Solar energy production could triple in Quebec if the project proposed by the company STACE in the current Hydro-Quebec tenders is selected.
Posted at 12:12 p.m
The 32.4 megawatt (MW) solar farm proposed by the Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures company near Quebec City is part of the list of bids deemed compliant presented by the state-owned company on Thursday .
It would be built in Matane in Bas-Saint-Laurent “on an otherwise unusable landfill” using Quebec-made solar panels, the company said in a press release on Friday.
STACE, for Saint-Augustin Canada Electric, is a supplier of high-performance electrical equipment to the power generation sector.
The company claims its project will demonstrate that solar power is “a sustainable and viable path” in Quebec.
Solar energy is still significantly underutilized in Quebec, while solar radiation levels are comparable to many countries using the technology.
Excerpt from the STACE press release
The new double-sided panels “ensure that snow is in no way an obstacle to their deployment,” the company adds, promising “competitive costs.”
First in Quebec
STACE could become Hydro-Québec’s first-ever external solar energy supplier with its solar park project in Matane.
This is also the first time Hydro-Québec has submitted a solar project as part of its bidding process.
The Hydro-Québec grid is currently powered by just 10.3MW of solar power, almost entirely from its two pilot power plants in Varennes and La Prairie, which came online in 2021 for research purposes.
The state-owned company has also installed a small number of solar modules in Lac-Mégantic as part of a microgrid pilot project – in Quebec there are also some private solar parks that are not connected to the public power grid.
STACE notes that its project would represent “an exceptional technological showcase” for the technology it has developed in collaboration with the University of Sherbrooke, which enables the installation of solar panels on unstable ground such as a landfill.
A solar farm using this Quebec innovation was recently completed in France, the company said.
Decision by early 2023
The projects unveiled by Hydro-Québec on Thursday were submitted as part of the two tenders launched last December for the purchase of separate power blocks: one with 300 MW from wind power only and the other with 480 MW from renewable sources.
These are the first major tenders since 2013 – two specific tenders took place in 2015 and 2020.
Crown Corporation received 27 offers, three of which were rejected at opening.
The other 24 with a total of 4205 MW will be analyzed in the coming months.
Hydro-Québe plans to announce selected projects by the end of the year or early 2023; their commissioning must be no later than 1ah December 2026.
- 37,248 MW
- installed capacity of Hydro-Québec, excluding island grids and external suppliers
Source: Hydro Quebec