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The Quebec branch of Kenetech Windpower of California has completed an environmental impact study for a planned 100 MW project on the Canadian province's Gaspe Peninsula, slated for commissioning in late 1996. The assessment will be submitted to the Ministry of the Environment for approval and public hearings may be held.

Three sites have been selected, according to Richard Legault, Kenetech's project development manager in Montreal. These are Matane, Cap-Chat and Sainte-Anne-des-Monts; two other sites have been rejected. Some 4000 hectares are required for the 300 Kenetech turbines, requiring land options with some 75 landowners. Legault says the wind farm would occupy at least two of the sites and perhaps all three. A certificate of approval for the project could be obtained by year end, financing could close in the first quarter of 1996, and construction could proceed over the next 6-8 months.

Construction of a second Kenetech project, a 5 MW wind farm for Quebec's Magdalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, is awaiting a technical go-ahead from Hydro Quebec. The wind farm will be at Dune du Sud at the northern tip of Ile du Havre aux Maisons, a site favoured by residents in a consultation the utility conducted in 1993.

The public utility is now conducting an interconnection study to assess the impact of the wind farm on the Magdalen's diesel generation system to ensure adequate reliability. Wind production could be capped for the first months of operation in order to minimise risk to the island electrical system. Peak demand of 35 MW occurs in the winter and average demand is about half that. The wind farm could supply nearly 50% of the island's electricity in the summer, when annual demand is lowest at 10-12 MW. Kenetech is hoping for commercial operation by December 1 this year.

Both the Gaspe and Magdalen projects will use a 405 kW version of Kenetech's KVS-33 variable speed wind turbine, previously known as the 33M-VS. The wind farms will be built with Quebec partner Axor under a 50-50 joint venture. Axor replaced Arno Electrique, Kenetech's former Quebec partner in the Magdalen project, in November.

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