The Seigneurie-de-Beaupré wind farm could triple in capacity

The 1200 megawatt capacity wind megaproject was first revealed by The Hurry + then confirmed by Radio-Canada. The consortium already manages a wind farm with a capacity of 364 megawatts, installed gradually since 2005 on the private lands of the Séminaire de Québec.

The site, also known as the Seigneurie-de-Beaupré, represents a strip of land parallel to the river approximately 95 km long by 20 km wide. It goes from Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury and Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval in the west to Saint-Urbain in the east.

Map showing the targeted sectors: a sector to the west, on the MRC La Jacques-Cartier and the MRC La Côte-de-Beaupré.  Another project south of the MRC La Côte-de-Beaupré, then a final one in the MRC de Charlevoix.Enlarge image (New window)

The three possibilities for expanding the wind farm

Photo: Radio-Canada

According to the three project notices filed in July and October 2021, Boralex and Énergir would like to implement the expansion of its wind farm in three phases, with a capacity of 400 megawatts each.

A new development entirely located on the private lands of the Seigneurie de Beauprécan we read in the documents filed with the Ministry of the Environment.

The first step would be to build between 60 and 80 wind turbines in the Lac-Jacques-Cartier sector of the MRC of La Côte-de-Beaupré. The other two phases of the same size would be installed in the MRC of Charlevoix and in the Stoneham-et-Tewkesbury sector.

Two people dressed in an orange jacket and a white helmet are talking at the foot of a wind turbine.

The Seigneurie-de-Beaupré wind farm already has 164 wind turbines. (Archives)

Photo: Radio-Canada/Jean-Francois Nadeau

Impact studies and public consultations will have to take place before obtaining the government decree that would allow the consortium to undertake its megaproject. He hopes to be able to start construction in the summer of 2023 for commissioning at the end of 2025.

Interviewed on the show First hourthe CEO of Boralex, Patrick Decostre, recalled how much the Seigneurie site was exceptional. It represents 1600 km2 of uninhabited land.

Since the site is not located near inhabited areas, the issue of noise emitted by wind turbines does not worry Mr. Decostre.

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Wind turbines in a hilly landscape.

Wind turbines of the Seigneurie de Beaupré.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Jean-Francois Nadeau

Growing demand for electricity

This proposal by Boralex and Énergir is timely, since Hydro-Québec launched calls for tenders for 480 and 300 megawatts in December to meet the growing demand for electricity.

Hydro-Quebec spokesperson Maxence Huard-Lefebvre says the state-owned company expects Quebec electricity consumption to increase by 12% over the 2019-2029 period.

This increase reflects favorable economic prospects as well as the electrification of the Quebec economy.he says in an email.

Remember that Quebec broke consumption records in January.

Boralex and Énergir’s proposal is therefore accepted favorably on the part of Hydro-Québec, which considers that the role of wind power generation is called to grow in Quebec’s energy future.

One of Hydro-Québec’s calls for tenders specifically targets wind energy.

But that does not mean that the case is made for the consortium, since other promoters could submit projects.

According to Sylvain Audette of HEC Montréal, Boralex and Énergir are well positioned, but they will have to listen to the population.

As they have a good bearing of the wind, that’s sure to put them in a good situation. In addition, there is already an existing fleet, roads that are there, so they don’t need to invest as much as the first phase. I think price wise they are going to be very competitivehe believes.

Public consultations are scheduled for this spring, after the submission of the impact study.

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