Quebec will issue two new requests for proposals for 2,300 megawatts of new wind and other renewable energy capacity, Premier François Legault announced last week during a visit to the province’s Gaspé region.
The RFPs are on top of three new wind farm contracts totalling 1,200 megawatts announced last week by renewable energy developer Boralex, provincial utility Hydro-Québec, and Énergir, the gas distribution company formerly known as Gaz Métro.
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“We are taking concrete action for the environment and to create wealth with Quebec workers,” Legault said.
The announcement “effectively launches the largest wind and renewable energy procurement project in the province’s history, adding to the ongoing two RFPs for 780 MW of renewable energy” as well as the three Boralex wind farms, analysts at McCarthy Tétrault write.
The Toronto-based law firm headlines the activity as “positively electrifying”.
CBC says the latest procurement will consist of an initial block of one gigawatt reserved for wind, followed by another 1.3 GW open to mixed renewables, including wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower. The province currently has four gigawatts of wind capacity.
“The two RFPs will be led by Hydro-Québec, which projects it will need an additional 20 terawatt hours of energy by 2029 to meet its customer demands,” McCarthy Tétrault states. “The Government reaffirmed its commitment to making these RFPs a tool for regional economic development, and the RFPs will promote community participation, collaboration with Indigenous peoples, and other similar measures,” including a “buy local” provision in at least one of the RFPs.
The flurry of announcements lands just months after Hydro-Québec acknowledged that the age of new, large hydropower projects has come to an end.
“In the absence of future hydroelectric power projects on the horizon, Hydro-Québec has been moving into other domains such as wind and solar in recent years,” CBC writes. “It has also formed a subsidiary designed to help customers improve their energy efficiency, and it is working on large-scale batteries that can store surplus energy.”