EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles Group, Énergie Éolienne Bas-St-Laurent, a company wholly owned by all of the RCMs of the Bas-Saint-Laurent as well as the Viger Maliseet First Nation and Régie intermunicipale de l'énergie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, composed by the RCMs of this region and Îles-de-la-Madeleine conglomeration, announced the signature of a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Hydro-Québec Distribution for the 224.4 megawatt (MW) Nicolas-Riou Wind Project. Selected by Hydro-Québec Distribution in its call for tenders of 2013 (A/O 2013-01), this wind project is 50-percent owned by EDF EN Canada; 33-percent by EEBSL and 17-percent by RIEGÎM.
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 CAD $ 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 Distribution call 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.
"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. We’ve worked very hard for this and we are very proud of our achievement. We are especially appreciative of the Government of Québec and Hydro-Québec Distribution for this opportunity. We are also excited to have formed a strong new partnership between EDF EN, EEBSL and RIEGÎM. This is a great opportunity to create renewable power on a large scale for the Province together with the communities involved."
According to Gilbert Scantand and Michel Lagacé, representatives of RIEGÎM and EEBSL respectively, "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."
After its signature, the Power Purchase Agreement is subject to approval by the Quebec Energy Board.