Mr. Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources for the province of Quebec, has announced the placement of wind energy in the province’s energy portfolio. Within the framework of his prepared statements, Minister Julien revealed the acceptance of an order-in-council1 (the “Order-in-Council”) asking that Hydro-Québec issue a call to tender for new wind energy resources to meet the province’s long-term energy and power needs, which could begin as early in 2026. A chunk of 300 megawatts (“MW”) of wind power must be included in the call for tenders, according to the vision that has been provided.
In conjunction with this release, the Quebec administration has issued two draft regulations on the same subject matter. A 300 MW block dedicated to wind energy is specified in the first2 regulation (the “300 MW regulation”), which is similar to the language used in the Order-in-Council. A further 480 MW of renewable energy is specified in the second3 regulation (the “480 MW regulation”), which requests that Hydro-Québec continues with an open tender for an extra 480 MW of renewable power. Hydro-Québec will be expected to execute both requests for tenders by December 31, 2021, by these requirements.
Because of a rise in the electricity market from new markets, like agricultural greenhouses as well as electric vehicles, these measures were necessitated. To meet these goals, the Quebec government has committed to lowering its greenhouse gas pollution by 37 percent by 2030 and reaching carbon neutrality by the year 2050 as part of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, which was released in December.
Because the Order-in-Council encompasses various domestic content requirements, the declaration also sends a clear message to the local wind power industry that Quebec aims to support its development. A minimum of approximately 50% local equity participation is necessary for a project to be qualified for competitive bidding. Furthermore, at least 60% of project expenditures must be directed toward Quebec-based content, with 35% of those expenditures being incurred in the Regional County Municipality where the initiative will be housed. The promoters of the project are also required to make an annual payment to a local municipality or even administration of $5,700 (adjusted yearly for inflation) every megawatt-hour (MW).
The contracts that will be issued will be for a period of 30 years, showing the government’s long-term dedication to renewable energy resources. More renewable power calls for bids are also expected in the near future, as projected electricity demand is expected to hit 1400 MW of capacity as well as 1.5 terawatt-hours of energy per year by 2029, according to the International Energy Agency. In a news statement, the Quebec government stated that wind energy will constitute a significant portion of future calls for tenders, with a specific emphasis on wind energy.