"This is a giant leap forward for Repower towards our establishment in Canada, and bolsters our intention of further growth in the whole of North America," says chief executive Per Hornung Pedersen.
EDF and RES Canada are partners, along with Quebec power producer Hydromega Services in the Saint-Laurent energies consortium, which won power purchase contracts for 954 MW of wind energy capacity from Hydro-Quebec Distribution in May 2008.
The contracts include local content regulations that require 30% of the outlay on turbine manufacture be spent in the regional municipality of Matane or the administrative region of Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine. Additionally, 60% of the entire project cost must be spent within the province of Quebec.
To meet the local content requirement, Repower has lined up Marmen and LM Glasfiber to supply towers and blades for the turbines. Both companies have existing operations on the Gaspe peninsula, set up to supply components to GE Energy, which won 990 MW of turbine sales contracts in an earlier Hydro-Quebec request for wind proposals.
"For LM Glasfiber, this contract increases our long-term visibility in Canada and secures our commitment to the local area," says Ian Telford, the company's vice-president of sales and marketing.
Repower has contracted Woodward Governor to supply power converters for the Quebec turbines. Woodward will build the converters at its Colorado plant, using parts manufactured at a new facility in Gaspesie, most likely the City of New Richmond.
Repower spokesperson Daniela Puttenat says the turbine maker also plans to use its Quebec component suppliers for projects in neighbouring Canadian provinces.
The sales agreement with Saint-Laurent set a minimum order size of 748 MW. The developer has already been forced to abandon plans for an 80 MW wind farm on the other shore of the Gulf of St Lawrence estuary from the Gaspe peninsula.
It is working on plans to relocate the 40 turbines to a village close to the border with the US state of Maine and received approval from the province's Regie de l'energie in November to amend its contract with Hydro-Quebec to allow for the change.