QuÃ©bÃ©cois Not Just Talking About Wind Power
Now we know which way the wind is blowing: Hydro-Québec, the state-owned power utility of the province of Québec in Canada, is sending out tenders to buy 2,000 megawatts of wind power. Right now, most electricity in Québec comes from hydro power, but in the past 2 years, 1,500 megawatts of wind power have been ordered, so this new announcement brings the future total to 3,500 megawatts, more than 7% of the currently installed wind power capacity in the world. This comes after last year's public outrage at Hydro-Québec's plans to build a natural gas power plant. The outcry was so embarassing for the already unpopular provincial government that it cancelled the project and turned to wind instead (an example to be followed by communities all around the globe).With current technology, Hydro-Québec says it is possible that it will raise its wind production to 4,000 megawatts before 2015. Maybe even more, depending on how much better wind turbine technology gets.
It is also expected that the additional 2,000 MW recently announced will created 4000 jobs during construction, with CAN$3 billion (US$2.4 billion) in investment, and 600 permanent jobs in factories and 200 jobs for managing and maintenance.
Québec has been called the "Saudi Arabia" of wind by a wind consultant firm (Helimax) that was mandated to find out the wind potential of the province. Unfortunately, many of the best sites are way up North, but that still leaves many good spots to be easily exploited. This is only the beginning!