support of electrification, green hydrogen production, and the balancing of other renewables.
Rinfret assumed her role on May 16, 2022.