2012-2013 Actions: an Executive Summary
With border issues coming to a head in wind power development, a change of government, the decommissioning of Gentilly 2, the anticipated announcement of an RFP for 700 MW of wind energy and debates on whether or not Quebec is producing too much electricity, 2012-2013 certainly has been an interesting year. Through it all, we continued our efforts to build relationships and to create winning conditions for the development of renewable energy. We prepared briefing books for key members of the new government, our issue-specific letters to the editor were published in the main newspapers and we launched our new websites.
The biogas committee prepared biomethanation guidelines, worked toward obtaining an RFP for landfill and cogeneration biogas and promoted the injection of biomethane into the gas grid.
The biomass committee's activities were targeted to cogeneration RFP mechanisms, resulting in an initial RFP of 150 MW being raised to 300 MW. Work is in progress to ensure adequate raw materials are distributed equitably to both old and new biomass plants and the committee is also preparing for the Quebec consultations toward a new energy strategy.
While preparing the renewal of the APR-91 contracts, hydro producers were hit by the news that the government was cancelling its small hydro program. Small hydro power plant operators and developers, communities and other organizations immediately rallied and are actively working to ensure the long-term survival of the sector.
Our wind power committee, together with CanWEA and several other organizations, worked tirelessly to obtain an RFP for the 700 MW still outstanding from Quebec's last energy plan. The government eventually announced plans for 800 MW of wind power to be be divided between First Nations communities (150 MW), Hydro-Québec Production (200 MW), the Gaspé-Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Lower Saint-Lawrence regions (300 MW) and the rest of Quebec (150 MW). The committee also developed guidelines and protocols for birds and bats; their efforts resulted in directives that both protect wildlife and yield significant savings for wind farm operators. SECOR-KPMG was commissioned to study the real economic impact of wind power development for the regions. Its findings were very positive; they are available here.