June 16, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Hydro-Québec regulates wind energy development

Hydro-Québec regulates wind energy development

Hydro-Québec decided to regain control of wind power development, until now entrusted to private developers.


The goal is to develop larger and more cost-effective projects to meet Quebec's growing energy needs. “We can no longer develop small projects here and there as we have been doing,” explained Hydro-Québec's CEO Michael Sabia at a press meet.

This is a major change for Hydro-Québec, leaving less room for private wind developers and sparking more opposition in the communities where they want to set up. The state corporation intends to plan wind development, reach agreements with municipalities and First Nations communities, and be the project manager and stakeholder of future projects.

Photo by Robert Skinner, Pres

“We can no longer develop small projects here and there as we have been doing,” explained Hydro-Québec's CEO Michael Sabia at a press meet.

These projects are large in size of 1000 MW and above and are located far from populated areas. The cost of these wind supplies should be lower for Hydro-Québec, compared to the current model of calls for tenders, Michael Sabia suggested. Estimated economies are on the order of 20%, at least, according to him, which will reduce pressure on electricity prices.

Hydro-Québec's goal is also to move faster by becoming a “locomotive” for wind power. The state company wants to add 10,000 megawatts of wind power over ten years, but Quebec has taken twenty years to develop only 4,000 megawatts.

“The status quo is not going to work for the future,” according to Michael Sabia, who said he's already heard Quebecers' displeasure about wind development. He believes Hydro-Québec is in a better position than private developers to secure social acceptance and community participation in future developments.

“Small wind farms left and right won't give us a robust energy system in ten years.”

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