Aeolian energy on the forefront

Aeolian energy on the forefront

Energy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon shelved Hydro-Quebec’s planned call for tenders for 2,300 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy and demanded a new call for tenders — this one for 4,000 MW — that will come from 100% wind turbines.

During a time when Park-Extension residents burn through extra kilowatts of energy to keep warm, Hydro-Québec’s needs are increasing. 

The government wants to “optimize” the sites for the installation of wind farms, both for efficiency and for social acceptability.  

“We want to give clear information to the industry, in relation to their capacities and according to the zones on the map of the Hydro-Québec transmission network, so that they can make better decisions”, says Maxence Huard. -Lefebvre, spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec.

“We need to better identify the areas where we can install wind turbines quickly. Hydro-Québec is working on precise mapping that will make it possible to develop wind farms in strategic locations. Better predictability is essential so that the private wind industry can fully contribute to meeting our increased needs for renewable energy,” said Minister Fitzgibbon.  

More than 4,000 MW of wind power

“This situation leads to the cancellation, in their current form, of the calls for tenders which were to have been launched before December 31, 2022. A new mechanism will target the development of more than 4,000 megawatts of wind power in favorable areas,” reads the Hydro-Quebec press release. 

The canceled call for tenders provided for 1000 MW of wind power and 1300 MW of renewable energy, other than wind power.  

Not everyone is happy

“Replacing 1,300 MW of renewable energy with wind power alone is worrying given the additional costs for Quebec consumers,” notes Jocelyn B. Allard, president of the Quebec Association of Industrial Electricity Consumers.

He reminds us that wind power costs more than the energy available from Hydro-Québec at the moment. In fact, despite announcements of a power shortage in 2050, and even taking into account long-term contracts with the Americans, Hydro-Québec Production still currently has a surplus of around twenty TWh. 

“Why force us to pay for more expensive wind energy before using these available TWh? “, he asks.