SAINT-MATHIEU-DE-RIOUX, Quebec–Régie intermunicipale de l’énergie du Bas-Saint-Laurent (RIÉBSL), the Régie Intermunicipale de l’Energie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (RIÉGÎM) and EDF Renewables, together with around 170 guests, celebrated the inauguration of the Nicolas-Riou Wind Project today. The Project, with a capacity of 224.25 megawatts (MW), illustrates the importance of collaboration and support of local communities in the development and implementation of renewable energy projects.
Located in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, on the public and private lands of TNO Boisbouscache and the municipalities of Sainte-Françoise, Saint-Mathieu-de-Rioux, Saint-Médard (RCM of Basques) and Saint-Eugène-de-Ladrière (RCM of Rimouski-Neigette), the Nicolas-Riou Wind Project represents an investment of nearly CAD 500 million.
The wind farm, owned 50-percent by EDF Renewables, 33-percent by RIÉBSL, and 17-percent by RIÉGÎM, is comprised of 65 Vestas V117 wind turbines with a capacity of 3.45 MW each. The construction phase began in June 2016 and involved more than 400 workers at its peak. Since the commissioning in January 2018, the Project employs ten full-time operations and maintenance personnel.
Present at the inauguration, Mr. Jean D’Amour, Minister Delegate for Maritime Affairs, Minister responsible for the Bas-Saint-Laurent region and Member for Rivière-du-Loup – Témiscouata, took the opportunity to highlight the contribution of the workers and various stakeholders in the project. “I am very happy with the completion of this wind farm in Lower Laurentian territory. This project is certainly a major environmental project, but also represents a significant contribution to the economic development of municipalities and RCMs in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region.”
“Pride is the word that sums up the last nine years of commitment to build Canada’s largest community wind farm. This is a very nice private-public achievement resulting from the pooling of the skills of both partners,” said Michel Lagacé, President of RIÉBSL. “It is estimated that 50% of the hours worked resulted from Bas-St-Lauren contractors, half of whom are based in one of the two RCMs that host the Project. During the 18 months of construction, the Nicolas-Riou wind farm generated direct benefits of approximately $31 million in wages and purchases of services and materials in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, of which more than half was in the RCMs of Basques and Rimouski-Neigette.”
According to Simon Deschênes, President of RIÉGÎM, “In addition to the profits distributed to public shareholders (forecast of $8 million annually over the next 25 years), annual contributions of $1.1 million will also be paid to the two RCMs during the life of the project. These are considerable sums that can be used at the discretion of communities, particularly as levers for development projects.”
“The strong partnership formed with RIEBSL and RIEGÎM demonstrates EDF Renewables commitment to working collaboratively with local communities and stakeholders and the success that results from pairing project development experience with local expectations, skills and talents,” said Cory Basil, Vice President Development for EDF Renewables Canada. “We are thankful for the vision, the dedication and commitment of our partners and are very proud to share in this celebration today to recognize the completion of Nicolas-Riou – a project that will bring significant economic benefits to the RCMs during its operation today and for many years to come.”
Nicolas-Riou is one of eight wind projects awarded to EDF Renewables in the context of Hydro-Québec Distribution’s 2008, 2010 and 2013 tenders. It is also the company’s fifth project held in partnership with RCMs or Aboriginal communities. The other four are La Mitis (24.6 MW), Le Granit (24.6 MW), Rivière-du-Moulin (350 MW) and Lac Alfred (300 MW). To date, EDF Renewables has commissioned 1,600 MW of wind and solar projects in Canada.
ABOUT EDF RENEWABLES:
EDF Renewables is a subsidiary of EDF Renouvelables, the EDF group’s entity specialized in renewable energy. Present in more than 20 countries under the name EDF Renewables and EDF Renouvelables, the Company develops, builds and operates clean energy power plants by employing an integrated approach to project development covering all aspects from conception to commissioning through to generation and long-term operations. The Company delivers grid-scale power: wind (onshore and offshore), solar photovoltaic, and storage projects; distributed solutions: solar, solar+storage, EV charging and energy management; and asset optimization: technical, operational, and commercial skills to maximize performance of generating projects. In Canada, EDF Renewables has 1,600 MW of wind and solar power facilities in service or under construction and 4,200 MW under development. For more information visit: www.edf-re.ca
ABOUT THE INTERMUNICIPAL ENERGY BOARD OF BAS-SAINT-LAURENT (RIÉBSL) AND THE RÉGIE INTERMUNICIPALE DE L’ÉNERGIE GASPESIE-ÎLES-DE-LA-MADELEINE (RIEGÎM):
RIÉBSL is a partnership between the eight RCMs of Bas-Saint-Laurent and the Malécite de Viger First Nation (PNMV). Its role is to negotiate and conclude one or more alliances with private and / or municipal partners to establish, acquire, finance and operate one or more wind farms for the benefit of the Lower Laurentian communities.
The Régie Intermunicipale de l’Energie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine groups together the five RCMs of this administrative region as well as the agglomeration of Îles-de-la-Madeleine.