GASPÉ, NOVEMBER 13, 2013 -The TechnoCentre éolienand the Québec Wind Energy Clustercommend the decision of the Government of Québec to go ahead with the call for proposals for 450 megawatts of wind power and welcome the clarifications published today in the Gazette officielle du Québec. This decision is indicative of the government’s confidence in the wind power industry and its desire to assure the durability of the manufacturing system in the Gaspésie administrative region and the MRC de La Matanie in the years to come.
Hydro-Québec will have to introduce a call for proposals for the production of 450 megawatts of wind power by December 31, 2013; 300 megawatts of this is reserved for the Gaspésie – Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Bas-Saint-Laurent administrative regions. The regulation also stipulates that the local “environment” must control at least 50% of the projects and sets the maximum price for electricity producers at 9.0 cents per kilowatt hour.
“This decision by the Government of Québec, eagerly awaited by the wind power industry, is good news and will secure thousands of jobs.In addition, the conditions set out in the regulation will not only help maximise the benefits generated by the wind power system in the host communities, it will also contribute to its durability in Québec and the region,” saidFrédéric Côté, general manager of the TechnoCentre éolien in Gaspé.
Furthermore, the regulation stipulates that the wind farms must be delivered in 2016 and 2017, rather than in 2017 and 2018 as required by the draft regulation introduced last August. There is also a 35% regional content requirement for the proposed wind farms. Moreover, the accompanying administrative regulation stipulates that very significant weight will be given to the production of strategic components whose added value exceeds that of the wind turbine parts currently being manufactured in Québec.
“This is very good news for our plants. The decision to integrate 100 MW in 2016 will keep a significant slow-down out of the order books at our plants. The 35% regional content requirementand the emphasis on the development of strategic components will help maintain our manufacturing activities in Gaspésie and Matanie, and could even contribute to the creation of new enterprises in the regions and help affirm our leadership role in North America,” indicated Christian Babin, Québec Wind Energy Cluster chair.
Wind-generated electricity contributes to economic development and the creation of wealth throughout Québec. According to a recent study conducted by SECOR/KPMG, $8 billion will be invested in Québec through the wind power industry by 2015 and every year $25 million in royalties are paid out to municipalities and landowners on whose lands wind farms are located. As for the government, it receives on average $88 million per year, including $42 million in fiscal income. The 450 MW call for proposals will represent an additional investment of $1.1 billion. It is important to point out that the wind power industry accounts for 5,000 jobs in Québec, 1,200 of which are located in Gaspésie and the MRC de La Matanie.
About the TechnoCentre éolien
Founded in 2000, the TechnoCentre éolien is a research and technology transfer centre that helps companies adapt their technology to withstand the northern climate, develop new products for the wind power industry, and integrate the power supply chain in Québec. The TechnoCentre éolien has four principal areas of endeavour: technical assistance for businesses, applied research, economic development and communication/events.
The TechnoCentre éolien is represented on a variety of international committees. It is responsible for carrying out the mission of the college centre for technology transfer(CCTT) in wind energy in Québec and houses Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine Québec Wind Energy Cluster management.
About the Québec Wind Energy Cluster
In the Gaspésie – Îles-de-la-Madeleine administrative region and the MRC de La Matanie, the Québec Wind Energy Cluster fosters networking by industrialists, economic decision makers, and institutional partners so that together they can define priorities and choose actions that will help build an innovative wind energy network able to compete throughout North America. The cluster’s actions are guided by seven thrusts that notably include business and market development, the availability of a qualified work force, and the consolidation of integration and transportation infrastructure.
Dave Lavoie, Manager
Québec Wind Energy Cluster
418-368-6162, ext. 222; 418-360-4386