Gaspe rescue effort

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Canadian Kenetech Limited has asked Hydro Quebec to transfer the contracts of its planned Gaspe peninsula and Magdalen Islands wind plants to a "new Quebec consortium." Hydro's Janet Murphy says the utility, which has agreed two 25 year contracts for delivery of 142 GWh annually from the combined Gaspe development, will respond to Kenetech Limited's proposal by October 13.

Murphy adds that the utility regards the contract negotiations as a "positive development in the circumstances," but will not divulge the names of the consortium members while talks are in process. Kenetech Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of San Francisco based Kenetech Corporation. The corporation has sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for Kenetech Windpower, which has ceased its manufacturing activities.

The new Canadian consortium would carry out all of Kenetech Limited's obligations to Hydro Quebec, including construction of the 100 MW Gaspe project in two 50 MW halves, and also a 6 MW off grid wind plant in the Magdalen Islands in the St Lawrence Gulf, which would be interconnected to the existing 70 MW diesel generating system. The developers currently slated to build both projects are limited partnerships of Kenetech Limited with the Axor Corporation of Quebec.

Murphy says that Hydro Quebec is still expecting construction to start on the Gaspe project by March 31, 1997, as specified in the contract with Kenetech Limited and Axor. If the new project proponent fails to begin construction by then, Hydro Quebec would re-evaluate the contractual obligations, she adds. The contracts were agreed under a set aside for renewable energy capacity in Hydro Quebec's "APR" request for proposals of 1991.

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