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Quebec government postpones wind power RFP; no new date scheduled

The Quebec government has postponed a request for proposals (RFP) calling for 450 MW of installed wind capacity for eastern Quebec and other parts of the province. A replacement date has not been announced.

The RFP, originally scheduled for Sept. 3, called for 300 MW of wind power to be developed in the Bas-St-Laurent and Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine regions, as well as 150 MW of installed capacity for wind projects across Quebec.

In its December 2013 announcement, Hydro-Quebec Distribution stipulated that prospective bids must include both regional and Quebec content. According to the utility, a minimum of 60% of total project costs must be spent in Quebec, including costs for the installation of wind turbines; and a minimum of 35% of wind turbine costs must be allocated to the regional county municipality of La Matane and the administrative region of Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine.

Jean Francois Nolet, vice president of policy and government affairs at the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), characterizes the delay as temporary, adding that provincial regulator Regie de l’energie has yet to approve the weighting scheme of the RFP.

CanWEA says the RFP is expected to generate investment of more than C$1 billion. Therefore, a rigorous evaluation process must take place, notes the association, adding that the delay also brings with it a silver lining: Quebec wind developers will have sufficient time to finalize their bids.

“We are confident that the tender will be marked with success and allow the construction of wind projects on time,” Nolet says.

The 450 MW wind block is part of the province’s plan to build 800 MW of wind – an amount that is expected to serve as the bridge to Quebec’s energy future.

The remaining portion breaks down as follows:

– 200 MW of wind energy is to be developed by Hydro-Quebec Production; and

– 150 MW of wind energy has been reserved for a Gaspe wind farm with First Nation participation. According to CanWEA, developer Innergex and the Mi’Maq First Nations communities of Gesgapegiag, Gespeg and Listuguj are jointly developing the wind farm, which is expected achieve commercial operation in late 2016.