Québec’s first major community power initiative took place in 2010, when Hydro Québec put out a call for tenders for two separate blocks of 250 MW of wind power – one for community projects and one for Aboriginal projects [i]. and accepted twelve bids totalling 291 MW. Of these, 11 were awarded to projects developed by limited partnerships between communities and businesses in the community block and one was awarded to the Aboriginal block [ii].
One example is La Mitis Community Wind Project, a 12-turbine, 24.6-MW wind farm locatedin the Regional Council Municipality (MRC) of la Mitis. The project is 70% owned by EDF Energies Nouvelles and 30% owned by the MRC de la Mitis. Another example is the Viger-Denonville Community Wind Farm, which is the same size and capacity as the La Mitis project and co-owned by Innergex and the Riviere-du-Loup Regional Council Municipality.
Only one bid was awarded to a co-operatively owned project,the Éoliennes Belle-Rivière project, developed by the Val-Éo co-operative de solidarité, a unique collective of 58 farms, two municipalities and nearly 100 local investors. Initially supported by the federal government’s Cooperatives Secretariat under the Cooperative Development Initiative program, the Val-Éo co-op eventually formed a limited partnership with Algonquin Power Co. to develop the project, which is a 10-turbine, 24-MW wind farm located in the MRC of Lac-Saint-Est. Construction began in the fall of 2015.
[i] Hydro-Québec. Call for tenders for the purchase of 500 MW of wind power: Hydro-Québec Distribution accepts 12 bids totaling 291,4 MW”, Press Release: December 20, 2010, http://www.hydroquebec.com/media/en/archives.html