Major gas company Gaz Métro enters wind business

Another of Canada's major natural gas distribution companies is entering the wind business. Montreal-based Gaz Métro has teamed up with Séminaire de Québec and Boralex, a Quebec company that operates three wind farms in France and has three more expected to come online by the end of the year, to assess the wind potential on a vast 1600 square kilometre tract along the north coast of the St Lawrence River. The land, owned by the Séminaire, is far from inhabited areas, close to electric power lines, and is currently being exploited for its timber resources. The partners plan to participate in Hydro-Quebec's planned request for 2000 MW of wind power. "Gaz Métro sees this project as an opportunity to diversify its activities in the field of renewable energy in Quebec. Given the fact that we are working with a well-regarded company in the field and have access to what appears to be a high quality site, this a very promising project," says CEO Robert Tessier. With more than C$2 billion in assets and holding interests in pipelines in Canada and the US, Gaz Métro is Canada's third largest gas distribution company. TransCanada Corporation and Enbridge, two other leading gas distribution companies, are also active in the wind business.