A winning strategy for Quebec and its regions
Quebec ranks second for installed wind energy capacity among Canadian provinces, with 3,262 MW of generation producing enough electricity to power more than 600,000 homes. Its wind generating fleet includes the 350 MW Rivière-du-Moulin Wind Farm, the largest project built in Canada so far.
Soon to meet its long-held target of installing 4,000 MW of wind energy to its electricity supply, the Quebec government is turning its attention to the strategic role wind can play in the fight against climate change, as well as accelerate the shift to a clean energy economy.
Quebec has adopted a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 37.5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030. Their new 2030 energy policy aims to increase renewable generation by 25 per cent and decrease fossil fuel use by 40 per cent over the next 15 years. The strategy also recognizes the opportunity to export wind energy and use wind to displace oil and diesel in off-grid communities.
The next step is a detailed 5-year implementation plan, which the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) believes should include specific wind energy targets taking immediate steps to take advantage of export opportunities.
A wind-hydro bundled product represents a significant economic opportunity for Quebec.
States in the U.S. northeast facing strict carbon emission caps and the retirement of aging generating facilities are increasingly seeingclean power imports from Canada as a reliable and cost-effective solution. Large hydro alone, however, does not always meet their requirements, nor does it allow Hydro-Québec to qualify for potentially lucrative renewable energy credits in many markets.
Because wind energy can be deployed quickly and built at low costs, it is a natural source of new generation to meet new export demand.
Quebec’s abundant wind resources, and its strong complementary relationship with hydro, are not just a competitive advantage for the province; they are also the basis for an industry that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars to the province’s GDP every year. Quebec’s wind energy initiatives have spurred the creation of 5,000 full-time jobs in the province, many at manufacturing facilities in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region and the RCM of La Matanie and close to 1,000 in Montreal. Many Quebec, Canadian and international companies have established offices in the city, from which they manage their activities in the province and in markets beyond its borders.
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
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