Hydro-Power and Wind-Power: A Good Match
The Canadian province of Quebec is a world leader in hydro-electricity production, and that's not very surprising to anyone who looks at a hydrological map of the region. Maybe things would have been different if they had been sitting on lots of oil or coal, but what they have is rivers, and lots of them.
But in recent years, Quebec has started to realize that it has another resource to tap: Wind. It's a lot less capital-intensive than big hydro dams, it produces clean energy, and it works well in conjunction with hydro (when the wind blows, you can reduce the flow at dams and save that water for later, a bit like charging up a battery).
So Quebec Premier Jean Charest approved 15 bids for 2,004 megawatts by 2015, at a cost of C$5.5-billion. He's calling the project "the largest tender for wind-powered energy ever awarded in a single block in North America." Once built, the wind farms will generate enough power to heat and light 320,000 Quebec homes.
he projects are the second phase of a program that has already seen 1,000 megawatts of wind-powered energy awarded by the province. Quebec currently generates more than 400 megawatts from about a dozen wind farms, mostly located in the GaspÃ© region.
Exporting Clean Energy Could Help with Global Warming
Part of the goal is to export more electricity to Ontario and the North-Eastern U.S., something that would probably displace some electricity generated by coal, or at the very least slow down the construction of new power plants.
In May of next year, a transmission line to Ontario with a capacity of 1,250 megawatts will come online.
Winning bids were by REpower Inc. (who will build 2-megawatt turbines for 5 wind farms) and Enercon Inc (we wrote about their impressive E-126 wind turbine recently).
::Enercon E-126: The World's Largest Wind Turbine (for now)
::Wind Power Produces 123% of Residential Energy Demand in Rock Port, Missouri
::New Wind Power Record in Spain: 40.8% of Total Demand!
::No Recession for Wind Power Industry
More on Wind Power in Quebec
::Quebec spurs rush in wind power
::Enthousiasme, dÃ©convenue et espÃ©rances
:: EDF EN consortium wins 954 MW of Canadian wind farm projects
::15 bids accepted for wind farms