What is the wind energy potential in Quebec?
According to a study by Hélimax, if only areas located within 25 km of a Hydro-Quebec power line are considered, Quebec’s wind energy potential amounts to 100,000 MW. If proximity to power lines is not taken into consideration, the potential increases fourfold to 400,000 MW.
It should be noted, however, that the traditional grid system cannot accommodate all available wind energy. The amount that can actually be harnessed depends on many factors, one of which is the proximity of high wind regions to Hydro-Quebec power lines.
Hydro-Quebec’s current total installed capacity, including the Churchill Falls power station in Labrador, is approximately 40,000 MW.
Denmark and certain regions of Germany and Spain now rely on wind to supply 20% of their power needs. In Quebec, the government objective of 4000 MW of wind energy by 2015 would allow the sector to fill 10% of the province’s power needs.