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Public hearings began in late August into Quebec's energy debate. A 14-member consultation committee, broadly representative of Quebec society, expects to receive briefs from over 300 intervenors on a new energy policy for Quebec. Wind power emerged from the information stage of the debate as the preferred new renewable energy source for Quebec. The debate is structured to encourage democratic participation and is taking place in eight Quebec cities from August 22 to September 27 (Windpower Monthly, April 1995). In Rimouski, centre of the Gaspe region where California company Kenetech will build two wind farms, totalling 100 MW, to supply Hydro Quebec, representatives of local government, business and industry, along with environmental organisations, were scheduled to deliver presentations in favour of wind power on August 30-31. Briefs for wind are also expected from the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), Kenetech Windpower, the Association Quebecoise pour la Maitrise de l'Energie, the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and the University of Quebec in Rimouski. After the cross-Quebec hearing and after the Quebec referendum expected this fall, the Parti Quebecois government will develop a new energy master plan which could feature a major shift to renewable energy technologies. Energy Minister Francois Gendron said in an April workshop that electricity wheeling and the evolution of open competition in North American energy markets will force Quebec to re-examine its traditional modes of energy supply from large hydroelectric stations.

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