Late in December 2015, Hydro-Québec Distribution (“HQD”) announced the postponement by one year of the deadline for submissions in response to its request for proposals (A/P 2015-01) (“RFP”) issued on October 23, 2015 for the development, building and operation of a 6 MW wind farm in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, in Québec. The objective of this RFP is to integrate a wind farm into the off-grid system of the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, which would contribute to reducing Hydro-Québec’s use of its Cap-aux-Meules oil-fired thermal plant.
The wind farm must be developed in partnership with the Régie intermunicipale de l’énergie Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine (the “Régie”). However, no minimum threshold is set in the RFP documents for the Régie’s participation in the wind farm. A bidder must submit with its bid a resolution of the Régie supporting its project, and the selected bidder will have to enter into a partnership agreement with the Régie before execution of the power purchase agreement with HQD.
The term of the power purchase agreement will be 20 years. Bidders must indicate in their bids the guaranteed commencement date of deliveries and the electricity price that they are proposing. HQD is seeking a price that will be lower than the current operating cost of its Cap-aux-Meules oil-fired thermal plant and result in sufficient savings for HQD.
It was originally contemplated that the wind farm would be located on lands chosen by the Régie and managed by the Îles-de-la-Madeleine municipality, on Dune-du-Nord. However, this site failed to meet some of the criteria set by the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Fight against Climate Change concerning the protection of flower species and consequently the wind farm will need to be relocated.
Bidders will now have until April 12, 2017 to submit their bid.