Following the government of Québec’s announcement of a decree authorizing the construction and operation of the Nicolas-Riou Wind Project, EDF EN Canada Inc., Énergie Éolienne Bas-St-Laurent (EEBSL) and Régie intermunicipale de l’énergie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (RIEGÎM) on June 1 announced that project construction had begun.
This is a 224.25-MW project. Selected by Hydro-Québec Distribution following its 2013 call for tenders (A/O 2013-01), Nicolas-Riou is 50% owned by EDF EN Canada; 33% by EEBSL and 17% by RIEGÎM.
A firm order was placed with Vestas to supply the project with sixty five V117-3.45 MW wind turbines. The Nicolas-Riou Project, located in the RCM of Les Basques and Rimouski-Neigette, is expected to be operational at the end of 2017.
With an investment of approximately C$500 million, the project will create up to 400 jobs during the construction phase, and up to ten permanent operation and maintenance jobs.
“EDF EN Canada welcomes the decree authorizing the construction and operation of the Nicolas-Riou Wind Project and offers our sincere thanks to the Government of Québec for its permission to proceed with this important community project,” said Cory Basil, Vice President, Development for EDF EN Canada.
Said Michel Lagacé, president of EEBSL: “The authorization of the Nicolas-Riou project is the culmination of a process initiated in 2008 by the Regional Conference of Elected Representatives of Bas-St-Laurent, who were looking for new financial resources for our eight RCMs, along with the Viger Maliseet First Nation. This initiative will now be embodied in the Nicolas-Riou wind park, with our great community partner, the Régie intermunicipale de l’énergie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and EDF EN Canada, our private partner, who has built a depth of expertise in implementing these type of projects.”
Richard Saint-Laurent, president of RIEGÎM, said: “The partnership model we have developed in eastern Quebec has now demonstrated its worth. By allowing our communities to participate equally with private developers in the development and operation of wind energy projects, we are opening a new way to finance our other local development initiatives.”
Nicolas-Riou is one of eight wind projects awarded to EDF EN Canada through Hydro-Québec Distribution’s call for tenders in 2008, 2010 and 2013. It also represents the fourth project held in partnership with one or more RCM, with 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 commissioned 1,599 MW of wind and solar projects throughout Canada.
EDF EN Canada, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, is a market leader in renewable energy, with more than 1,600 MW of wind and solar power facilities in service or under development. EDF EN Canada draws on the market expertise of EDF Renewable Energy, EDF Energies Nouvelles’ U.S. subsidiary.
Established in 2009, the Régie intermunicipale de l’Énergie Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine is comprised of the five Regional County Municipalities (RCM) of this administrative region and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine conglomeration.
Énergie Éolienne Bas-Saint-Laurent was created in June 2014 in relation to Hydro-Québec’s 2013 call for tenders (A/O 2013-01) by the eight Regional County Municipalities (RCM) of the Bas-Saint-Laurent region and the Viger Maliseet First Nation.
In July 2014, the two companies joined to create the Alliance Éolienne de l’Est to jointly invest, under 50% partnerships, in wind projects in both regions, with private companies.