Gaspe moves on

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International development consortium Energie Le Nordais (ELN) is now closing the project finance for its 100 MW wind farm to be built on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. Construction of the first phase of the C$160 million project at Cap Chat is scheduled to begin next month, with commercial operation by December, according to ELN. Construction of the second phase at Matane, comprising 57 turbines, is to begin in April 1999 for completion by December of that year.

The entire wind farm will consist of NEG Micon 750 kW turbines. The expected annual output of 149.7 GWh for the Cap Chat site and 110.2 GWh for Matane will be sold to Hydro Quebec for C$0.0417/kWh under a 25 year contract. The project's developer is a joint venture between NEG Micon, financier EcoWind (a UK subsidiary of Japan's Nichimen), and two Quebec engineering firms, Axor and 3C Inc.

ENL is also the developer of Quebec's first demonstration wind plant of three NEG Micon 750 kW turbines for Hydro Quebec. The machines were recently connected to Hydro's distribution grid in Matane. The project is intended as a "test bench" for Quebec companies seeking to supply components to the wind industry, particularly to ENL's 100 MW project, according to Quebec's energy ministry. The Matane turbines are expected to generated 110.2 GWh for Matane. NEG Micon will maintain and operate the site for the next three years.

The Gaspe Peninsula 100 MW project was first mooted by Kenetech Windpower, before the California company filed for bankruptcy nearly two years ago. ELN took over the project development rights.

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