Following the Government of Québec’s announcement of the decree authorizing the construction and operation of the Nicolas-Riou Wind Project (“Project”), EDF EN Canada Inc., a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles, Énergie Éolienne Bas-St-Laurent (EEBSL), and Régie intermunicipale de l'énergie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (RIEGÎM), today announced that the construction phase of the 224.25 megawatts (MW) Nicolas-Riou wind project has commenced. Selected by Hydro-Québec Distribution following its 2013 call for tenders (A/O 2013-01), Nicolas-Riou is 50 percent owned by EDF EN Canada; 33 percent by EEBSL and 17 percent by RIEGÎM.
In parallel, a firm order was placed with Vestas to supply the project with 65 V117-3.45 MW wind turbines. The Nicolas-Riou Project, located in the RCM of Les Basques and Rimouski-Neigette, is expected to be operational at the end of 2017.
With an investment of approximately CAD $500 million, the project will create up to 400 jobs during the construction phase, and up to ten permanent operation and maintenance jobs.
“EDF EN Canada welcomes the decree authorizing the construction and operation of the Nicolas-Riou Wind Project and offers our sincere thanks to the Government of Québec for its permission to proceed with this important community project,” said Cory Basil, Vice President, Development for EDF EN Canada. “We are very excited to have formed a strong partnership between EDF EN, EEBSL and RIEGÎM. This project is the result of a partnership that pairs the experience and expertise of EDF EN Canada with the understanding of local expectations brought by our public partners.”
According to Michel Lagacé, president of EEBSL, “The authorization of the Nicolas-Riou project is the culmination of a process initiated in 2008 by the Regional Conference of Elected Representatives of Bas-St-Laurent, who were looking for new financial resources for our eight RCMs, along with the Viger Maliseet First Nation. This initiative will now be embodied in the Nicolas-Riou wind park, with our great community partner, the Régie intermunicipale de l’énergie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine, and EDF EN Canada, our private partner, who has built a depth of expertise in implementing these type of projects.”
Richard Saint-Laurent, president of RIEGÎM, said, “The partnership model we have developed in eastern Quebec has now demonstrated its worth. By allowing our communities to participate equally with private developers in the development and operation of wind energy projects, we are opening a new way to finance our other local development initiatives.”
Nicolas-Riou is one of eight wind projects awarded to EDF EN Canada through Hydro-Québec Distribution’s call for tenders in 2008, 2010 and 2013. It also represents the fourth project held in partnership with one or more RCM; the other three being La Mitis (24.6 MW), Le Granit (24.6 MW) and Lac Alfred (300 MW). By the end of 2017, EDF EN Canada will have commissioned 1,599 MW of wind and solar projects throughout Canada.