The development of wind power: a winning strategy for Quebec and its regions

Quebec ranks second among Canadian provinces in terms of wind power installed, with 3,262 MW—producing enough electricity to power over 600,000 Quebec homes.

This clean and affordable form of energy is also creating some 5,000 full-time jobs in Quebec as well as important spinoffs in host communities. Two places at the heart of this development, the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region and the RCM of La Matanie, have seen major investments, notably the opening of manufacturing facilities.

The impacts of wind energy development are also evident in Montreal. Companies from both Quebec  and abroad, service providers, parts manufacturers, project developers and other parties have set up offices in Montréal and are developing their activities for Quebec and markets beyond its borders.

Quebec is also home to the largest multi-phase project commissioned in Canada to date – the 350 MW wind farm in Riviere du Moulin. The first phase with 150 MW was commissioned in 2014 and the remaining 200 MW was commissioned in 2015.

Quebec’s abundant renewable energy resources give the province a competitive advantage, and wind energy complements hydroelectricity better than any other form. It diversifies Quebec’s energy portfolio, while having very little environmental impact.

In May 2013, the Quebec premier announced a further 800 MW through three contracting processes including 450 MW allocated through requests for proposals (announced in December 2013).

Wind energy in Quebec has been developed as part of the Quebec government’s 2006–2015 energy strategy, the goal of which is to install 4,000 MW of wind energy capacity in the province by 2015. This objective should be reached in 2018 with the finalization of the projects totalling 800 MW announced in May 2013.

The Quebec government’s 2030 energy policy sets an objective to increase its total renewable energy production by 25 per cent. Quebec’s wind industry is offering the government its full cooperation for implementing its energy policy to achieve its objectives for developments destined for the Quebec market as well as those intended for export. This is in keeping with the vision of developing the sector, creating wealth and attracting investment in Montréal, Gaspésie and across all of Quebec.

Wind by the numbers in Quebec (December 2015)

Number of Installations:                             42
Number of Wind Turbines:                        1,786
Total Installed Capacity (MW):                  3,262
Average Turbine Capacity (MW):              1.83

Additional Resources

CanWEA offers additional technical information and full reports to its members. Visit the members only website and browse through CanWEA’s extensive Resource Library today. Not a member? To learn more visit CanWEA’s membership page or email

CanWEA’s submission to the consultation on Bill 106 on the implementation of the 2030 energy policy: Quebec’s wind industry is committed to helping the government achieve the objectives of the 2030 energy policy. The government’s vision for the inclusion of wind power among Quebec’s electricity exports, as expressed in the 2030 energy policy, would diversify the product offered to neighbouring jurisdictions in search of a Class 1 Clean Energy source to reach their own objectives. Further, the objectives of the 2030 energy policy mean that new quantities of renewable energy must be commissioned by 2030. CanWEA recommends that the 2030 objectives be taken into consideration in the planning of new supplies, ensuring an orderly deployment in order to maximize investments and spinoff benefits.

Please click here to read the executive summary

Please click here to read the submission (document available in French only).

Estimate of the number of wind industry jobs in the Montréal area: While the wind industry is well established in Quebec, it thrives in the greater Montréal area. In spring 2015, the firm Aviséo Conseil completed a study that determined that the wind industry provides nearly 1,000 jobs in Montréal, with an average salary that advantageously compares to those of other major industries in the city. Montréal receives numerous wind industry-related investments and in recent years has become one of the industry’s largest hubs in North America.

Click here to download the report (document available in French only).

2016-2025 Quebec Energy Policy Open Letter: CanWEA participated in a government-industry working group on the future of wind energy in Quebec. As part of this process CanWEA attended a round table discussion on renewable energy held on March 30, 2015. CanWEA has subsequently filed an open letter proposing an update to its brief and recommendations made in 2013.

Please click here to view CanWEA’s updated recommendations – La filière éolienne : partenaire du futur énergétique du Québec (document available in French only).

Submission to the Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques du Québec CanWEA presented its vision to the Commission sur les enjeux énergétiques and recommended that the province continues to develop wind energy and install up to 500 MW each year between 2018 and 2025.

Click here to download the summary.

WindVision 2025: A Strategy for Quebec
In its long-term strategic vision, CanWEA proposes to add 8,000 MW of wind energy capacity at the rate of 800 MW per year between 2016 and 2025, increasing the wind energy proportion of Quebec’s overall energy portfolio to 20 per cent.

Report on the economic impacts of wind energy in Quebec, March 2013 (document available in French only)

Report on new markets for wind energy in Quebec, August 2013 (document available in French only)

2012 Opinion Survey about wind energy in Quebec CanWEA commissioned Léger Marketing to conduct a poll in Quebec to evaluate the public’s opinions with respect to wind energy development in the province.

2010 Poll measures Quebecers’ attitude toward wind energy The survey, conducted by Léger marketing, found that 75 per cent of Quebec residents would like to see the province continue to develop wind energy.

Economic Benefits of the Wind Energy Sector in Quebec (2005-2025)

Economic Impact – Fact Sheet

Executive Summary: Economic Benefits of the Wind Energy Sector in Quebec (document available in French only)

2025 Wind Energy Prospect – Technical opinion on the integration of an additional 8,000 MW of wind energy to the Hydro-Québec grid 

Introduction and main conclusions in English

Community Engagement and Public Consultation

Effective and meaningful community engagement is fundamental to the success of a wind energy project and ultimately to the success of the industry nationally.

CanWEA’s Best Practices in Community Engagement and Public Consultation guide has been designed to support wind energy project developers in continuously improving their work with local communities while ensuring that they meet and strive to exceed provincial requirements for public consultation.

Useful Links

Ministère des Ressources naturelles du Québec
TechnoCentre éolien