July 18, 2005

Quebec authorizes call for tenders for 2,000 MW of wind power

The Quebec government has authorized Hydro-Quebec to issue a call for tenders for 2,000 more megawatts (MW) of wind energy, to be located primarily in the Gaspésie and ¿les-de-la-Madeleine regions. This follows the original call seeking 1,000 MW. As a result of the new call for tenders, the amount of wind power contracted by Hydro-Québec is forecast to reach 3,500 MW by the end of 2013, representing more than 7% of currently installed wind power generation worldwide. To support the growth of wind power in Quebec, corporation says it intends to become a world leader in bringing wind power onto a large power grid while maintaining quality and reliability. "This is a major technical and operational challenge that we're prepared to meet," said president and CEO Thierry Vandal.

Meanwhile, detailed inventory studies recently released by Natural Resources and Wildlife Minister Pierre Corbeil estimate Quebec's potential wind power capacity at 3.9 million MW. More than 85% of this capacity is located in the northern Quebec region.

In addition to maps illustrating optimum zones for exploiting wind power, the inventory includes a study of Hydro-Quebec's capacity to integrate wind power into its distribution network. This capacity, estimated at 3,600 MW in 2004, could reach 4,000 MW by 2015.

A second study provides a financial analysis of the production costs associated with wind-generated electricity, based on wind farms from 50 to 150 MW in size. The inventory studies and maps may be viewed on-line at www.mrnf.gouv.qc.ca/energie/index.jsp.

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