With all apologies to Chicago, Québec also should be dubbed the Windy City. Earlier this month, TransCanada Corporation announced the completion of the Quebec-based Gros-Morne wind farm—the final phase of its Cartier Wind Energy initiative, which cumulatively represents the largest wind farm in Canada.
The emission-free Gros-Morne Phase II wind project, powered by 74 General Electric (GE) Class I 1.5-77 wind turbines and located in the Gaspésie section of the Canadian province, can produce up to 111 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, enough to meet the needs of over 20,000 Quebec homes every year.
The five phases of Cartier Wind Energy have a total capacity of 590 MW, enough to meet the needs of more than 100,000 Quebec homes. All of the power produced by the project is sold to Hydro-Quebec under 20-year power purchase agreements. Cartier is the largest wind farm in Canada and is owned by TransCanada Corporation (62 per cent) and Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. (38 per cent) of Longueuil, Québec.
"We're pleased to announce the full completion of Cartier Wind Energy, demonstrating progress in increasing the supply and availability of renewable emission-free energy" said Russ Girling, president and chief executive officer of TransCanada, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. "Combined with the rest of our power portfolio, TransCanada is now providing emissions-free electricity to more than 2.5 million homes in North America.”
GE is supplying 593, 1.5-77 wind turbines and associated services for wind energy projects in Québec, including Gros-Morne. The projects were awarded as part of Hydro-Québec’s 2004 request for proposals (RFP) to supply the province with 1,000 MW of new wind power capacity by 2012. GE’s local supply chain manufacturing and supplier partners have been integral to the fulfillment of the province’s local content requirements. “Cartier énergie éolienne wishes to acknowledge the exemplary work by the GE technicians in the success of the Gros-Morne-Sainte-Madeleine wind farm. You have played an important role in order to deliver the wind farm around 25 days before the date of the commissioning contract with Hydro-Québec. This result demonstrates your professionalism and your commitment," said Robert Guillemette, CEO of Cartier Wind Energy.The Gros-Morne project includes a four-year GE operations and maintenance service contract with Cartier. GE has more than 50 wind technicians and engineers in Canada providing expertise on parts, maintenance, upgrades and long-term service contracts for a fleet of more than 1,400 units. The company’s regional wind services parts warehouse is located in Toronto for fast and reliable distribution throughout the country.“We have proven our ability to execute major projects with local content requirements in Québec and are positioned for the upcoming 700-MW RFP expected to be launched in 2013,” said Guy Crepeau, region sales manager for GE’s renewable energy business in Canada. “We are committed to working with developers, including Cartier, as we continue to develop advanced technology to harness Canada’s abundant wind resources.”Canada is among the world leaders in the production and use of renewable energy. The country’s installed wind base is set to nearly double by 2014, to an expected 10 gigawatts (GW) of capacity.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman