Wind Power

History of Wind Power at Hydro-Québec

1975

Start of research at Hydro-Québec's research institute, IREQ, with the installation of a 40-kW vertical-axis wind turbine. This site is no longer in operation.

1977

Installation of an experimental 230-kW vertical-axis wind turbine in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, thanks to cooperation between the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and IREQ. This turbine is no longer in operation.

1986

Installation of a 65-kW horizontal-axis wind turbine at Kuujjuaq (off-grid system). The turbine has since been dismantled and is currently used for educational purposes at the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles.

1987

Experimental wind power project (Éole) employing a 4-MW vertical-axis wind turbine with a rotor height of 96 m and measuring 64 m in diameter at midpoint. This project was conducted in collaboration with the NRC. The wind turbine operated commercially from March 1988 to April 1993, generating about 12,000 MWh. It is no longer in operation.

1987

Trials of a combined wind-diesel system are conducted at the Atlantic Wind Test Site in Prince Edward Island.

1995

In conjunction with the Ministère des Ressources naturelles du Québec (MRN), the Université du Québec à Rimouski and the consulting firm Wind Economics and Technology Inc., Hydro-Québec prepares a wind map based on available data to assess the potential of wind power in Québec.

1997

Hydro-Québec launches a wind measurement program specifically geared to the generation of wind power, with four towers. The MRN also sets up wind measurement towers of its own.

1998

Hydro-Québec transfers responsibility for the wind measurement program to the Québec department in charge of natural resources (MRN).

1998

The first phase of the Énergie Le Nordais project is brought into commercial service in Cap-Chat, with 76 wind turbines rated 750 kW each.

1999

The second phase of the Énergie Le Nordais project is brought into commercial service in Matane, with 57 wind turbines rated 750 kW each.

2001

Transfer to Hydro-Québec of the wind test bank at Matane, which comprises three wind turbines rated 750 kW each.

2001

Hydro-Québec publishes its Strategic Plan 2002-2006, in which the company commits to developing Québec's wind power potential through a targeted electricity purchasing program. Purchases could reach a total of 100 MW per year.

2002-2004

Hydro-Québec Production pioneers the move to wind power by signing contracts to purchase a total of nearly 500 MW of wind-generated electricity from private producers.

2003

Following a March 5, 2003, decision by the Québec government, Hydro-Québec Distribution launches an initial call for tenders in May 2003 to purchase 1,000 MW of wind power. Contracts are awarded in October. Selection is based on the lowest unit cost, including transmission.

2005

Hydro-Québec Distribution issues a second call for tenders to purchase 2,000 MW of wind power.

2008

Contracts are awarded following a second call for tenders to purchase 2,000 MW of wind power.

2009

Hydro-Québec Distribution issues a call for tenders for the purchase of two 250-MW blocks of wind-generated electricity, one from Aboriginal projects and the other from community projects in Québec, for a total of 500 MW of installed capacity.

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