Hydro-Québec affiliate signs wind power purchase deals totalling 990 MW
Hydro-Québec Distribution has signed eight contracts with Cartier Wind Energy and Northland Power for the purchase of a total of 990 megawatts (MW) of wind-generated electricity. The contracts run for 20 years, with the wind farms slated to deliver their first megawatts at staged intervals between 2006 and 2012. All contracts are subject to approval by the Quebec Energy Board (RÈgie de l'Ènergie).
The wind farms' guaranteed average capacity factor is 36.6%, which corresponds to an annual energy volume of 3.2 terawatt-hours (TWh), equivalent to the consumption of nearly 200,000 average residential customers. The average cost of this supply is 7.8 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), or 6.5 cents/kWh for the power and 1.3 cents/kWh for integration into the transmission system before the cost of the balancing--required to offset the intermittent nature of wind power--is taken into account.
Assembly of the nacelles and manufacture of the towers and blades for the wind turbines will take place in the GaspÈ region and the RCM of Matane. As specified in the call for tenders, depending on the year in which the megawatts are delivered, 40% to 60% of the expenditures and investments related to the projects will have to be made in these regions. These projects will ultimately generate regional investments estimated at $1.9 billion.
The projects to be carried out by Cartier Wind Energy will account for 740 MW of the total, making it the largest wind energy producer in the province of Quebec. The assets related to the wind power projects are indirectly co-owned by TransCanada Corporation (62%) and Innergex II Income Fund (38%). Cartier's projects represent an investment of more than $1.1 billion and include: Anse ¿ Valleau (100.5 MW) and Baie des Sables (109.5 MW), both starting up in 2006; Carleton (109.5 MW), starting up in 2008; Les MÈchins (150 MW), starting up in 2009; Montagne-SËche (58.5 MW), starting up in 2011; and Gros-Morne phase I (100.5 MW), starting up in 2011, and phase II (111 MW), starting up in 2012.
The projects' total annual production will represent 2.3 terawatt-hours (TWh), the energy required to meet the electricity needs of about 150,000 households in the province of Quebec. Cartier Wind Energy has already begun the environmental permitting process for the 2006 projects in close collaboration with local communities and suppliers, and has received a positive response from the regional population following the introduction of the projects.
Northland Power will be responsible for the remaining 250.5 MW of wind power, with projects starting up in 2007 in St-Ulric/St-LÈandre (150 MW) and in 2010 in Mont-Louis (100.5 MW). Northland manages and operates power plants in Ontario and has established a leadership role in using renewable fuel sources for energy production at its Cochrane and Kirkland Lake plants. The company is also involved in projects using other sources of renewable energy such as biomass and landfill gas. The contracts with Hydro-QuÈbec Distribution reflect Northland's commitment to developing wind power as a safe, environmentally and economically sound alternative to other forms of generation.
More information is available from Michel Letellier, vice-president of Cartier Wind Energy, 450/928-2550, ext. 227, E-mail email@example.com.