Nod of federal approval to three projects despite utility reluctance

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Interest shown by the Canadian authorities in a proposal for three large wind farms in Quebec totalling up to 180 MW of nameplate capacity has given new significance to plans recently announced by Montreal based York Research Canada and Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.

At a wind energy seminar in Kincardine, Ontario, on April 14, senior manager for alternative and renewable energy, Claude Barraud of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) included the proposal in his list of 200 MW of wind projects in Canada which are now "operational or under development." According to Barraud the three wind farms in the scheme would each have an "average capacity" of 25 MW, or about 115, V39 500 kW turbines.

Although the federal government appears impressed, Hydro Quebec has declined to start negotiations with York for a power purchase contract, saying the company missed by three months the May 1993 deadline for responses to the utility's April 1991 request for proposals for 200 MW of renewable energy. Nonetheless, York president, Francois Ladoucer, told Quebec newspaper Le Soleil on April 10 that his group has been working on the project for 18 months and will put up the necessary CDN$90-110 million financing.

Other project's included in Barraud's list were a 20 MW plant in Alberta, 100 MW for the Gaspe Peninsula and 5 MW on the Magdalen Islands of Quebec, all by Kenetech of California.

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