Boralex commissions 52-MW wind project in Canada

Boralex Inc. (TSX: BLX) on Nov. 11 announced the commercial commissioning of the Témiscouata II wind project, located in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region in Canada, with an installed capacity of 51.7 MW.

Patrick Lemaire, Boralex President and CEO, said that “the exemplary work of our team, which made it possible to complete this project on budget and ahead of schedule.”

The project is covered by a 20-year contract with Hydro-Québec. The project, awarded in 2008 by Hydro-Québec under its 2005 call for tenders for 2,000 MW of wind power, was originally planned for completion in Montérégie. In 2012, Boralex acquired the power supply contract from another sponsor.

Located adjacent to the Témiscouata I community wind farm, in which the Témiscouata RCM is a partner, this is Boralex’s second project in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region on the public lands of the Saint-Elzéar-de-Témiscouata and Saint-Honoré-de-Témiscouata municipalities.

Boralex is a Canadian power producer that develops, constructs and operates renewable energy power stations. As of Sept. 30, it had approximately 300 employees and operated an asset base with an installed capacity of 1,140 MW, of which 970 MW were under its control, consisting of 393 MW in Canada, 494 MW in France and 83 MW in the northeastern United States. In addition, Boralex had new production sites under development representing an additional 166 MW, most of which will be commissioned by the end of 2015.

Assets totalling 113 MW will be commissioned before the end of 2015, namely the wind power facility Calmont, in France, as well as three wind power facilities – Côte-de-Beaupré, Témiscouata II and Frampton in Québec.

Boralex is also currently investing in the development of the Touvent and Quinssaines wind farms in France and the Yellow Falls hydroelectric power station in Canada, a further 42 MW of energy assets which will be commissioned in 2016 and 2017.

On Jan. 12, Boralex announced the acquisition of an interest in the 24-MW Frampton community wind project. This project, in which the Municipality of Frampton holds a 33% interest and Boralex, a 67% interest, is located on private lands of the Municipality of Frampton, in Québec’s Chaudière-Appalaches region, and is covered by a 20-year energy sales contract with Hydro-Québec. Project financing was completed on Aug. 4 and construction is underway, with commissioning slated for December 2015.

On June 8, Boralex announced the signature of a buy option for a 25% economic interest in the 230-MW Niagara Region Wind Farm project in which wind turbine maker Enercon is the majority owner. Located in the Regional Municipality of Niagara, the Niagara Region Wind Farm project will comprise 77 Enercon wind turbines of 3 MW and is slated for commissioning by the end of 2016. Under its partnership agreement with Enercon, Boralex is responsible for the coordination of the project construction, which began in June, and the operation and management of the future site following the exercise of the option.

A total of 99 MW is in the works in 2015, covered by 20-year energy sales contracts with Hydro-Québec:

  • The 23.5-MW Côte-de-Beaupré community wind power project, developed jointly with La Côte-de-Beaupré RCM. This wind farm located on Seigneurie de Beaupré lands, will benefit from logistical synergies with the existing wind farms operated by Boralex, totalling 340 MW. Project financing was completed on Aug. 11, with commissioning slated for December 2015.
  • Abutting the Témiscouata I wind farm, the Témiscouata II project, wholly owned by Boralex, will aggregate an installed capacity of 52 MW. This power station is covered by a 20-year contract with Hydro-Québec.
  • The 24 MW Frampton community project, which will be commissioned in December 2015.

Said the company in a Nov. 4 earnings report: “In Canada, although provincial governments have offered some support for wind power, the business environment has significantly hardened over the past few years owing to a number of factors including Québec’s current electricity surplus, the overall weakness of the economy and especially, a growing trend by provincial governments to rely on requests for proposals, stepping up pressure on prices. Nevertheless, Boralex remains confident in the medium- and long-term outlook for its wind power segment in Canada, particularly in light of a potential economic recovery that could trigger higher demand and the solid positioning the Corporation has already built.

“In the shorter term, development in Canada will focus in particular on finding opportunities to acquire wind power projects at various stages of development that are covered by energy sales contracts. Boralex recently acquired a buy option for a 25% economic interest in a 230 MW wind power project in Ontario. The Corporation has also acquired the rights to wind power projects in Ontario and British Columbia, whose potential is currently under review. Finally, Boralex has submitted a 50 MW project in connection with an RFP for 300 MW recently issued in Ontario. The results of this RFP are expected to be known in late 2015.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.