After hydro, wind is the second largest contributor to Québec’s grid and the province ranks second in Canada in terms of wind power installed. Wind development in Québec dates back to the Le Nordais project, the province’s first commercial wind farm (133 MW) constructed in La Matane region in 1998 [i]. Since then, Hydro-Québec has signed contracts with independent power producers (IPPs) for a total of 3,262 MW of wind capacity installed at several sites concentrated in the Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine region and the La Matanie Regional County Municipality. The province is on track to meet its 2016/17 target of 4,000 MW [ii].
Hydro-Québec also buys power from IPPs of bioenergy drawn from forest, agri-food and urban residual biomass. Currently, 7 biomass and 3 biogas cogeneration facilities account for around 206 MW of installed capacity [iii].
Hydro-Québec began issuing calls for tenders for large commercial wind farms in 2003 and since then has issued four. Its most recent call in 2012/13 awarded contracts for 800 MW of wind capacity. While, currently, Hydro-Québec is not seeking tenders for new generation, it is seeking tenders for the development of wind integration services to integrate 990MW of wind power with Québec-based hydropower system [iv].
In addition, since 2012, Hydro-Québec has run a program for purchasing up 300 MW of biomass energy from independent producers. Each project is limited to a maximum of 50 MW. The contracts may vary between 15 to 25 years [v].
For smaller scale renewable generation, Hydro-Québec offers net metering to its customers to support self-generation, enabling them to feed their surplus renewable power into the grid in exchange for kilowatt-hour credits that are applied to their bill [vi]. Eligible energy sources include hydro, wind, solar PV, biomass, and geothermal. Systems’ generating capacities must not exceed the estimated capacity required to meet all or part of the generator’s power needs, or 50 kW, whichever is less.
[i] Energie et Resources Naturelles Quebec, 2012. Wind Energy Projects in Quebec, https://www.mern.gouv.qc.ca/english/energy/wind/wind-projects.jsp
[ii] Hydro-Québec. 2015. Wind farms and generating stations covered by supply contracts. Retrieved 9 Aug 2015 from http://www.hydroquebec.com/distribution/en/marchequebecois/parc_eoliens.html.; Canadian Wind Energy Association. 2015. Quebec. Retrieved 8 Aug 2015 from http://canwea.ca/wind-energy/quebec/.
[iii] Hydro-Québec. 2015. Hydro Quebec Production. Retrieved 24 Jan 2016 from http://www.hydroquebec.com/generation/
[iv] Energie et Resources Naturelles Quebec, 2012. Wind Energy Projects in Quebec, https://www.mern.gouv.qc.ca/english/energy/wind/wind-projects.jsp; Hydro-Québec. 2015c. Wind farms and generating stations covered by supply contracts. Retrieved 9 Aug 2015 from http://www.hydroquebec.com/distribution/en/marchequebecois/parc_eoliens.html.
[vi] Hydro-Québec. 2015c. Wind farms and generating stations covered by supply contracts. Retrieved 9 Aug 2015 from http://www.hydroquebec.com/distribution/en/marchequebecois/parc_eoliens.html.