EDF EN Canada and Énergie Éolienne Bas-St-Laurent (EEBSL, a company with local ownership) announced Feb. 17 the signing of a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Hydro-Québec Distribution for the 224.4-MW Nicolas-Riou Wind Project.
Selected by Hydro-Québec in its call for tenders of 2013 (A/O 2013-01), this wind project is 50% owned by EDF EN Canada; 33% by EEBSL and 17% by Régie intermunicipale de l’Énergie Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine (RIEGÎM). After its signature, the PPA is subject to approval by the Quebec Energy Board.
Located in the RCM of Basques and Rimouski-Neigette, the project will be comprised of 68 Vestas V117 wind turbine generators. Each unit will have a rated capacity of 3.3 MW. The project represents an investment of approximately C$500 million, creating up to 400 jobs during the construction phase.
Nicolas-Riou is one of eight wind projects awarded to EDF EN Canada through Hydro-Québec calls for tenders in 2008, 2010 and 2013. It also represents the fourth project held in partnership with a RCM; the other three being La Mitis (24.6 MW), Le Granit (24.6 MW) and Lac Alfred (300 MW). By the end of 2017, EDF EN Canada will have placed into service 1,599 MW of wind and solar projects throughout Canada.
Construction is planned to begin in spring 2016, following the receipt of all required provincial and municipal permits as well as environmental authorizations. Commissioning is due in December 2017.
“The signing of the Nicolas-Riou PPA with our public partners marks another success for EDF EN Canada following the recent commissioning of Mitis (24.6 MW), Granit (24.6 MW) and first phase of Rivière-du-Moulin (350 MW),’’ said Al Kurzenhauser, Chief Operating Officer for EDF EN Canada. “This is the result of the combined effort of each individual of our team.”
According to Gilbert Scantand and Michel Lagacé, representatives of RIEGÎM and EEBSL respectively, in a joint statement: “The regions of Gaspé, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Bas-St-Laurent and the Viger Maliseet First Nation are very happy to be associated with EDF EN Canada in the Nicolas-Riou community wind project. The realization of this ambitious project will generate important economic benefits for our region and provide the public shareholders with access to a new and essential financial resource for our socio-economic development.”
EDF EN Canada, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, is a market leader in renewable energy, with more than 1,300 MW of wind and solar power facilities in service or under construction. EDF EN Canada draws on the market expertise of EDF Renewable Energy, EDF Energies Nouvelles’ U.S. subsidiary.
Established in 2009, Régie intermunicipale de l’Énergie Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine is made up of the five regional county municipalities (MRC) of this administrative région and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine conglomeration. Énergie Éolienne Bas-Saint-Laurent was created in June 2014 as part of a Hydro-Québec call for tenders of 2013 (A/O 2013-01) by the eight MRC du Bas-Saint-Laurent and Viger Maliseet First Nation. In July of the same year, the two companies had associated to create the l’Alliance Éolienne de l’Est and jointly invest in wind projects in the regions Gaspésie and Bas-Saint-Laurent, in partnerships of 50% with private companies.