GE Energy is to supply up to 660 wind turbines, with a potential to generate 990MW of electricity, for eight projects in Quebec that will come on line between 2006 and 2012.
The announcement by Hydro-Quebec a few days ago marked the largest single award for new wind generation capacity in the history of the global wind energy industry.
As a result of the award, GE Energy will supply 740MW of wind turbines to Cartier Wind Energy and 250MW of wind turbines to Northland Power Inc/Northland Power Income Fund. Cartier is a consortium of Innergex, TransCanada Energy and Renewable Energy Systems USA (RES), while Northland Power is a Canadian developer of independent power projects.
Over the course of six years, GE’s wind turbines will be installed at several locations, including Baie-des-Sables, St-Ulric/St-Leandre, Les Mechins, Mont Louis, Ste-Madeleine-de-la-Riviere-Madeleine, Cloridorme, Gaspe and Carleton. The power generated will be provided to Hydro-Quebec Distribution, the utility’s retail division, for distribution throughout Quebec.
To support the projects, GE will set up facilities to enable up to 60% of the wind energy components, materials and services to be supplied, manufactured and assembled locally. The units will feature GE’s low voltage ride-through technology and the capability to operate in extremely cold weather. Wind turbine installation will begin in 2006 and extend into 2012.
In addition to supplying wind turbines, GE will provide operation and maintenance services under multi-year contracts that are currently being negotiated.
Currently, Canada’s installed wind energy capacity totals 372MW, including 113.25MW in Quebec. Forecasts by the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA) anticipate the installation of 10,000MW of wind power across the country by 2010.