The Quebec government announced the province's intention to secure an additional block of 800 MW of wind power capacity.
Wind industry suppliers and developers had been anxiously awaiting the announcement, which many contend will serve as the bridge to Quebec's future energy plans.
This new wind power capacity will be allocated as follows:
- 150 MW for a project currently being developed by the Mi'gmawei Mawiomi in the Gaspesie region;
- 150 MW for projects throughout Quebec, which will be awarded through a call for tenders process;
- 200 MW for Hydro-Quebec Production; and
- 300 MW for wind projects located in the Gaspesie or Bas-Saint-Laurent regions, which will also be awarded through a call for tenders process.
The calls for tenders will target projects developed by local communities and cooperatives in partnership with private developers.
‘The announcement is a positive step forward, but in order to see real concrete economic benefits, these projects will need to be built in the near future,’ said Jean FranÃ§ois Nolet, vice president of policy and government affairs at the Canadian Wind Energy Association. ‘As such, the members of the wind industry must join forces to ensure the additional 800 MW are installed between 2016 and 2017. The wind energy industry will continue to work with the government to achieve that goal."
Although Quebec wind farm construction remains vibrant in the near term, many wind industry advocates were worried that development would come to a screeching halt after 2015, when the last of the wind farms approved under Quebec's third power call become grid connected.
The additional block of wind power should allow Quebec to meet its goal of approximately 4,000 MW of wind power capacity in compliance with its 2006-2015 Energy Strategy.