Quebec announces new tender for 1,500 MW of wind power
< p class="sc-v64krj-0 dlqbmr">Quebec has more than 40 wind farms, representing nearly 4000 MW of wind energy. (File photo)
Quebec is setting the stage to satisfy the appetite for kilowatts from residential, industrial, institutional and commercial consumers.
Barely 24 hours after Hydro-Québec announced seven projects selected, most of them wind power, for the production of 1,300 megawatts, the Minister of Economy and x27;Énergie, Pierre Fitzgibbon, announced on Thursday a new call for tenders from Hydro-Québec for an additional 1,500 megawatts of wind power.
Addressing the participants of a forum organized by the Association de l'electrical industry of Quebec, Mr. Fitzgibbon specified that the need for electricity in Quebec is pressing and that the projects in this new call for tenders will all be located in areas where the public corporation's electricity transmission network is accessible.
Energy , which must be available between December 1, 2027 and December 1, 2029, will result in a capacity of approximately 4.7 TWh by 2029.
In a press scrum afterwards, Mr. Fitzgibbon clarified that the proximity required aims to go to the most urgent, which cannot be done in the vast northern territories: I was in Inuit territory the last week. It's windy, but the transmission lines need to be increased.
With Hydro-Quebec, we are looking at two things: what projects can we do quickly to connect them to the network – what we have seen today and there will be more others – but on top of that, you have to go to the more distant territory and work on the transmission lines […] We are looking at where we can put wind turbines with a lot of wind and how we are going to connect them, which will require investment. We will have to work on transmission line projects, he acknowledged.
Pierre Fitzgibbon reminded his audience and later repeated in the press scrum that the era of surpluses is over and that demand growth is inevitable in a context of electrification, energy transition and decarbonization of the economy.
Mr. Fitzgibbon did not fail to point out that the figure of 23,000 MW of requests from large industry represents too big a chunk for Hydro-Québec.
“Right now we don't have that ability, so you have to choose. When we talk about, for example, big industrial projects, I talk to all the players and tell them that it's not available now, but it will be one day. »
— Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Energy
The government's short-term objective is to double the installed wind capacity in Quebec. More than 40 wind farms, representing nearly 4,000 MW of wind energy, are currently in service in Quebec. This objective, however, is much more ambitious in the long term and aims to quadruple this power within 15 years.
Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon (File photo)
According to Pierre Fitzgibbon, social acceptability should be there, since he intends to benefit Quebec and the participating communities to the fullest. Thus, new projects must be carried out with approximately 50% local participation and Quebec content must reach approximately 60% of overall expenditures.
It will also be imperative to develop these projects in agreement and with the participation of Aboriginal communities.
Hydro-Québec intends to increase its capacity through three areas: first, investments in energy technologies such as wind, solar, green hydrogen and renewable natural gas. Second, by upgrading the turbines in its dams to increase their production, and third, through energy savings.
The least expensive kilowatt-hour is the one we save, said the minister. He subsequently recognized in the scrum of the press that one of the major sources of waste and one of the most interesting potential savings is on the side of the improvement of the thermal envelope of the many old houses in Quebec, in the residential sector.
Asked about the possibility of significantly supporting the owners of old houses, who, even if work is subsidized at 20, 30 or even 50 %, often cannot afford the rest of the huge bill for new windows and envelope insulation, Pierre Fitzgibbon suggested that this kind of x27;approach was already in the cards.
I think we will have no choice but to do it […] that we have to do it. I don't have the programs and I think Hydro-Québec is also looking into this, but we have to start there.