Bidders offer nearly four times as much

SNL Power Daily with Market Report September 24, 2007 Monday

In response to its request for 2,000 MW of new capacity from wind sources, Hydro-Quebec said Sept. 19 it received proposals for 66 wind facilities from 25 different companies, offering a total of 7,724 MW of new capacity.

The provincial government-owned utility, through its Hydro-Quebec Distribution division, said it will decide by spring 2008 which proposals will be selected to receive long-term power purchase agreements. Those agreements would then have to be approved by the provincial regulator, the Regie de l’energie. The individual developers will be responsible for obtaining construction permits.

Hydro-Quebec wants at least 60% of each wind facility’s costs to be incurred in Quebec, with a portion of that specifically in the municipal region of comte de Matane and the administrative region of Gaspesie-lles-de-la­ Madeleine.

Among the bidders was SkyPower Corp., an affiliate of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which submitted seven proposals totaling 900 MW. SkyPower President and CEO Kerry Adler noted in a news release that the company recently announced plans to acquire a stake in AAER Inc., a wind turbine manufacturer located in Bromont, Quebec, that plans to manufacture wind turbines in Quebec and sell principally to the North American market.

A consortium called St-Laurent Energies, comprising Hydromega Services Inc., an independent power producer in Quebec that has been studying the Gaspe and Matane regions for wind energy potential since 2002; EDF Energies Nouvelles, the global renewable energy subsidiary of Electricite de France; and RES Canada Inc., an affiliate of Renewable Energy Systems US, which has more than 1,400 MW of wind capacity in operation in the United States, proposed eight facilities totaling 1,348 MW.

TransCanada Energy Ltd., a subsidiary of TransCanada Corp., which is already building the 740-MW, six-part Cartier Wind facility in the preferred region of Quebec, proposed 10 projects totaling 978.5 MW, coming into service starting in late 2010.

Ireland-headquartered Airtricity, which has been expanding operations in the United States, particularly Texas, proposed four projects totaling more than 500 MW.

Boralex Inc. and Gaz Metro LP formed a consortium that submitted three bids totaling 375.5 MW. All three projects would be built on land owned by a Roman Catholic college.

lnvenergy Wind Canada ULC, an affiliate of U.S.-based lnvenergy LLC, proposed two facilities totaling 462 MW.

“The diversity of the bids was impressive,” said a Canadian Wind Energy Association official, Sean Whittaker, who made note of the possibility of wind development in the James Bay region.

An entity identified by Hydro-Quebec only as “Canada Corp.” is listed as proposing six wind projects, including one of almost 500 MW in the James Bay region of the province.