Québec’s wind generation potential is enormous, partly because of the size of its territory. However, a report released in June 2005 assessed the potential that could be technically and economically connected to the Hydro-Québec grid at 3,600 MW, using current technologies and given the constraints of long-distance power transmission. With the same technology, the potential could rise to 4,000 MW by 2015.
Québec also benefits from another abundant, flexible source of energy—hydroelectricity—that can be coupled to wind generation to meet power needs using a reliable, balanced transmission system. Wind energy and hydroelectricity make an ideal match.
The MRNF has commissioned two studies of Québec’s wind energy potential:
Wind Potential Measurement Program
The Wind Potential Measurement Program (PMPE) for the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Bas-Saint-Laurent, and Côte-Nord regions has now been completed. During the course of the program, 41 measurement towers 40 meters in height were installed at 33 different sites. The purpose of the program was to gather additional data on wind potential in these regions. Some $2.3 million has been invested between 1998 and 2003 to collect data and analyze it using specialized software.
The data gathered under the program are available on Géoboutique Website (in french only) for $125.
Inventory of wind energy potential
To make the best possible decisions in the field of wind energy, the Department has commissioned a precise, complete inventory of wind energy potential, not only to identify commercially-viable sites but also to assess the possibilities for connecting wind farms to the Hydro-Québec network.
Updated information about the wind generation integration capacity of Hydro-Québec's grid as well as details of the technical and economic considerations of integrating new wind power generation are available on Hydro-Québec Distribution’s site.
One of the studies completed as part of the inventory is available in English: Hydro-Québec Integrated Network Integration Capability with Respect to the Addition of Wind Energy Generation (PDF Format, 7 Mo)
For the complete results of the inventory, see Inventaire du potentiel éolien.